It all began with Hitman: Codename 47. IO Interactive released the first Hitman game way back in 2000 exclusively for PCs. Since then we’ve had eight more Hitman games and two movies.
It’s hard not to love the Hitman series. These games are a lot of fun. You take on the role of Agent 47, a trained assassin and certified weapon of mass destruction. In every mission, you get one or more targets to take out in whatever way you wish. The games give you a lot of freedom. You can sneak up on your targets for silent takedowns, snipe them from a mile away, or drop a piano on their head. It’s really up to you. It’s also very easy to miss some of the cooler moments in the games if you don’t know where to look.
Of course, unique kills and an over indulgence in power fantasies aren’t the only things the Hitman games have to offer. There are a ton of neat tricks, subtle details, or hidden secrets scattered throughout the games; especially in Hitman (2016). There is even a hidden kraken. These secrets are one of the reasons we continue to revisit the series. The other is Agent 47. There is a lot to learn about him as well.
Some parts of this list discuss various ways to take out certain targets and complete some missions. While there aren’t any story spoilers ahead, there are some small gameplay spoilers.
15 Total Murder Spree
Well, if you ever get bored of trying to sneak your way past the guards you always have the option of killing them. I don’t recommend it. It’s not fun. The Hitman games go out of their way to make running and gunning the lesser option. However, it can be done. But, the guards aren’t the only ones you can target. In fact, everyone in the Hitman games can be killed. The final mission in Hitman: Blood Money is a perfect spot to try and pull this stunt.
It’s relatively easy to be a mass murder in the older Hitman games. The newer ones require a bit more patience and in-depth knowledge of the various stealth mechanics, but it can be done. Luring your victims into secluded locations is the key. Dropping chandeliers on groups or tossing exploding canisters of gasoline are also valid methods to take out large groups, but they do tend to get you noticed.
14 Exploding Golf Ball
One of the great things about Hitman is the freedom it gives you. Players are free to decide what method they want to use or what path they want to take. There are always multiple routes and a variety of different ways to achieve the same objective. Some are just a little more bombastic than others.
In Hitman: Episode 2: Sapienza one of your targets is a man by the name of Silvio Caruso. There are approximately 13 different ways to take the guy out, and one involves an exploding golf ball. If you head to a warehouse at the beginning of the mission, you’ll find an experimental golf ball carefully positioned on a table with beakers and test tubes. From there, you need to head to the golf course and place the ball in the middle of the field. Caruso will come by to practice his game and discover the conveniently placed ball. One hit and boom! No more Caruso.
13 Chucking Things At People’s Heads
Hitman isn’t a game that you want to run and gun. The games actively encourage stealth and careful planning. You’re more likely to be sneaking around some back way than driving past a bunch of guards with a loaded pistol. Sometimes, knocking your enemies out is much more effective. Thankfully, there are plenty of colorful ways to do just that.
Hitting a target in the head leads to an instant knockout. Their body quickly ragdoll to the floor so that they can be carried or dragged into a nearby hiding spot. One of the most entertaining knockouts in the games involves you grabbing the nearest item and throwing it at someone’s face. Deadlier weapons like knives are always an option, but there are so many other, more satisfying choices than that. Everything from shovels and rocks to wrenches and fire extinguishers can be thrown at just about anyone. Even poor, unsuspecting NPCs aren’t safe. There are no arrows to knees in Hitman, just golf clubs to the face.
12 No Need For A Lighter
I love it when games take physics into account. It adds that little bump of realism that makes everything that much sweeter. There are various places throughout the game where there are pipes filled with gasoline. If you break one, it will cause the gasoline to pool onto the ground. Thankfully, you don’t need to be anywhere near it to turn the floor into an inferno. All you need is your gun. Just shoot the puddle and it will explode into a blaze of glory. It is doubly useful if you have a silencer on your weapon. This lets you get the kill without alerting enemies to your location so that they can bum rush you. Although this wasn’t something you could do in the earlier Hitman games, it is certainly a fun little trick in Hitman (2016). A similar effect can be created if you toss a canister into the air and snipe it before it hits the ground. Just, try not to be in the blast radius.
