Hitman 2: the Ghost Mode
In Copenhagen we not only tried the Hitman 2 campaign, but also a curious multiplayer mode …
Those who do our work travel continuously: it is a fundamental requirement to better analyze the video games before and after the release, since it allows (most of the time) to have direct contact with whoever created the title, and can explain it. features better than anyone else. Of course, the actual usefulness of conversations with those involved varies – on the other hand, they themselves are often limited by the NDA statements of a certain weight, or by the simple desire not to reveal too many secrets of their creature – but if one is sent directly home of the team can usually rest easy, as substantial product testing is practically assured. This was precisely the case with our preview event of Hitman 2during which we not only had a few hours to test the new Colombian map and the changes in Miami, but we also found ourselves having to challenge a colleague of ours in a bizarre assassination race called Ghost Mode.
There Ghost mode starts from a very basic concept but not easy to apply: two players collide within the game’s extensive maps, and try to quickly eliminate “timed” targets that appear randomly in variable areas; the one who kills a certain number of people first wins. And so far it could seem like a caciaronata, a brainless race towards every target, for the sole purpose of scrapping points and dominating the opponent; only that the Ghost Mode inserts some “stakes” that make it completely impossible for races of this type, starting from the permanence of the alert status, up to the need not to involve innocent people in their actions.
The second element is the most direct that can exist: eliminating someone who has not been indicated as a target leads to the loss of a point, and therefore takes the player away from victory; however, we want to dwell on the first rule, because in Ghost Mode being discovered means no longer being able to shoot with a certain one disguise, and therefore automatically preclude entry into certain areas full of guards, or simplified possibilities of assassination capable of giving a significant advantage. Two experienced players with considerable knowledge of the map, therefore, will perfectly calculate each movement and will try to optimize their strategy based on the position of the target. Two newbies … well, they will end up as we did: discovered by countless numbers of guards due to the rush, and unable to move without being taken for a dartboard duck.
This is not all, however, because there are other limitations capable of increasing the general tension. The two killer in fact they cannot interact in the world of their opponent, only see the movements of others and influence the actions of artificial intelligence with special “ghost objects“that are perceived in every game (like coins capable of turning the guards around at the right time, thus cheating the enemy, or other similar goodies); moreover, one always leaves without equipment, since weapons and items must be obtained in special crates scattered around the map, the recovery of which affects just enough to allow your enemy to get to the prey first. Killing late is not just a slowdown in terms of total points: once the prey is dead in the opponent’s game you have a time limit to eliminate it in your map, and you risk losing the opportunity forever. There are several factors to take into consideration, in maps that are already incredibly complex and layered.
All in all? This is a pretty brilliant idea, which we enjoyed, but it is certainly not without its flaws. The ability to follow enemy actions makes it all too easy to stalk and act as a “disruptor” or swindle kills in both low and high level matches, and the chaos into which matches degenerate when too many disguises are discovered makes certain clashes almost unplayable. However, we are curious to see how the mode will evolve when truly expert users will challenge each other, able to take the system to the limit by studying every possible option. There is certainly potential in this strange competitive mode.