HITMAN 2, Mission One, Nightcall

Feels good being back! I have’t had the chance to start playing HITMAN 2 up until now, but it sure feels good to dive back into a world of assassination and make the world my weapon, to quote the game’s tagline.

Stylish environments, a cool-headed, badass assassin plus his equally badass handler and that very nice musical score plus a ton of opportunities and different ways of fulfilling a mission again make for the stealth-afficinado’s pefect mix.

The story so far
I really enjoyed the episodic approach of the HITMAN reboot but I am not averse to being able to play through the entire story this time either.

(Thinking about it, one advantage to the episodic approach was the fact that it motivated me to complete all the challenges on one map/mission, to pass the time until the next episode was ready for download. That was great fun, actually.)

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Look at all the missed opportunities and incompleted challenges! This definitely calls for a couple more replays of this episode.

In the previous game, Agent 47 and Diana went toe to toe with a militia bent on fulfilling the hidden agenda of the Shadow Client, which is taking down the secret organization Providence. By the end of the game, though, Diana had struck a deal with Providence. Her goal: to uncover the secret past of 47, the key to which Providence promised in return for them to take down the Shadow Client’s militia. And, possibly, the instigator himself.

Mission One, Nightcall
The first mission sees Agent 47 landing on a beach on Australia’s shore, to gather intel on the militia’s plans. Said intel is to be found in the beautiful beach house of one Alma Reynard, one of the Shadow Client’s top lieutenants. I played the mission twice, using chloroforme and emetic rat poison to incapacitate Reynard (The Fox, really?) and kill her without being noticed.

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Tools of the trade… A screwdriver can also be a weapon, right?

Upon infiltrating the house, Agent 47 uncovers a couple of bodies. Diana is unable to identify them, though. To get into the house, Agent 47 has to pick up a screw driver, found either in the pool area or at a location on the beach, stuck into the post of a ruined wooden structure that might have been a cabana once.

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The chloroforme flask is hidden inside the truck in the garage. I was a little disppointed to find that you cannot hide a body in there, too.

Armed with said tool, our all-time favorite hitman can now open the garage door to get inside. Be warned, though, there are cameras mounted on various corners of the house. Don’t forget to take them out or, alternately, erase the footage later on, once you have entered the safe room.

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Ah, poison! Perfect for preparing a silent, unnoticed kill in a quiet bathroom.

Inside the garage are the bodies mentioned before and also a truck. Inside the truck, you will find a chloroforme flask. Pick that up for later. In the back there is a door leading to a storage area behind the garage. There, you will find the emetic rat poison plus three cans I picked up to use as missiles to silently take out patrolling guards. For while up to this point Agent 47 is alone in the house, it is alway better to come prepared, right?

Two ways to score a silent, stealthy and unnocticed kill
While wandering the house, you will find multiple containers of food and drink you could poison. In the kitchen, for example, you could use the emetic rat poison to contaminate either sugar or honey. If you wish to drown Reynard, you will need to poison the honey. There are two bathrooms: one next to the kitchen, the other upstairs. She will use the one on the ground floor. Beware, though, there are no suitable hiding spots down there.

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Yep, that’s the honey pot.

Behind the kitchen you will find a piece of intel, another one can be found in the master bedroom upstairs. Also upstairs is a computer – encrypted – which is Agent 47 and Diana’s target. To decrypt the computer, Agent 47 has to find a key. To do that, handle the painting to the left of the desk and step into the house’s safe room. Stock up on tools and weapons (the fragmentation grenades especially will come in handy, as well as the tranquilizer gun and the lockpick) and pick up the decryption key.

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Inside the safe room you can stock up on tools and weapons. These fragmentation grenades are a must-have, btw.

It’s poison, honey
Once Agent 47 uploads the key – at exactly 22:47 hours, no less – Reynard and her posse return from their latest coup. Nice timing. They have abducted the family of a guy named Donovan, and Reynard uses that leverage to instigate the man to kill his boss. Diana instructs Agent 47 to kill Alma Reynard, without being noticed, if possible.

