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Old 03-18-23, 11:49 AM   #1
Threadfin
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Default Hitman Freelancer

Maybe a year ago IOI announced they were developing a new rouge-like mode for Hitman 3, called Freelancer. What I read about it sounded great. Consequences for failing. Limited inventory. Random elements to the maps. Little intel, no handler, no mission stories.

It's out now and I've been playing.

https://ioi.dk/hitman/blogs/freelanc...#the-last-word

And I have to say it's really good, but it is also hard. This is not the thing to introduce yourself to Hitman. Failure has brutal consequences.

Essentially the player gets a new safehouse and starts with nothing except a camera and an unsuppressed pistol. That's it. All gear must be acquired through game play. If you fail a mission you lose the gear you took with you plus half of your money. Why? I don't know.

If you fail the Showdown missions that cap each segment of the campaign you lose the campaign and even more gear. Brutal, like I said. And to put the cherry on top of it, there are no saves during a mission.

So yeah, this is for veteran players of the trilogy. With no hand-holding like you can get in the main campaigns, Freelancer is a mode that rewards good players who have mastered the maps, methods and mechanics. It tests the players ability to be creative and improvise. I had become overly reliant on my favorites. Silverballer, lockpick, Seiker and a few coins could carry me through just about any scenario in the main campaign.

But now I don't have any of that although I just acquired a silenced pistol in my last mission. That's a big score, not only because it is great for assassinations, but because it is so useful for camera killing. But you always have to balance that against the fact that a blown mission could see it gone.

This finality to every action puts a premium on nailing it the first time. There's no safety net here. Whatever you decide to do, it must come off. Freelancer has pulled me from my comfort zone and put me in to the ultimate test of my ability to craft my own plans and execute them while sort of winging it with whatever kit I can get a hold of. And that is very, very cool.

Freelancer is both different from, and more than, what I expected it would be. With this update, IOI has shown they respect the core, veteran players of their games and I appreciate the effort and creativity that went in to this.
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Old 03-18-23, 12:16 PM   #2
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I'm loving the Freelancer mode!



The best thing about it in my opinion is the lack of ranking system and leaderboard. While the franchise has always offered lots of ways to complete your contracts, Silent Assassin(/Suit Only) has always been the preferred method. Freelancer on the other hand truly allows you to go outside the normal since you don't get (big) penalties for doing things you normally wouldn't. Someone sees you do something fishy? No problem, shoot them and carry on with your mission.
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Old 03-18-23, 12:38 PM   #3
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Yes, I agree, good points. I had only just posted in a different forum how much Freelancer has changed my approach. Well, maybe more accurately, how much more open I am now to alternative play styles.

Previously, Silent Assassin was my jam. I always enter a mission with the goal of ghosting it. I don't always pull it off, but getting through unseen, unheard and undetected was always the objective.

But in Freelancer the only objective is to complete it, whatever that might mean, and with no saves that might devolve in to mayhem. I can't just reload a point a few minutes before I fouled up. Gotta roll with it. I still want to ghost, but sometimes the hand you're dealt calls for alternative solutions.

My last mission was the first of a new syndicate, an alerted Sgail. I wanted the silenced pistol you can get on this map (and I got it). The mission had three targets and two I took down with bursts from an unsuppressed assault rifle, which I do believe is the first time I've used an assault rifle in the trilogy! Managed to avoid detection too. They searched, but gave it up as a bad job whilst I hung from a ledge over the sea. Gotta improvise!

And you're right about how with SA/SO type play no longer rewarded that it frees us to explore these alternatives. Maybe you've always done, Dowly. But for me it has really opened up the game play. The limited inventory options (at least early in your campaign) and the complete absence of save points has really changed the Hitman paradigm, and so far I'm digging it.

Honestly I didn't expect anyone here would be playing this, but glad to know I was wrong. Please share anything you want to add about your campaign or tips you might think useful.
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Old 03-18-23, 04:15 PM   #4
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Hah, I wish I had any pro tips to give! Most of the time I just wing it.

I have some routines, which I guess could be considered tips:
- Grab the wrench from the garage in your safehouse. Good melee/distraction + can be used to sabotage stuff.
- If I am in need of money, I usually choose the assassination syndicate. The optional objectives are close to Silent Assassin playstyle.
- Always take care of alerted territories first, I usually don't even try for the optionals. Just quickly get them over with and continue with the normal territories.
- Assassins always carry a silenced pistol, good way to get one.
- No two showdown suspect have the same looks and tells. As long as you have a visual on a suspect (the icon over their head is visible) you can see their tell when they're doing it. Good way to eliminate suspects from distance.
- **** Colorado.
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Old 03-19-23, 08:15 AM   #5
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Thanks. Several times I've seen the suggestion to do alerted territories first. I did, but what's the reason? Why is it better to do those first?

My second syndicate of four missions went really well. I was able to do all four on the bounce with no restarts. Having a silenced pistol (Hackl) makes a world of difference. Just being able to shoot out cameras is a big help. And it all dovetailed nicely with one of the theme objectives for this syndicate paying for disabled cameras.

