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"I will leave you to prepare."
-Diana Burnwood, after every mission briefing.

The "World of Assassination" Trilogy is a trilogy of games in the Hitman franchise, created by IO Interactive, beginning in 2016, and releasing the final game in 2021. Beginning six years after the events of Hitman: Absolution, the trilogy goes back to the franchise's roots to offer up varied levels and sandboxes that really allows the player to get creative with how they kill their marks. While initially envisioned as an Episodic Game series, with each level releasing once a month or so, this was later scrapped, and the second and third entries released their levels all at once.

This series includes three games published by three separate publishers, but all with the same narrative and storyline Myth Arc that carries over into each game. Each game has six locations, and all share the same tutorial levels. These games are as follows:

  • Hitman (2016) - (published by Square Enix, 2016 - 2018) Locations and Missions 
  • Hitman 2 - (Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 2018 - 2020) Locations and Missions 
  • Hitman 3 - (Independently Published by IO Interactive, 2021 - Present) Locations and Missions 

Each location in the trilogy is designed to be a Wide-Open Sandbox, akin to Hitman: Blood Money, but on a larger scale, containing weapons and intel to take down your targets in a variety of ways. Most background NPC's have some unique AI scripting to make them act like a real person, while certain special NPC's can help you get closer to your target. Each level also takes cues of the real life location it's based on, meaning it never strays too far from reality. From Hitman 2 onward, locations were given regional accents to match (2016 used largely British English and American-English voice actors). The three games also contain new features and improvements:

  • In previous iterations, when you pick up the same gun, the ammo stacks. In these games, pistol ammo is capped at 80 and assault rifles at 120.
  • In previous games, Melee weapons were lethal. This trilogy rebalances most melee's to be non-lethal (like hammers), unless it looks particularly sharp (like a letter opener).
  • There is now damage falloff in pistol/rifle damage. Even at a medium distance, it takes quite a few shots to kill anyone.
  • When you press the aim button, it automatically goes from a wide third-person view to an over-the-shoulder view.
  • You now have a smaller starting inventory. By default, you are equipped with the ICA 19 (a silenced pistol), Fiber wire, and three coins. From Hitman 2 onward, you are able to bring in a briefcase that extends this slot by one.
  • "Escalations": The player is tasked to do something (Kill NPC with a specific weapon/Disguise in an often thematic way), and escape. Completing it unlocks the next level where the action needs to be repeated, with a new objective as well (Steal the contents of a safe) or a limitation (More cameras, don't pacify anyone etc).
  • Contracts Mode: Much like the now-defunct Contracts Mode in Absolution, except the play has far more NPC's to choose from. Most NPC's have names, and usually some unique voice lines or AI.
  • "Elusive Targets": For a limited amount of real world time, the player is tasked with killing a person and escaping the map. However, saving is not possible, the contract cannot be restarted after making progress on any of the objectives, and dying permanently ends the ability to restart the contract.
  • Opportunities (later renamed to "Mission Stories" from Hitman 2 onward), which allows for more scripted kills for those who have either never played stealth games before, or to show off a particularly gruesome way to end a targets' life. These are often revealed in the game world via in-game NPC dialog or by finding intel in the level, and you can track a Mission Story for guided instructions.

The reason for the multiple publishers that are listed above is due to the odd circumstances around each games' release. IO Interactive and Square Enix cut business ties with each other over the first game for underperforming and being something of an Acclaimed Flop; a critical and commercial success...but not in the eyes of Square Enix. For many, that was the death-knell of the series, the writing was on the wall it seemed, and the Hitman franchise would be dead in the water by the end of 2017. And yet, despite this red flag, IO Interactive managed to turn themselves into an independent studio, and more surprisingly, kept the rights to the Hitman franchise! Not only was this unheard of (Publishers tend to retain the IP rights of their studio's, not the developers who made said IP), but also an extremely rare second chance for the developers to keep their game series going. IO Interactive released a "Game of the Year" edition of 2016 later that year in an attempt to recoup costs, sadly to not much success.

With four months of resources and money saved up left before the studio had to shutdown, even after mass layoffs, the company was then saved by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, who signed a chance publishing deal with them to get the developers back on their feet. They allowed IOI to complete the rest of the game for free in exchange for distribution rights and a revenue cut, a deal which IOI director Hakan Abrak stated saved the entire company from bankruptcy. Because of this split, and also due to technical issues related to Square Enix and Sony holding the publisher ID for ''2016'' making large updates impossible, Hitman 2 released in late-2018 and fared quite a lot better after ditching the episodic release model. Warner Bros itself suffered unrelated issues of their own, and so cut ties with them after Hitman 2's life was up. IO Interactive then released the third game; Hitman 3, as an independent studio in early 2021, now that they had the funds to do so, again, to critical and commercial success. The studio itself still has to pay money to both prior publishers for various reasons (largely to keep each games' servers up and running, and to Square Enix as the Hitman IP is on an exclusive permanent loan that essentially means IOI have the rights to use the Hitman IP without Square Enixs' involvement). The most interesting part is that throughout all of this kerfuffle, the developers made sure to make each previous game available in each new instalment, meaning every level from 2016 can be played in Hitman 3, and were also upgraded with better lighting, newer features, and other updates to gameplay, essentially making Hitman 2 and Hitman 3 Mission Pack Sequels to the 2016 game. With the release of Freelancer in 3 in 2023, the game was bundled up with the Previous two entries to literally make this an all-in-one game that contained basically everything, now rechristened HITMAN: World of Assassination.

