Sunday, 4 April 2010

In my game's story 47 died. Several times, actually

So, Hitman: Blood Money. I didn't finish it.

To put it as short as I possibly can, Hitman: Blood Money is the best in the Hitman series. It combines all the best aspects of all previous three games and on top of that adds more features that make it even more fun than ever before to replay levels. The missions are all very interesting and have nice variety and there's tons of little things in each level that make the game world feel more lively. The levels are also very large and detailed, and rooms you're not really ever going to enter during the actual hits often have nice unique touches to them.
I could go on great length about the amount of ways to perform hits and the great new features and the generally great everything and even say a few words about the glitches and AI's returning paranoia when they specifically hear 47's foot steps (I suppose 47's feet just have an ominous sound to them) and the weird way nobody cares if you follow men into bathrooms and walk out in their clothes or how people don't care that you stand next to them while they pee or how guards "forget" that you were trespassing in private apartments or hotel rooms if you get out of sight and hide in a closet, but my point is: Hitman: Blood Money is the best in the series and if you haven't played it then go buy it now, it was released on several platforms and it's 4 years old now, you can get it relatively cheap.

Now to the awful thing about the game that I want to share with you.
The reason I started writing this is to inform you that the final level, 'Requiem', is just too difficult on Professional. Pro mode is mostly for people who don't intend to shoot their way out of anything, and the final chapter is a 100% shooter level, and on top of it being already difficult on pro everything in the level is against you.
You face off against 9 armed guys. 7 of them have pistols, one has a sub-machine gun and one has a revolver, allowing two of them to rape you in two seconds (and I'm not joking, two seconds may be as long as you last in the level sometimes if we don't count the time the slow motion death takes). You're in the open, surrounded by those 9 guys with guns with no option to take cover or hide since everything is too far away to run behind.  Your only weapons are the unupgraded Silverballers that have perhaps the longest loading time of any weapon in the game. I'm actually talking bollocks, I haven't used any other guns so I wouldn't know, but the reload time is still laughably, or painfully, long.
The Silverballers are also as inaccurate as my aim in the morning when I'm trying to pee, and each of the nine guys can take three, four or even more shots to the chest before going down. Headshots could be one hit kills, but the accuracy of the ballers is so bad that despite having the crosshair right on on someone's forehead at close range the bullets hit the chest, shoulders or just whiz past their ears to scrape paint off the back wall. The ballers also only hold nine bullets each and have TERRIBLE recoil that forces you to readjust your aim after each shot, and reloading leaves you open for death.
The only help you get in the battle is from a priest you can use as a human shield if you have patience to wait until the priest walks next to you, and this takes about a minute or longer due to the slow motion during the start of the level. The wait for the priest to come close enough is not always even worth it since the agents are quite eager to kill the priest too, so that human shield only absorbs a couple of bullets and helps you last about four seconds longer.
There's also the slight help from the new Blood Money feature (at least I think it's new) which I can only describe as a "Second Wind". When you get killed and the slow motion appears, if you kill enough guys before 47 falls down you can continue playing normally with 0 health and after that every hit kills you instantly. Of course this Second Wind is only helpful if you happen to get it from killing the last lively agent, otherwise you just get killed again immediately after getting it.

My amateur opinion is that on Professional 'Requiem' just outright sucks ass. The best I could do last night was killing the last armed agent just before I died myself. After the several dozen failed tries, some of which only lasted two seconds, I was just so tired and pissed of that I was just physically unable to continue. I had a headache, stomach cramps and no strength left in my arms to even move the mouse anymore, I was that angry about not getting to see the real ending. I just gave up and let them cremate 47 before going to bed, still steaming and hardly getting any sleep.
I will someday beat it on Pro and I do mean it when I say that you will see, but Requiem's just the sort of painful level I will only beat once in my life. It's exactly the same thing as the Golden King boss fight of Oyuri's story in 7 Blades (in the EU version of the game), I will beat it and record it once and never touch it again after that. If I beat it before recording, then I will never try to record it and I do want to record Blood Money.

To further explain it, Requiem is pretty much exactly like jamming a rusty blade in your knee. When you finally pull it out, the slight relief that follows from getting it done and over with doesn't make up for the blood on the carpet and the stinging in the wound. I may be able to do it, but I don't particularly enjoy the experience.

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