Hitman

7 DEADLY SINS’ Mission Design Could Honestly Be an Interesting Stepping Stone for the New YEAR TWO Missions

I'll preface this by saying that I didn't buy 7 Deadly Sins just by principle – an entire DLC hidden behind a series of hidden roadmaps, without even any hint of what any of it is gonna be, is an instant, definitive, "No," for me (and I wish it also was for everyone else in general). There are many things people are mad about when it comes to this particular DLC, but I think it really all boils down to this fundamental communication issue that could've been alleviated by a simple, "It's a series of special escalations with unique unlocks," in advance. Spare the details for each escalation in roadmaps, sure, that's what roadmaps are for! And I know why IOI did it that way, but it still is a shady publisher move that, to put it rather harshly, shouldn't be tolerated, regardless of which company it came from.

Anyway, I digress, because my first point is that all the above became such a terrible shame, because I think the design that went into 7 Deadly Sins is great. I only learned this through YouTube playthroughs, but it's IOI in full game design mode; it's them conveying various scenarios strictly through the pre-existing World of Assassination mechanics, and they actually wrangled plenty things interesting out of it. It's them being perfectly in tune with this framework they've been playing with for the last 5 years or so, and they're very clearly growing with the intention to make said mechanics say more things, to integrate narrative or thematic implications to the most basic of actions, without disrupting, or overcomplicating, the regular gameplay loop. I don't know, this just feels like IOI's way of testing their waters without the burden of narrative canon commitment, and before potentially reintegrating some of these expanded mechanics back into regular, "proper," missions. And, while I'm not necessarily betting on the hypothetical new Year Two missions to incorporate these elements introduced in 7 Deadly Sins (it could be saved for Project 007, for all we know), I wouldn't be surprised – and would be really excited to see – if they do.

  • 47 had been poisoned for so many times at this point in the canon, but most of those instances are relegated to the overarching narrative (i.e. cutscenes), but what if such a scenario actually affects the gameplay? Sloth has the answer, I think, especially with it already featuring a method to stall the degradation through the, "Joggers," which could be repurposed into…say, scientist NPC's that hold an antidote, in a proper narrative context. Obviously, it also requires a specific map that accommodates limited movement, and plenty of balancing to the parameters to make the mission more viable, but that's beyond our current hypothetical musing.
  • Both Death in the Family and Lust have utilised the Intel page as a, "notebook," of sorts that the players have to actively keep tabs on, but I think Lust's version of clue-gathering is more applicable to regular assassination scenarios; the drip-fed information for target identification that we have to find within the mission itself, and especially if it can be amplified with a number of non-generic NPC's that have more distinctive features, would overhaul the pre-existing basis that has been tried with The Maelstrom in Mumbai, or The Fugitive Elusive Target, to be a lot more involving.
  • Greed is basically Hitman's take on a Merchant system, and I think the way this particular DLC works would do the hypothetical merchant NPC the most contextual favour, more than anything else. They're only willing to trade with items obtainable in the map, so what are those items? Why do they want it? What if they're a rather hostile figure, so certain items are only available when we agree to kill a non-target NPC as the merchant demands it, meaning we have to deliberately void Silent Assassin to accomplish that? And, of course, there's the basic trade-off of adding more risk to our own mission progression in order to help said mission progression, so perhaps the items they sell are exclusive to that map alone. (Hey, all this would fit like a glove in a prison map that people seem to really want!)
  • Gluttony presents a more grounded change, I think, in that it basically features a Handler figure that are literally on the same level as 47. On basic terms, these elements are actually already present within the main game, through the single opportunity in Dubai with The Vulture (in which you have to report back to Ingram after, "assassinating," another NPC), but Gluttony proves that it can be the foundation of an entire mission, on its own.
  • Of course, Envy is quite a no-brainer – we've encountered a number of rival assassin characters in these games, but they all only work in theory, so why not make them an active threat to our mission?

I haven't even gotten to the possibility of implementing some of these singular elements together, but, in general, it may be a misfire as a product, but credit where credit is due – 7 Deadly Sins introduced plenty of ideas that inject something more into the pre-existing, tried-and-true mechanics that we've all become familiar with, and there's just so much potential there that can be amplified even further by regular missions that have the privilege of proper narrative context. Even through the core game of Hitman 3, IOI visibly has already been toying with a more narrative-driven philosophy, with great pacing that defines not only each singular mission on its own, but also even the overarching way the maps are sequenced. And…I don't know, I'm excited for Year Two either way, but I'm really hoping they'll put these things that they already have in their hands to great use, and just double down on that philosophy.

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