A prequel comic book series; entitled Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman was also released in the interim of Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2, which gives 47 and Diana their own respective origin stories; delving into the life of the young Diana Burnwood as she recovers from the death of her parents, as well as later working at the ICA and culminates into her recruiting the Hitman himself. While 47 goes about doing jobs, and struggling to be free of "The Institute for Human Betterment". Said comic events were alluded to in 2016, but were referenced liberally in Hitman 2 and Hitman 3.

A Sidestory; "Overachievers" was also published online for free in 2017, which has ICA Agent Jaguar attempt a 47-esque accident kill at a Christmas party to one-up 47, but fails horribly, with his handler; Dolores Powell, being fired for the stunt. The story is then told from the viewpoint of ICA Cleaners and what exactly went wrong. It was later referenced in Hitman 3 in full when Dolores returns as a minor NPC.

A mobile game; Hitman Sniper: The Shadows, was also available (sadly offline and delisted now); while it's set in something of an Ambiguous Time Period in this trilogy's storyline, it featured the return of Agents Knight and Stone from Hitman 2 as playable snipers, as part of an elite sniping unit named "Initiative 426".

Hitman 3's Freelancer mode, set after that campaigns events and released at the start of 2023, has its own subpage due to it twisting the Hitman gameplay formula from a semi-hardcore Stealth-Based Game to a Rogue Like with stealth elements within it; so much so that it's functionally a separate game in its own right. Note that the tropes below are written without this mode in mind.

As for the cast of characters, the enigmatic Agent 47 is once again portrayed by David Bateson, with Diana Burnwood now being voiced by Jane Perry (a continuation of her role in the Hitman: Sniper mobile game), taking over from Marsha Thomason. Most of the notable allies and enemies keep their voice actors throughout the trilogy; Phillip Rosch as The Constant, as well as John Hopkins as The Shadow Client/ Lucas Grey. The exception is Olivia Hall, who is voiced by Michelle Asante for the first two games, then by Isaura Barbé-Brown in Hitman 3. The music for the trilogy was largely composed by Niels Bye Nielson.

Do not confuse this page for Hitman 3 (the third game in this trilogy), which got rebranded to Hitman: World of Assassination in 2023. This page covers tropes found in all three games, the former covers Hitman 3 and its locations specifically.

Spoilers for Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2, as well as for Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman will be unmarked here. You Have Been Warned! Spoilers for Hitman 3 are marked however.

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Level-specific tropes can be found on each games' page, which are divided up by campaign and then by level and location.

Tropes shared throughout all three games:

    A - K 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • The AI, while still very smart, is still able to be manipulated into doing certain actions, such as luring a guard away from an area with a dropped weapon or the briefcase.
    • Blunt objects, like hammers and lead pipes, only knock the target unconscious. In real life, blunt objects with enough force applied onto them can kill from blunt force trauma (something which Blood Money portrayed accurately). Of course, if there were no objects that knocked people out, the games wouldn't be balanced, and collateral damage would be much more frequent among players, so this is a nice middle-ground to give players some more options to get rid of pesky guards.
    • Like with Absolution and Blood Money, closets and bins are never checked for bodies, so you'll always have the opportunity to take care of at least a few pesky NPCs, or make a clean getaway if you're not spotted while going in. Similarly, fountains, pools, and other bodies of water are always sufficiently opaque to hide any corpses dumped in them, and all bodies so dumped will sink to the bottom and never float back up.
    • No one makes a note of any disguises lying on the ground, so you can change to them when you need them.
    • Dropped weapons and unattended briefcases will attract attention, but only to the extent that a guard will come pick them up and take them to a secure location. No other guards will be alerted, nor will the targets be evacuated.
    • Guards don't get suspicious if they escort you out for trespassing repeatedly. So as long as you're willing to go back to the start of the exit, you can try as many times as you need to sneak through a trespassing zone. This does void a Silent Assassin run, however.
    • Animals such as guard dogs do not make an appearance; even though it would be logical for them to be used in several areas, their presence would massively complicate the gameplay and likely make sneaking around a lot more difficult for 47.
    • You can poison somebody with rat poison, follow them to an isolated area, and then knock them out; they won't die despite the stuff remaining in their bodies nor can they drown in their own vomit.
    • 47 can poison food or drinks in full view of the public (including the intended target) if 47 is wearing any kind of food service uniform, such as a waiter, a bartender, or a chef.
    • When 47 has to talk to someone while disguised as someone specific, his targets almost never notice that the person's voice has changed, even if they know them personally.
    • Even if one-of-a-kind characters are killed in public, you can still take their clothes and pretend to be them. Not even the guards who bagged the body will question their sudden reappearance.
    • Like in the previous entries, once your target dies, Diana, Grey, Olivia, and 47 will immediately know about it, no matter how impossible (for example, poisoning someone's food and walking to the nearest exit to wait). If 47 had to see his target's body, it would slow the gameplay down considerably.
    • Shoving targets over ledges and poisoning them count as accidents, although they would look like obvious murders in real life.
    • You only have to disable a surveillance system once on a map. It doesn't matter if there are multiple locations with no logical reason for all their systems to be connected; you don't have to worry about the cameras anymore. Likewise, a guard will only investigate if they actually see or hear you sabotaging the security system; they won't wonder why their monitor screens are suddenly blank or what happened to a destroyed camera if they discover it later.
    • People screaming in pain and shouting for help draws little attention (Colorado and Hawke's Bay are the sole exceptions, where a Target Lockdown is triggered).
    • 47 can eliminate targets during phone calls without alerting the other end.
    • Just like in previous games, all corpses are quickly removed from a scene and foot traffic through it resumes as normal. Programming an actual crime scene lockdown would've been impossibly hard and would've slowed the gameplay considerably.
    • No matter how many suspicious accidents happen, no one actually looks into it. It's especially noticeable with targets. While it's perfectly plausible for one target to suddenly suffer an accident and die without arousing much suspicion from the second one, certain missions feature 3 or more targets. Freedom Fighters especially has 4 high profile leaders of a militia that fights against a clandestine and dangerous organization, yet when 3 out of 4 suffer sudden accidents in a matter of hours, no one puts the last target on security lockdown and the compound on high alert. The gameplay would been less fun if such a feature was implemented.
  • Acoustic License: Unless you are really far away from a person in conversation, their voices become noticeably clearer when really close to them, no matter if they are in a nightclub or near a radio.
  • A.K.A.-47: Played Straight. No weapon in-game shares its name with its real-world counterpart. This was either to avoid copyright issues, or to simply put the money that would have been spent on licensing to other uses. The Black Lily, ICA19, Silverballer, Shortballer and Goldballer are all modified silenced .45 cal M1911 pistols, while the Sieger 300 is a slimmer Walther WA-2000, an otherwise extremely rare sniper rifle. Most guns avoid this problem, as they're better known by the nicknames listed above at this point. Even the in-game files just name the weapons generically (for example, the Sieger 300 series is just named "sniper classic").
  • Alone with the Psycho: The psycho being you, of course. While rare in previous games in the series, in these games you've given many opportunities to have extended conversations with your target or a notable NPC, so 47 can disguise himself as someone else (such as the target's accomplice, a lawyer, butler, you name it), and lure the unsuspecting target into an isolated room or area for a little chat before killing them. This can even be a Dead Person Impersonation, if 47 killed the real person to get their clothes.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: It wasn't until Hitman 3 that any timeframe was given for the games' events. It was long assumed that the trilogy takes place over the course of about a year and a half. However, in "The Farewell", Pam Kingsley confirms that the events between Bangkok and Mendoza is only a few months, meaning the three games span most of late-2019 to early 2021. Something to note here is that there's an explicit two month gap given in Hitman 2 due to the crew needing to stake out The Ark Society.