11 Vampire Magician
Knocking people out and stealing their clothing is a large part of the Hitman games. Now, as gross as that sounds, it’s all in the name of a good cause. Agent 47 can use his ill-gotten clothes to disguise himself and slip past the guards. Assassin’s stand out, but no one will look twice at the janitor. Unfortunately for the poor NPCs, most of the costumes you wear have to come off of a body.
One notable exception to this rule is the Vampire Magician costume from Hitman (2016). This costume is only available in the mission The Showstopper. The mission has you sneak into the Palais de Walewska in Paris. If you start off in the attic with the Smuggled Item feature turned on, the costume is ready and waiting for you a nearby empty room. The costume is pretty entertaining to see. It features a tall black top hat with a red sash, a cape, and a very gaudy pair of shades.
10 Awkward Positioning
Killing hapless NPCs is sometimes unavoidable. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time or saw something they shouldn’t have. It happens. However, leaving a dead body around is a great way to put every guard in the area on high alert. Heck, even leaving unconscious victims on the ground isn’t the best idea. If another NPC walks by, they can wake up their unconscious friend. So, you’re gonna need to stash a few bodies.
Most of the Hitman games only allow one body to be stashed in each hiding spot. Hitman Absolution was one of the few that let you hide multiple bodies in certain locations, like a conveniently placed closet. Some parts of the game even require you to do this if you want to sneak by. However, if you stop for a moment and pay attention to their positioning, you’ll be in for an interesting surprise. One person will be standing straight while the other’s upper half will be slumped over. Both face the same direction, creating the illusion of a certain sexual position.
9 Ledge Kills
Hitman isn’t just about sneaking along the ground. The games take a page from the Assassin’s Creed series. You can use the buildings to your advantage and climb your way to your desired target or use them to stay out of sight. Drainage pipes are your best friends as they let you reach higher ledges. As a bonus, if an enemy is walking past a window or stopping to enjoy the view, you can yank them out for a quick and silent kill. It lets you dispose of nearby enemies without raising the alarm. However, there is another option. Instead of grabbing and yanking, you can unholster Agent 47’s gun. He’ll hold it at an angle so that you can shoot the targets inside. This little trick is a great way to quickly get rid of multiple enemies without revealing your position to your targets. Just, try not to lose your grip. It’s a long way down.
8 Silent Kills
Square-Enix needs to look up the definition of ‘silent.’ A lot of the weapons that are supposed to deliver stealth kills don’t actually fit that description. Thrown objects like knives or bricks will make noise, alerting nearby guards that something is wrong. Of course, they have to be pretty close in order to hear it, but it can still be a big problem in a game that relies so heavily on stealth. Silence is golden, and without it, you can quickly wind up in more trouble than you can handle. This is where the Fibre Wire comes in. The Fiber Wire has been featured in every Hitman game. However, it is one of the more underappreciated tools in Agent 47’s arsenal. You use the wire like a garrote to strangle enemies to death. Once they are out, the wire doubles as a way to easily pull bodies into hiding spots. It is the only way to ensure a completely silent kill.
7 Blending In
Not getting caught is the name of the game. Sneaking into a lot of places in Hitman requires the use of a costume or specific outfit that you have to find or steal. After all, no one is just going to let an assassin walk through the front door. However, it isn’t enough to just look the part, Agent 47 has to act the part as well.
Alright, so you don’t actually HAVE to do this, but it adds an extra layer of depth and immersion to the game. If you wait around long enough, a little less than a minute, Agent 47 will perform an idle animation. Idle animations are common in video games, but Agent 47s animations are tailed to what he’s wearing at the time. For example, if he’s in a guard outfit he’ll stand up straight and fold his hands in front of him to try and look like he belongs.
If you choose to begin the Showstopper mission at the front of the mansion, there is a fun little trick you can play on the local reporters. The mansion is decorated from head to toe. Everyone is in fancy dress, and the mansion is teaming with the fashion elite. Just outside of the mansion is a beautiful, flowing fountain. A lone reporter and her cameraman are filming a new piece about the event. If you stop to listen, you can hear the reporter discussing one of your targets, Viktor Novikov. Obviously, both individuals are hard at work. But, who can resist the chance to be on TV?