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I like the new suit, 47…

Now, if you chose to poison the honey, quickly make your way to the bathroom upstairs, hide in the closet and wait for the patrolling guard to turn his back on you before taking him out. Take his clothes, hide him in the closet and, once Reynard enters the bathroom downstairs, make your way down, past her bodyguard, who will have his back turned, and drown her in the toilet.

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Creating a diversion is the only way to get to your boat and leave.

Unfortunately, chances are very high that Reynard’s bodyguard will spot you and identify you as intruder. So best go back upstairs, cross towards the pool area and hop off the roof. There is another guard there, but he will think you are one of his own.

Now make your way towards the beach and use the high grass as cover. Diana will inform you that your boat has been compromised in the meatime and that the guards are on high alert. Hide nearby and use a fragmentation grenade to lure the three mercenaries away from your boat. Then get to the boat and leave.

Congratulations, mission acomplished!

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No, that’s not the sandman.

Sweet dreams
If you want to do this a different way and use the chloroforme, don’t poison the honey but instead, after you have cracked the computer, quickly turn to the right and use the lockpick to open the door leading to the terrace. There will be a couple of guards spreading out to get to their patrol routes, but you will easily be able to sneak past them and get to the stairs up front to the right that lead up to the roof.

Prepare yourself with the tranquilizer gun and wait until the two guards patrolling the roof are conveniently placed before taking them out. Chances are that alarm will be raised. Keep calm and a cool head. Reynard and her toyboy will enter the safe room on the first floor. To get at them, use the ventilation to disperse the chloroforme in said room, then sneak back to the first floor and enter.

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Behold the safe room. This is before I lured my victim there, obviously.

Snap Reynard’s neck, then close the safe room’s door before sneaking down the stairs leading from inside the safe room into the garage. Be mindful of patrolling guards, take them out using the cans and hide the bodies, then sneak through the high grass outside towards the boat and use the fragmentation grenade as distraction to get rid of the mercenaries guarding it. Leave and you are done.

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The summary screen looks really nice, right? Much cooler than in the previous game.

Mayhem and explosions
There is a third scenario (and many more, I am sure) I came across but did not finish. If you manage to trigger the alarm, Reynard will hide in the safe room for quite a while. I took the opportunity to take out more guards and at one point – though unfortunately I do not know the trigger and therefore could not play that to the end – the target lockdown protocol was activated. Once that happens, Reynard will make for the cabana mentioned before, the one midway between your boat and the house. Using the high grass, you can sneak pretty close. If you manage to get behind the car and hide there, you can blow up the car by shooting the kerosin containers loaded in the back.

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Silent Assassin
If you are very patient, this one may be for you. Sneak into the house, find the information on the laptop then hide in the bedroom and wait – quite some time – until Reynard and her lover go to bed. Then all you have to do is slip out of hiding and smother her with a cushion. Deed done and none the wiser.

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Killing Reynard has awarded the team with a blank check of eradicating the militia by any means necessary, as Diana tells Agent 47 while looking out over the city of Tokyo like some sinister super villain…

Last thoughts
Once you have successfully completed the mission, a cut scene will play out, placing Agent 47 in Melbourne and Diana in Tokyo. Now, if you listen closely to the conversation in the house, you will know that Reynard has bribed Donovan into killing his boss, another powerful CEO. She uses his family as leverage, his wife and daughters, who she had her posse abduct previous to returning to their hideout. Her orders are clear: the three will be released stroke midnight unless she says otherwise. Now, having completed the mission, I have two questions: did Donovan go through with it and push Pierce off the roof? And did the thugs release his family despite Reynard’s death? Hm…

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Welcome to Miami and the race track. This is the second mission, The Finish Line. And on the line are the lives of Robert Knox and his daughter Sierra.

Now, the next mission beckons and I am more than ready to head to sunny Miami to take out father and daughter Knox on the race track. Looking forward to it, actually.

See you later and keep on playing!

Cheers

Vanessa