  • An Aesop: Throughout the trilogy, various targets get their comeuppances for past transgressions. Silvio for wanting to be a Bully Hunter with a bioweapon, Jordan Cross for escaping justice for killing his girlfriend, The Washington Twins for being merciless treasure hunters, Basil Carnaby for being one bastard of a hypnotist. The games and the comics make one thing clear; Regardless of rank or standing in life, No one is Untouchable. Not Lucas Grey (who was forced to flee The Institute), not 47 (who has gone from taking orders from one handler unwillingly; Ort-Meyer, to another; Diana, albeit willingly), and even Diana (getting tracked down in Birth of the Hitman after going after several Blue Seed executives while forging a comfy life for herself. Also, after the events of both Hokkaido and Dubai, she is confronted by The Constant, and was later forced to make a case in working for Providence). Diana's Parents; Peter and Nancy Burnwood also suffer from a tragic case of this (Going after Blue Seed Pharmaceuticals to begin with, someone allied with Providence, with a lawsuit was only ever going to end in tragedy, and both getting killed because of it. With enough time, research, resources, and power, people will go after you for what you've done in the past.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The inventory system was remade for this entire trilogy, which now includes the ability to change 47's starting outfit. Having Hitman 2016 or Hitman 2 DLC's nets you the suits added in both of those games (see those games for their respective lists). While some costumes are exclusive to their level, either completing an Elusive Target on that location (2016 and 2), or getting full mastery in a level (3)unlocks a variation of that levels' unique location-specific suit to your starting inventory (Except Carpathian Mountains as you cannot bring in a suit). Some suits can also be gotten through challenges, escalations or level completion - those tied to specific content will be listed in that games' page too.
  • Animation Bump: The cutscenes in the games are all over the place due to the various publisher switches throughout the trilogy. From the ICA Facility to Hokkaido, there are fully animated cutscenes, and partially animated briefings, whereas the opposite happens between Hawkes Bay and Isle of Sgàil; the story cutscenes are mostly comic book-esque still images with minor animations and with dialogue over them, but the briefings are fully-animated (including Sniper Assassin briefings). From "Golden Handshake" onwards, the cinematics are rendered in-engine, with the cinematics starting from Dubai's briefing being of much higher quality. It's a bit of an interesting concoction of animation styles, to say the least.
  • Anti-Escape Mechanism: Melee weapons act as Homing Boulders, so if a target is fleeing from you, as soon as you get the auto-lock on onto their head with a briefcase or a knife, then it will stop them from running away as soon as said item pacifies/kills them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game autosaves regularly, so making a mistake doesn’t force you to replay an entire level. It's disabled on Master difficulty, however, but you can still rely on one manual save to act as a fallback.
    • Upon death, NPCs drop their items, while in Blood Money they remained on the body, making them irretrievable in some cases. This way, if you push someone out-of-bounds, their items can still be picked up.
    • If you're carrying something that would raise suspicion if it's found during a frisk, the guards will notice it, and ask you to surrender. From 2 onward, the game won't let you get frisked until you get rid of the illegal item.
    • NPCs don't care about doors opening on their own. If they did, then that'd raise suspicion, and frankly would make stealth crawl to a halt.
    • There are a few items only obtainable by beating a certain amount of Featured Challenges. Fortunately, they will be marked as beaten even if you ignore any or all optional objectives, and beating the mission is enough to count. There are a few contracts that have forced objectives and are trickier than usual, but the great majority of them consist mainly of optional objectives.
    • On the Casual and Professional difficulties, completing challenges and acquiring their rewards doesn't actually require you to complete the level. For example, in "Three Headed Serpent", you can kill Rico as the submarine mechanic, load a save made before you completed said challenge, and carry on with another challenge like killing Rico as the Tattoo artist. Master Mode averts this, however, as it expects you to play the level with only one save slot as a fallback.
    • Unlike in Blood Money and older games in the series, running isn't suspicious to NPC's, and it barely makes any additional noise, sparing the player from the need to go through large parts of the game at a glacial pace. Similarly, crouching in plain view of NPCs will attract casual attention and comments, but won't raise suspicion or out you on its own.
    • If the player walks into an NPC for long enough, 47 will pass straight through them, to prevent NPCs from blocking mission-critical passageways.
    • A detonator's wireless relay, the ones accompanying every remote device (like the explosives and the electrocution items) have infinite range on a level. You can be on the other side of the Mendoza vineyard, and as soon as you press the trigger, your target will be killed/ pacified/ electrocuted. The sole exception is in Hokkaido, in which the Curator has his own remote to control his neurochip that can only be activated when within immediate range of him (as it's for his own personal use).
    • Normally, once you begin completing objectives during Elusive Target contracts, you can't restart or quit anymore. However, if you're disconnected from the internet, you can restart from the beginning without penalty.
    • Elusive Targets that unlock usable, non-cosmetic, non-Bragging Rights Reward items (like the explosive pen or the blinding-flash toy robot) will give you their reward simply for starting the contract rather than completing it, avoiding the frustration of having it rendered unobtainable by failing.
    • Most story missions or challenges that require a specific NPC to go to a specific place, that NPC will begin heading there when 47 is ready for them or they will constantly revisit the spot as part of their cycle. This means that very few events in the game are actually time locked, requiring 47 to make it at a specific time to kill someone. Specific opportunities may be time sensitive, however, particularly those involving a one time meeting between the target and another NPC. One notable example of this occurs in the Paris level; should the player wish to use the Sheikh disguise for their infiltration, they must hurry - the Sheikh will pass through security within a couple minutes of the mission start.
    • Beginning from 2, but later altered some more in 3 getting steadily noticed by an enforcer, then diving into cover immediately' after reaching the end of the notice meter makes the enforcer no longer suspicious of you. This is also true of 2016'' in the context of alerted enforcers running past you.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Compared to games before it, the maps are bright and simply gorgeous to look at. The third game adds Raytracing to the levels for accurate reflections (and screen space reflections too), which makes thing even prettier.