It also helps that as I move through I am acquiring more and more kit. I now have a silenced pistol, SMG and AR. I did my second syndicate showdown on Whittleton and could nick a silenced SMG there, and again nice synergy with a side objective to take out three guards with a SMG.

Playing Freelancer does not contribute to location mastery does it? Too bad, and I wish it carried over.

Now I move on to syndicate number three and have a really good one, a nice combination of maps and favored playstyles so it should be fun. Challenging, but fun. Freelancer is a great addition to the trilogy.
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Old 03-19-23, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Thanks. Several times I've seen the suggestion to do alerted territories first. I did, but what's the reason? Why is it better to do those first?
The main reason is so that you don't accidentally leave one of them last as a showdown mission, which would make it harder. Depending on the map, you might run into a situation where all the suspects can see through your disguise making it impossible to get close enough to identify them.
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Playing Freelancer does not contribute to location mastery does it? Too bad, and I wish it carried over.
Unfortunately, it doesn't carry over.
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Old 03-19-23, 11:32 AM   #7
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Thanks and yeah, that makes sense to not have an alerted showdown. It would make it too hard to get in their face with the suspect camera

What are you buying from suppliers? So far I've spent very little, now and then I'll buy a remote explosive for 500 or similar item. So I'm hoarding my cash for a compelling weapon. I'd buy a Silverballer (can they pop up at suppliers?) or a Seiker maybe. Silenced sniper rifle is on the wishlist too.

But then I thought we have no agency pickups in Freelancer, or at least at my low level I don't. If that's always the case, carrying the Seiker would mean no pistol so I doubt I'd ever carry it in to a mission.

Poison vials and syringes are single use? Gone from the safehouse having been used once?
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Old 03-19-23, 02:14 PM   #8
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What are you buying from suppliers? So far I've spent very little, now and then I'll buy a remote explosive for 500 or similar item. So I'm hoarding my cash for a compelling weapon. I'd buy a Silverballer (can they pop up at suppliers?) or a Seiker maybe. Silenced sniper rifle is on the wishlist too.

But then I thought we have no agency pickups in Freelancer, or at least at my low level I don't. If that's always the case, carrying the Seiker would mean no pistol so I doubt I'd ever carry it in to a mission.

Poison vials and syringes are single use? Gone from the safehouse having been used once?

1) Much like you I just buy some cheap random junk. Silenced sniper rifles are a good buy since the optional objectives requiring a sniper are easy to do. Yes, you should be able to get a Silverballer from a supplier, not sure how rare they are.

2) Sniper rifles come with a case both when bought from a supplier or brought with you from the safe house.

3) I have to say I've not paid attention to say for certain, but don't poisons disappear from your inventory after use? So, much like explosives, they're probably counted as consumables and thus lost after use.
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Old 03-20-23, 07:42 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comment about getting the briefcase with the sniper rifle purchase. Turns out my next mission, in Berlin, had a supplier with a vanilla Sieger 300. Price was nice too. I bought it, and as luck would have it again, this mission had an objective for sniper rifle kill. So I bought it in the mission and used it to fill the objective. If I hadn't read your comment I would have hesitated wondering if I would now have to try to navigate the club with a sniper rifle on my back.

The rifle looked to have a suppressor on it, but looking at the details before buying it didn't list that for whatever reason. I took the chance anyway and it does. So that means I've now acquired suppressed versions of a pistol, SMG, AR and sniper. Getting there.

Did two alerted territories to kick off the third syndicate and now have six done on the bounce with no restarts as I settle in to the rhythm the mode requires.
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Old 03-22-23, 07:54 AM   #10
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Since I had started to have sustained success in Freelancer I started playing legit and man that was a brutal decision. I had reached the fourth mission of the fourth syndicate. I had just leveled up mastery and was given 10k in cash, to now hold 34k. I drew the short straw, an alerted Hokkaido. Spawn was on the gurney in the operating room. I mean come on. In Freelancer you always start in 47's suit in a random location, which could be deep inside the most hostile part of the map. I fouled it up yeah, but that's a rough start.

Failing that one ended my campaign and cost 17k in lost funds. That's a killer. Then I started a new campaign, still smarting from my failure. Did the first two missions no problem and then failed on the Showdown, getting gunned downed in a courtyard in Santa Fortuna Colombia. Half the money gone again and down to 9k.

So I lost two campaigns, 25k, all gadgets (Freelancer gear) including my lock pick, no! and both of my silenced pistols. That's what I get for going legit!

I had just bought a Sieker, and got a Kalmer too. Getting the Sieker showed me that Freelancer handles inventory differently. I mean I could see that with the carry capacity mechanic, but I assumed we could still only take one concealed weapon in to the mission like the main campaign. But in Freelancer you can carry multiple pistols if you have the capacity. And, it turns out, if you have the pistols! Derp.
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Old 03-24-23, 05:31 AM   #11
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Ouch, that sucks.


It certainly blows to have to start over, but I just think of how Dark Souls works in that it teaches you through repetition and keep that in mind for Freelancer as well. I've learned more about the maps in my short time playing Freelancer than all the hours I've put into the main missions of the Trilogy.
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Old 03-24-23, 07:38 AM   #12
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that sucks.

