Striving for a Silent Assassin designation in Hitman as an impatient player

So, let’s make one thing clear: I am not a patient man. I compulsively tap my foot when confronted with a short queue at the supermarket or the nail salon. I dementedly pace the floors of my apartment while waiting for my mail order Cheese Of The Month parcels to arrive. And I collapse into an Alex Mack-style puddle of dismay when confronted with slow service at my local lasagne parlour.

It’s a deficiency that makes me terribly unqualified for a career in the world of wetwork, which (I’m told) requires vast reserves of patience as well as a steely temperament and pitiless resolve. As a restless, weak-kneed bon vivant, I suspect I probably wouldn’t make it through the Agency’s stringent vetting process. But that’s the challenge my OXM handlers have assigned me: to pull off the perfect assassination on the Sapienza level of Hitman.

My first target is Silvio Caruso, a bioengineer who lives and works within a tightly-guarded mansion-cum-laboratory. My second target is Francesca De Santis, an amoral boffin labouring on Caruso’s estate. I’ll also have to destroy the high-tech designer virus they’re synthesising in the property’s subterranean biolab before I can make my escape. It all sounds like a doddle, right?

I start by strolling the streets to gather intel, wandering nonchalantly around in my tight-fitting short-sleeved shirt. After a few laps of the town centre, I’ve established the lay of the land, and I make my way to the local gelateria. But it’s not ice cream cones that I have in mind – I’m thinking about cones... of murder! You see, I’ve noticed that this store faces directly onto the Caruso estate, and what’s more, it’s connected to the town’s clock tower. If I can reach the top of this tower, I might just have the vantage point I need to gun down my target from afar. Within minutes, I’m in the store’s main stairwell, ascending to discover the ideal sniping position. The only problem: I don’t have a sniper rifle.

Dejected, I grab a grubby lead pipe (it’s better than nothing) from the floor and make my descent. But my dismal sense of direction soon leads me astray, and I find myself stumbling into the grungy homestead of a tie-dyed hippie, who sits serenely in a wicker chair surrounded by peace-sign posters and weed-smoking paraphernalia. I am transfixed. As such, I’m completely alarmed when suddenly he gets up from his chair. Startled, I jab at the melee button, momentarily forgetting that 47 is currently wielding a hefty lead pipe. It connects with a sickening crunch, and I barely have time to change into the man’s clothes and pick up his cannabis joint before fleeing the scene, distraught.

I spend the next few minutes strolling in the sun, my flip-flops flapping against the cobbled streets. I try pressing every button in an effort to make 47 sample his newly acquired drug-cigarette – if there was ever a man who could unwind a little, it’s Agent 47 – but the assassin remains stubbornly unstoned. Begrudgingly, I return to the perimeter of the Caruso estate in search of likely points of ingress, and discover a crumbling wall that’s low enough for a man of 47’s considerable brawn to scale. We’re in.

And would you believe it – Caruso stands almost in front of me! He’s surrounded by pesky bodyguards, but I quickly spy an opportunity. As the sentries turn a corner, I pounce, grabbing my target in a choke hold that leaves him unconscious on the floor. Several problems quickly become apparent. 1) I did not kill Silvio Caruso. 2) His guards saw and heard the entire thing. 3) They are now very angry at me.

I steel myself for a confrontation as the closest guard charges towards me. Unfortunately, the melee button is also the ‘Snap Neck’ button when 47 is positioned above a unconscious body. So, instead of throwing a punch at the oncoming guard, I gasp as my bald avatar bends over and finishes Caruso off like he was an ailing roadside deer. Barely a second later, 47 is riddled with bullets, and failure slaps me about the face like the flipper of an irate turtle. My impatience has been the death of me.

This article originally appeared in Xbox: The Official Magazine. For more great Xbox coverage, you can subscribe here.

James Nouch

James Nouch is a former staff writer of Official Xbox Magazine and has since left writing about video games behind to dive into the wonderful world of tabletop gaming. James is now a managing editor at Games Workshop, working directly with the Warhammer Community. James says his passions include playing games, chunky knitwear, pungent cheeses, and rewatching Columbo.