    • Many of the models from 2016 underwent Progressively Prettier treatment for Hitman 2 where their faces became more detailed; Soders and Owen Cage being the most obvious examples as they look less decrepit as a result. 47's face also kept changing between games, his awkward look in 2016 is no longer present, and in Hitman 2 and 3, 47 looks a lot more human as a result.
    • The target intel images also got redone between 2016 and 2 as well; every suit and item in the game got new intel images between 2 and 3 to reflect 47's face changes and changes the games' darker UI.
  • Armor Is Useless: No guard, despite a fair few wearing armor, are any harder to kill than a civilian. The sole exception is in Carpathian Mountains, where they are deliberately portrayed as being the best of the best of The Constants' soldiers, and take several gunshots to down.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: The games' NPC's have realistic conversations, which fleshes out the game world, allude to future or past events, or act as intel for the mission. The AI is usually quite smart about how it reacts to you doing weird things, like bumping into them or trying to enter somewhere restricted.
  • Artificial Brilliance: For this trilogy, IO Interactive have improved the notoriously bad AI that plagued the older games:
    • Beginning from 2 NPCs can see reflections in mirrors, so you have to duck if you want to take out the target washing their hands instead of standing up.
    • If 47 is found trespassing, he will be escorted out, except in certain situations.note 
    • If the detection bar rises to about halfway, when an NPC loses their sight of 47 they will check the immediate area, as they are certain they saw something.
    • If the alarm is triggered, the target(s) will be escorted to safety. If the safe point is compromised, they will be escorted elsewhere.
    • Guards will flank 47 if given the opportunity. Any firefight can end in quick death if there's even one way a guard can get behind 47, as they will use it while others keep 47 occupied.
    • If 47 is taking cover in a different room, the guards might not enter and instead take cover and refuse to leave unless 47 escapes through another route. If 47 pokes his head out of the room, they will open fire.
    • Guards will pick up any firearms they find, and civilians will tell the nearest guard if they find one. They'll also disarm explosives unless they look harmless.
    • Guards can tell which direction a silenced sniper shot was fired from if they see someone getting shot. They will then investigate the origin of the shot.
    • Guards will now use flashbang grenades in combat if you stay in one area for too long or enough guards gather in the area.
    • If you release a winch to drop something or shoot someone but the guards don't witness it, they will still know it was you if you hang around the vicinity.
    • If the player drops a gun within the sight of another guard while disguised as one, the guard will initially berate 47 as he should always keep it holstered. Even if 47 disappears from that character's sight, the guard will get suspicious and chase you. However, if you drop a gun when the guard isn't looking, they will later treat it if it came out of nowhere, wondering where it came from. NPC's who find guns on the floor will report them to a nearby guard, as long as they didn’t see you drop them.
    • Leave a briefcase or weapon laying around, and they will be reported to the nearest guard and is taken to a safe location. Leaving your briefcase or weapon behind in the view of a guard will be treated as a hostile action by guards.
  • Artificial Stupidity: While there are multiple Acceptable Breaks from Reality in this game, one can laugh at how civilians and guards behave on panic shots, that it has become something important in speedrunning circles as demonstrated in this video.
  • Aura Vision: Continuing from Hitman: Absolution is 47's "Instinct" ability. It retains the ability to highlight useful tools, NPC's, you can still see where a target is in a level, and items and intel that 47 can use are highlighted. It is no longer a perishable resource that required KO'ing people to refill either, a very baffling design flaw from Absolution. Hitman 2 nerfed Instinct further to no longer slow down time when it's activated (as was the case in 2016).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Basically any of the SMG's, shotguns or other pistols that aren't silenced. Their only real uses in a silent run is by either shooting wildly at a wall to distract guards by triggering a target lockdown, or by using them as a gun lure by placing them on the ground to get them away from a specific area.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • 47 has many options to choose from when it comes to suit selection; Classic (Suits with a tie, as with the signature suit), Formal (Suits that are for parties, or are otherwise more complex, such as The Cashmerian), Coats (suits with a coat, like the Winter Suit or the Snow Festival suit), Casual (shirts and trousers, or loose fitting suits, such as the Smart Casual suit or the Summer Suave suit), Tactical (suits that aim for more purpose points than style points, such as the Freedom Phantom suit, or the Raven suit), and finally Themed (miscellaneous suits that don't fit into other categories, like the Santa 47 suit, the Lynch suit, or the Arkian Tuxedo).
    • The Suit Only challenges involve completing an entire mission in a suit. There are two variations: Suit Only (complete the mission without changing out of your suit), and Silent Assassin, Suit Only (earn a Silent Assassin rating without changing out of your suit).
  • Bilingual Bonus: From 2 onward, all locations have NPC's that speak their native tongue, as well as English.
  • Book Ends: The first game starts with 47's initiation into the ICA, and the Grand Finale third entry focuses on how their long-lived partnership ultimately ends. Even better, Erich Soders's initial dislike towards 47 means that 47's time with them both started and ended on hostile terms.
  • Brand X: The brands of food in the games are either Malaproper titled drinks (Fountain View in place of Mountain Dew, Dr. Popp in place of Dr. Pepper, Franz ketchup and Hanz Ketchup being stand ins for Heinz), while Rampart beer, Damberg ketchup, Crunchies chips, Full Metal Orange soda, Harpy beer, Thwack soda, and many others we could list were made for the game.
  • Briefcase Blaster: From 2 onward, Briefcases can be used to conceal sniper rifles or other large firearms. Taking sniper rifles out from the briefcase no longer takes upwards of ten seconds either, as it did with most rifles in Blood Money (the W2000 is the exception as it was practically instant). Instead, most rifles takes a more reasonable five seconds to unpack, again with the exception of the Sieger 300 series (the w2000's), which are near instantly unpacked from the briefcase.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!:
    • Both silver and golden Krugermeier pistols are unlocks (the former being a reskin of the latter for 2). They are unique in that the bullet sound is heard by NPC's from wherever the shot lands, not where you shoot from.
