Sunday, 28 November 2010

10 000 subscribers on YouTube and
Hitman: Blood Money on Rookie isn't THAT different

Here's the celebratorial video, Don Fernando Must Die - 10k subs special:

And I finally played through Blood Money on rookie a few days ago. Considering my playstyle it wasn't much different from Professional, not to me anyway. The differences between Rookie and Pro is the ability to have multiple saves during a level, slightly dumber and slower AI, everything marked on maps and no notoriety. I couldn't remember to save during levels and only ever used the function once for my advantage, so it didn't change my playthrough much in any way. I even forgot to save between levels all the time, so once I beat A Dance with the Devil (second to last level) and quit for the night, I had to restart You Better Watch Out (exactly in the middle of the entire game).
Notoriety being gone had no impact on my gameplay whatsoever either, since I've never finished a level and left witnesses or camera footage behind.
Dumber/slower AI gave me more trouble than help at first, since on early levels they just wouldn't care about coin distractions (I like using it even if you CAN do without it). Later on in the game the AI seemed almost regular to Pro mode's, just a teensy bit less perceptive and just ever so slightly slower to turn around when noticing my footsteps. All in all the "accommodating AI" just widened the openings for suitable moments of attack. I suppose the word 'accommodating' means that if you fuck up a hundred times the AI will eventually forget you even exist, but despite some retries I never noticed a change between try 1 and try 5.
Everything being marked on a map didn't have too much of an impact on MY playthrough, but for a newcomer the maps would be much more helpful than most people would think. For the most part I could still remember where and when critical pairs of eyes would be from my Pro playthroughs, but that's because I spent hours just observing them when I first played the game. I had to, because that was the only way to familiarize myself with how they acted in the level, but with the Rookie map blips you could get almost the same info I gathered the hard way just by staring at the maps for five minutes at the beginning of each level. I personally prefer the less helpful map because it gives more for me to see and find out myself, and it's more exciting when you don't know for sure if a guard is around the corner or not. Besides, scrolling through 7 layers of maps in the middle of a critical moment just because IOI decided, for some reason, to needlessly separate outdoors from indoors even when they're at the same height is not as much fun as seeing things for yourself.

Overall, I just proved something I've always thought a bit more true, that true stealth games don't change too much when changing the difficulty. The objective is always to avoid detection and if you play stealth games as seriously as I do, you avoid detection the same ways whether the AI is weak or strong.
I can't claim that people playing on Rookie suck or anything, but I can say that people who got Silent Assassin ratings on Rookie can get them on Professional just as well, because the timing of guards and how they act for the most part don't change. I would still dare to recommend even newcomers to start on Normal or Expert anyway, because the ability to save mid-level is the most important help feature for the casual gamer and it's really all you would ever need to make the game more fun.

And in case you also obsess over Blood Money, here's my completion times for the missions so you can compare them to your own and call me a noob and feel good about yourself. The difficulty doesn't matter, since I used the exact same tactics that I've proven to work on Pro as well and will bet you money I can do the same on any difficulty. Ratings were Silent Assassins for the most part, but lower for A Dance with the Devil since I always, ALWAYS blow up Maynard John instead of duelling with him. Amendment XXV was slower because Mark bugged out and... acted strange (did you know that if he gets stuck in the scenery and you catch up to him, he teleports to the rooftop?).

A Vintage Year - 4:24
Curtains Down - 6:00
Flatline - 12:07
A New Life - 5:17
Murder of Crows - 10:58
You Better Watch Out ... - 9:48
Death on the Mississippi - 12:44
Till Death Do Us Part - 4:15
A House of Cards - 12:34
A Dance With the Devil - 12:38
Amendment XXV - 14:18

No comments:

Post a Comment