Yes. Yes, it does.

But as Tommy Paine once said, the harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.

But you know, that won't keep me down. I keep plugging away, now Freelancer level 12 and I have a nice gun collection, but the tools come and go haha.

Playing a new syndicate, second one in the campaign and got an alerted Sapienza. And the mark is the hazamt suit scientist in the lab. Great.

Tried it last night and it all went to hell. I alt-F4d this one and need a better plan. Tried shooting the stalactite which he stands under but it misses him when it falls and all the guards went nuts. Too bad too because the supplier had good stuff including a lockpick. But since I hit level 12 and opened up the outdoors at the safe house I can now have a nail every mission so the lock pick is no longer all that important. I also usually take the stethoscope from the infirmary along too. I wonder what other gear is around the safe house that I might want to take and don't know it is there?
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Old 03-24-23, 02:00 PM   #13
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I wonder what other gear is around the safe house that I might want to take and don't know it is there?
There's a wrench in the garage which can come in handy, if for nothing else than being a reusable melee weapon.
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Old 03-24-23, 02:24 PM   #14
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Thanks, and yes, I know of the wrench. And the banana, which I've discovered works great on couriers. The stethoscope, the nail, the wine bottle. Saw an emetic mushroom outside.


I understand there is also a bit of alchemy possible but I either haven't found it, or have yet to unlock where it is done.


I just read the nail can also be a crowbar, it changes back and forth.
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Old 03-27-23, 08:34 AM   #15
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Finished my first Freelancer campaign. Each campaign consists of four syndicates and it works like this

First syndicate is two normal missions and one showdown
Second is three normals and a showdown
Third is four and one
Fourth is five normal missions and one showdown

So that's 18 missions to complete. Each syndicate ramps up the difficulty. More suspects, more targets, more cameras and more enforcers. So by the time you're halfway through the fourth one it is very challenging, and with no saves, the entire campaign is hanging out there over the edge. One killer mistake and it all comes to an end. I've lost a couple campaigns and it's brutal to lose so much. But this is what makes winning feel so rewarding.

Well, that, and the rewards. For winning a campaign I got a legendary sniper rifle and 30,000 in cash. I turned around and spent it all on another legendary sniper rifle. I don't use them much, but they look so cool on the wall in the glass case.

When the player starts a new campaign he is presented with a choice of eight different syndicates. You can click on each one to show which random elements are in each. They have names like Big Pharma, Assassination and the like. Within each one the maps are randomly chosen, and there is a list of possible side objectives grouped by play style. For example Big Pharma revolves around poisons. There will be a number of objectives like lethal poison kill, shoot target with dart gun, inject a guard and that sort of thing. Assassination will have silenced pistol kills, no bodies found, headshots only and so on.

Choose one and it becomes your first syndicate in the campaign, and three side objectives will be pulled from the list. Complete them for cash, or don't as they are entirely optional. The only thing that matters is taking out the main targets, which are randomly chosen from all of the NPCs within the level. It could be anyone, even the NPC right next to you when you spawn in, or could be one in the middle of a crowd in the most hostile part of the map. The player spawn location is randomized too, and so you can find yourself starting in a very difficult spot. And since you always spawn in 47s suit (no disguise) it can be quite a difficult start.

Normal missions consist of anywhere from one to four targets, increasing the deeper you advance through the campaign. Showdowns take place on whichever map you save for last. When choosing the syndicate I always consider both the preferred play style (which side objectives there are) and the maps. I have my favorites and those I like less. And some maps are just harder than others. Like Colorado, which sucks. Certain maps I feel are more suited to showdowns than others, so there's a small element of strategery to the order you play them in.

In addition to the main targets and side objectives there are a few more random elements. Some maps have safes containing cash. You can find the safe combination by using your camera to scan objects in the vicinity, or you can simply blow it open with explosives. Working out a way to both kill your target and blow a safe in a single detonation is fun. In addition to safes, there are couriers on some maps. These are random NPCs who carry a stack of cash, and if you can take them out you can take the money. And every map has one supplier, which is a character selling weapons and tools.

Any item or weapon that has a rarity rating (common, rare, epic, legendary) can be brought back to the safe house after a mission and becomes part of your arsenal, with no duplicates.

Showdowns work a little differently. In these, there will be anywhere from four to nine suspects. By completing the normal missions leading up to the showdown, tells and traits of the syndicate leader are revealed. It might be something like smoker, sweet tooth, brown hair, earrings, hat and eye glasses. The player needs to infiltrate the map and get close enough to these suspects to determine which of them has all of these tells and traits to identify the right one, and then take him/her out. Do so, and the syndicate is won, and back to the safe house for a nice item reward and choose the next syndicate. The game only gives you stuff you don't already have, so over time you can build up your arsenal. After four or five campaigns you'd probably have it all.

So Freelancer has really got its hooks in. It's everything great about Hitman, which is great already, but adds in a number of random elements that freshens it up for players who have run through the main game missions countless times. It's more free form than the main campaigns, and much more challenging too.
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