    • 47's signature Silverballer pistol returns as an unlockable weapon. Several other ICA19 variants, such as the Goldballer and El Matador, fit the bill, with the latter coming with fancy engravings.
  • Bludgeoned to Death: Mostly averted in this trilogy for blunt weapons. Hammers, crowbars, lead pipes, or really anything with a not-sharp edge pacifies an NPC. Anything that is sharp however; such as the knives or a letter opener, will be lethal. However, with enough effort, you can repeatedly "knock out" an NPC by repeatedly aiming for their head while they remain unconscious, and they will eventually get killed.
  • Continuity Nod: There are a lot of these within the games, see their respective pages for their lists.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Getting full mastery in a level unlocks a unique item for that level. These items tend to be Joke Items which definitely still have utility in the games, but aren't really all that useful to anyone skilled enough to unlock them to begin with.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Completing certain challenges can lead to this happening:
    "Silent Assassin", "Suit Only", "Silent Assassin, Suit Only"
  • Boring Yet Practical: Quite a few:
    • The Screwdriver: One of the most versatile weapons 47 has to play around with. It can be used as a distraction, a close-up lethal melee attack, or thrown as a weapon (again, lethally), a means to set up a few environmental traps, and it can be carried openly with any disguise on all difficulties. Most levels have at least one screwdriver somewhere on the map, making it a versatile tool all-round. Hitman 3 does allow for it to be unlocked to your inventory if you complete 70 featured contracts.
    • The Hobby Wrench: Much like the screwdriver, it can be used as a distraction tool, a pacification tool via melee or throwing, can be a means to set up various environmental traps, and it too is not suspicious in any disguise. It's often a more convenient option than the screwdriver in the first two games since it can be permanently unlocked in your inventory, eliminating the need to find one during a mission. Even after the introduction of an unlockable screwdriver in Hitman 3, the wrench remains a useful tool that can be unlocked far sooner.
    • The Briefcase: From 2 onward, you can equip the briefcase; a throwable distraction, it can be used to knock people out, lure guards away from an area for a bit by dropping it on the ground. Oh, and you can stuff a sniper rifle in it to transport it to a more ideal location. Plus, if you bring one into the level with you, you essentially get it for "free", since you can bring another object, one that's more lethal or useful, inside of it.
    • Coins: They can not only be thrown, they can be placed. If anyone spots a coin you've interacted with, they'll go and pick it up. Place one on a puddle or a cliff, and you've just set up a potential accident. All levels have them, so they're a reliable option to distract people.
    • The hobby knife. While it functions like any other knife, it can be openly carried in any disguise on any difficulty.
    • Any silenced pistol (heck, most silenced weapons), which carries on the franchise's tradition of it being the most useful firearm in the game. The basic ICA19 is available from the beginning, combining quiet shooting with decent stopping power, and the Silverballer is more accurate.
    • The ICA Flash Phone, as well as other flashbang-related devices, are useful for getting past guards in Silent Assassin runs by blinding them for a few seconds, especially if there's no easy way around them.
  • Briefcase Blaster: Briefcases can be used to conceal sniper rifles or other large firearms. Only an option from the second game onward, however.
  • Camping a Crapper: You can drown people in toilets by first making them sick. Or by sneaking behind them, choking them, and then snapping their neck. Or shoot them in the head.
  • Central Theme: Two major ones.
    • The first is 47 as a force for change. The intro narration to the trilogy opens with the Shadow Client examining 47's actions throughout the game, noting how the ICA acts as a balancing force for the world by going after people who believe themselves to be untouchable. At the same time, 47 is a complete Empty Shell who only follows Diana's orders to the best of his ability, meaning he causes great change in the world without having any personal stake in it. The circumstances of the story eventually force 47 to be a more active role in his own narrative, with many of the final levels in Hitman 3 being guided by his own actions and decisions. This is reflected nicely in gameplay. Each level functions on an sort of "loop", with each major NPC going about their day in a clear rotation. 47's goal is to introduce chaos into the simulation and break the loop, whether that be killing his targets outright or manipulating circumstances so they perish.
    • The second is the divide between the rich and the poor. Each level is some kind of important place for wealth in the world- from fancy seaside towns in Italy, to high-tech hospitals in Japan, to a dazzling Caribbean island retreat, to a No Celebrities Were Harmed equivalent of the Burj Khalifa. We see how the rich treat the poor as being disposable, and each level sees 47 take advantage of oversights that these rich people have made in creating these places to kill them. Some methods of murder involve Laser-Guided Karma, like a scientist developing a bioweapon meant to Kill the Poor being exposed to it herself, or a weapons manufacturer getting caught in the line of fire by his own inventions. Each of his targets are also someone rich and successful who have either already done, or are just about to do, something truly wicked that they will escape the consequences for without his intervention.
  • Choke Holds: As usual, present and accounted for. This is the main way of pacifying NPC's so you can use their clothes as a disguise. Related is the Fiber Wire, which is the default equipped item for your "tools" slot in your loadout.
  • Cold Sniper: 47 is very distanced from human emotions. He is also very skilled with a sniper rifle.
  • Complexity Addiction: It's possible to invoke this, and many player-made and featured contracts rely on it.
  • Confused Question Mark: Question marks appear over an NPC's head when you distract them with a coin or object, or do something unusual in their presence for a few seconds. In some cases, they'll do this when you offer them food or drink when disguised as a waiter or chef.
  • Cosmetic Award: Some of the unlocks are functionally identical to another item, with only cosmetic differences. This is especially apparent with the "MK III" items, and all but one of the "MK II" line of items and weapons, which are almost the same as their standard counterparts, but with a pink "2" decal stuck on the side. It became such a sore point in the community that IO Interactive even made fun of the stickers in the third game.
    • The "El Matador" from Hitman 2 is a prettier looking reskin of "The Striker" Hand Cannon that was originally from Hitman (2016). The unlock conditions for it depend of which game you're playing; Hitman 2 gives it as a reward for completing the escalation "The Delgado Larceny" with a Silent Assassin rank, while Hitman 3 instead awards it to players who complete 26 escalations across all of the returning Hitman 2 maps.