If you walk in between the reporter and the camera, the reporter instantly shouts “Cut!” Her cameraman goes on to sarcastically accost you by saying, “Yeah, thanks a lot, man. Real considerate. You mind staying out of my shot?” It doesn’t even end there. As you walk away, you can hear the pair complaining about you.
5 No More HUD
This is something that I’d only recommend for more experienced players. It is possible to turn off the user interface in Hitman. Turning off the HUD will exponentially increase the difficulty of the game. This means that there will be no more mini map. Thankfully, you still have access to the map in the pause screen. However, you’ll have to remember what items you currently have equipped since the little diagram in the bottom right will be gone as well. If you can handle the increased difficulty, it’s a great way to increase your level of immersion. Unfortunately, turning off the HUD doesn’t get rid of the button prompts. Those will still appear. It does break the immersion a little, but it isn’t bad.
If you really want to make your life hard, you can also turn off instincts mode. Finding and tracking your enemies will be a lot harder, so make sure you have a good eye before trying to tackle this particular challenge.
4 The Sound Of Money
Once again, Hitman has taken a page out of the Assassin’s Creed playbook. This time, it involves money.
Luring people away from crowded areas is an essential skill in Hitman if you don’t want to end up in a firefight or running for your life. Agent 47 can use coins to draw his victims away from safety. What is interesting about this particular mechanic is that, unlike in the Assassin’s Creed series, the coin throwing mechanic revolves around sound. It’s not the coin itself that draws catches your targets attention, but rather it’s the sound the coin makes as it hits the ground. This is really only doable in quieter areas as the noise will go unnoticed in louder venues. But once you’ve tossed the coin, you just have to wait in the shadows until your target wanders away to go investigate. From there, all you have to do is wait until they go to pick the coin up and then it’s goodnight for some poor sucker.
The Showstopper Mission in Hitman (2016) is just filled with fun little secrets and exploits. There is a way to kill Dalia Margolis without ever setting a single foot into the Palais de Walewska in Paris. However, unlike the Vampire Magician costume, this one requires a lot of preparation. The first thing you’ll need to do is get your Paris mastery to level five. To do this, you’ll have to complete a variety of missions and challenges. The sniper rifle will only become available when you obtain level 5. Once you reach level 5, you will be able to place the sniper rifle at various locations before your missions. All you have to do from here is head to the easternmost tower when at the beginning of the Showstopper mission. The rifle will be waiting for you. You’ll have to wait for Dalia to walk into her study, but you’ll get a clear line of sight to take her out.
2 Murder By Piano
If you’ve ever watched an old slapstick cartoon, you know where this one is going.
Hitman (2016) allows you to kill someone using the top of a piano. All you have to do is drop the lid on a grand piano and quickly find a place to hide before the guard comes to investigate. The guard will put the lid back up and look inside. If you sneak up to the guard while he’s distracted, you can drop the lid on his head for an easy, if loud, instant kill. However, that doesn’t hold a candle to the piano kill in Hitman: Blood Money.
This can only be done during the Murder of Crows mission. You need to follow the red crow, and then steal his costume and briefcase. From there, you have to locate the ally on the far left side where a is precariously piano hanging. You’ll have to climb up to the winch that is holding up the piano so that you can place an explosive onto it. After that, it’s just a waiting game. The black crow will eventually walk underneath the piano. Detonate the explosive to witness some musical carnage.
1 Glass Bottom Hot Tub
There is nothing more relaxing after a hard day than to settle into a steaming hot tub. Unfortunately, not all of us can actually afford hot tubs like Chad Bingham Jr. in Hitman: Blood Money.
Your target in the mission You Better Watch Out, is easy enough to find. He can be found lounging in a hot tub with a few women. Like always, there are several ways to take Bingham out. One way requires you to find your way down to the lower levels of the spa. It can be pretty easy to get turned around in the maze-like building, but you know you’re on the right track if you hit a long, featureless, hallway with plenty of stairs. The hallway will lead you to an outside balcony. If you look up, you’ll see the glass bottom of the hot tub that Bingham is relaxing in. One shot is all it takes to break the glass and send the whole lot plummeting to their deaths.