  • Costumes Change Your Size: By and large averted. The closest you get is a few millimeters, but that's about it. The game's NPC's that you disguise as are mostly the same height as you, or taller. This is necessary so that the clothes can be placed onto 47's model with minimal clipping issues.
  • Crowbar Combatant: Many of the levels have crowbars to forcefully open doors with, as well as to to knock someone out in a pinch.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It seems that 47 takes every possible scenario into account, and thus shows off unexpected, but nonetheless impressive, knowledge and skills that many wouldn't expect a bald assassin to know. For a few examples, he knows enough about yoga to teach Yuki Yamazaki, can pull off an impressive drum solo, one so good that surprises Jordan Cross, a well-know indie musician!, can operate almost any and all vehicles when exiting the level, can fix a tattoo of someone, pretend to be an estate agent (albeit in a very dry way), and fix any and all machinery required by circumstance. While some of these moments are obviously made to maintain the Rule of Funny, the intel ICA digs up for 47 is also pretty detailed, justifying many of these moments.
  • Dead Man's Chest: You can hide bodies (pacified or dead) in large containers, such as wardrobes, garbage bins, closets, crates, really anything box-shaped, and there's a good chance you can store a body in it. On a related note, you can use water to hide dead bodies too, like the rivers and sea in Sapienza, or throw them off The Sceptre in Dubai, which'll "hide" the body.
  • Destruction Equals Off-Switch: Shooting the security tapes with a gun will kill the cameras in the level, letting you not worry about them spotting you as you explore. On Professional and Master difficulty, doing this is an incredibly wise idea before you start any meaningful progress within the level.
  • Dirty Coward: Zig-zagged: while a great majority of the targets will beg for mercy and offer money and power if they are held at gunpoint, some of them (such as Penelope Graves, Janus or Carl Ingram) are Defiant to the End instead.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • The "Opportunities" system introduced in 2016 was renamed to "Missions Stories" in 2 and 3, though the systems are otherwise identical.
    • The MKII and MKIII Items are this out of necessity, so new players are not denied unlocks from DLC or the previous games. Unlike the much ridiculed MK.II items of 2, not all of the MKIII items are named "MK III" (like Dartmoors Custom 5mm DCI; a clear MKIII of the Custom 5mm from 2016).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: 2016 is very tricky to go back to, and jarring to play when compared to 2 or 3, akin to replaying Blood Money after playing any game released after it, due to the changes and balance decisions that later games made to the series. Any location-specific changes mentioned below do not apply to their reappearances in Hitman 2 or 3:
    • All but four escalations have 5 stages instead of the 3 stages of the sequels. The exception to this rule is The Lust Assignation, which only has one level.
    • There's no briefcase, and sniper rifles are treated like any other firearm in most disguises (the sole exception being high-tier guard disguises). The sequels made sniper rifles illegal in all disguises so the briefcase would serve the purpose of the player moving around with a sniper rifle.
    • Fire extinguishers were lethal, on top of counting as an accident. This made them so overpowered that they were made non-lethal in the sequels.
    • There are no car batteries to orchestrate electrocution accidents, while the sequels usually have at least one in almost every level. Even the legacy versions of these levels were not altered to include car batteries (possibly for balancing reasons). Later games added unlockable tools from the sequels, which allows the player to essentially bring one at the cost of a gear slot.
    • Sedative Poison was among the worst items in the game as it had no use in any type of run as it broke Silent Assassin conduct as it'd penalise you if a body was found; Lethal Poison was a straight upgrade (kills any one target lethally without breaking Silent Assassin) and Emetic Poison was a side-grade (it served as a way to split the target up from their bodyguard, as well as complete challenges like "Hold My Hair"), so Sedative Poison's effect of putting someone to sleep wasn't all that beneficial when it was no better than throwing a crowbar at a persons' head. Beginning from 2, Sedatives were made to not count towards losing Silent Assassin, and the developers added vents and items that utilised sedating NPC's more, making it far more useful in later games, serving as an alternative to melee, and generally upping its utility factor.
    • In 2016, mirrors were non-functional, and NPC's wouldn't bat an eyelid if you did anything illegal behind them. From 2 onward, mirrors now work properly, so you have to duck if you want to take out the target washing their hands instead of standing up, as well as holster weapons until you need to use them.
    • Corner takedowns in 2016 were really untrustworthy, as it was equally likely that 47 would stealthy pull the NPC into a choke hold... or he'd punch them in the face, with no real indicator of what he'd do. 2 fixed this by changing the timings slightly to be more generous, so 47 will no longer out himself this way unless you have horrible timing.
    • 47's footsteps were notoriously loud in 2016, often sounding louder than the background ambient noise. From Hitman 2 onward, 47's footsteps were made quieter to alleviate this complaint.
    • The Gas Canisters' lethal radius was made much smaller in later games, and later levels in the trilogy have fewer of them on the map, not to mention being considerably harder to find.
    • The Remote Breaching Charge has a capacity of two in 2016, but this item (and later revisions of the item in later games) were nerfed in 2 and 3 to only have one charge instead. This was to nerf the "silent explosive" trick commonly seen in Contracts Mode, where breaching charges were used as a way to get an explosive kill without breaking Silent Assassin (as breaching charges are functionally silent), so long as the target could be isolated. Note this nerf does not nullify the "silent explosive" trick, merely making it harder to prepare for and pull off, as you either have to sacrifice gear slots to bring more charges, or find other ways of fulfilling the explosive kill requirement.
    • Later levels in the trilogy tend to rely more on electronic locks that require keycards, rather than traditional locks that players can lockpick open, essentially nerfing lockpicks because it made getting into areas far too easy. With the notable exception of Dartmoor in 3, if a door or safe is locked like this in the later locations, then there's usually a specific reason for it.
    • Tall grass or hiding in crowds are not part of 2016, but do reappear in all of the locations (Grass does not appear in Marrakesh as it's a very dry climate, but does feature crowd blending).
    • The in-game inventory covered the entire screen and the items are displayed with large icons, similar to the earlier games. In 2, this was changed so that the items are displayed on the bottom of the screen with small icons, and detailed Flavor Text weapon information is relegated to the Intel menu, leaving most of the screen unobstructed. This was due to Ghost Mode (now defunct) in 2, and changing the menu was a necessary change for the sakes of seeing what the other player was doing in real time. In the case of 3, this was a holdover of that decision, and IOI never changed it.
    • Before the GOTY update, the main menu background was red. After this update, it was changed to grey and white. Hitman 2 would later use a red layout, and 3 would have a darker user interface.
    • Difficulty levels worked very differently:
      • Casual difficulty doesn't exist here. The hard difficulty was added in months after release, and it was called "Professional Mode". In the sequels, "Professional Mode" is the name of the normal difficulty, and hard is called "Master Mode".
      • Security cameras don't alert guards on normal difficulty. They still need to be destroyed to retain Silent Assassin, but being recorded more or less just adds an extra objective instead of triggering any kind of response from guards.
      • The difficulty spike between "Normal" and "Professional Mode" in 2016 is very pronounced. Running causes your footsteps to make noise, which heavily affects certain strategies and paths, guard disguises don't allow "suspicious" items or firearms (which is to say, just about anything the other guards aren't carrying), guard placements have been altered, and there is the occasional Obvious Rule Patch to routes that were much simpler on normal. In 2, Master Mode doesn't differ that much from Professional and relied more on saving and disguise limitations than level overhauls. Hitman 3 also relies more on saving and disguise limits as well, though several changes were made during Year 3 to make the mode harder, after player routes had been established into a meta that could be broken up.
    • Civilians and guards in 2016 speak only in American and British accents regardless of the location, with proper location-specific accents primarily saved for the targets themselves or NPC's that are important. The second game changed this so that civilians and targets have suitable accents for their location. Ironically, notable NPC's tend to favor American and British accents.
      • The civilian voice cast is also fairly different, with most of them returning from Absolution. Only six of the voicesnote  returned for later games.
      • The Elusive Target cast (and all but Bradley Paine of the male "Patient Zero" cast, who is otherwise The Voiceless) have completely unique voices not used by any other target or civilian. Later games' Elusive Targets (bar Sean Bean as Mark Faba in 2 who actually did record a lot of the weirder "Stop Poking Me!" dialog) almost always share their voices with targets or civilians.
    • One of the more consistent complaints in 2016 and 2 was that stair takedowns voided Silent Assassin. This was changed in 3 so that, while it's still not silent, it's much less punishing, and no longer ruins the rating.
  • Easier Than Easy: The idea behind Casual Mode is to allow players who aren't familiar with Hitman's mechanics to still have a chance at completing the game. Cameras are absent from this mode, there are fewer guards, and firefights are considerably less deadly. Interestingly, in 3, you are also able to complete most of the challenges (including the SA/SO ones) on this mode too, so if you have a particularly troubling time with a level, you can lower the difficulty and not get locked out of rewards.
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation: A staple of the franchise, and how you’ll get most of the intel on your targets. Crosses into Welcometo Corneria with notable NPC's, such as the staff in Mendoza asking for a torch to light the pit, as well as your targets, who will always spout the same dialogue near you whenever you enter a room.
  • Easter Egg: There are loads of weird Easter eggs in the trilogy, see their respective pages and location folders.
  • Embedded Precursor: The first game was made available in the second game, and the first and second games were made available in the third game. This means that each level has had some changes to make them better, or otherwise look prettier. In the case of 3, all three games's DLC's take up less space than half the first two combinednote 
  • Everybody Smokes: In 2016, most NPC's and targets who engage in smoking behaviour uses regular cigarettes. However, in Hitman 2 onward, they have noticeably switched to e-cigarettes.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: The game notifies you when a conversation you're overhearing could lead you to an assassination opportunity, or towards another mission objective.
  • Exact Words: 47 will sometimes indulge in this if he's in disguise. For Example, giving the wine tour in Mendoza will make 47 use the amount of grapes being stored as bodies.
  • Failsafe Failure: Most elaborate accidents require you to sabotage not one, but two things in order to get them to work. Triggering the emergency evacuation in Dubai for example, makes the targets run for the helicopter, but if you've taken out the pilot, they run back up to their emergency parachutes to jump off the building. Knifing the parachutes in advance causes them to leap off not knowing they're doomed. Other things like overloading dangerous machinery to electrocute targets or disabling safety measures is par for the course for the rest of the games in the trilogy.
  • Flavor Text: All the weapons, poisons, and suits have one to describe their effects (if any) on the player/target.
    Coconut: A Coconut.
  • Foreshadowing: A lot of the levels have specific hints at later levels placed within them. Haven island, a level in Hitman 2, was first mentioned three years prior in Bangkok via an NPC who talks to Ken Morgan and in Hokkaido's briefing. The developers don't actually plan this far ahead on every plot point, but they do insert snippets of ideas that can be used in the future to effectively work as this.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It's reasonable to assume that 47 wears some kind of discreet bodycam and wears an earpiece, despite 47 not having such equipment visible on any suit he wears. Diana does mention being able to see some of Alma Reynards' "grisly handiwork" in Hawkes Bay, and 47 in the same mission also speaks to her as if he's wearing an earpiece, essentially confirming this.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: While the enemy AI can be rather dimwitted (intentionally so in some cases), this is not the case when sniping, as they become very overpowered. The AI is programmed to instantly know your location the moment they see someone get sniped within their line of sight, so even if you snipe someone from across the map, the AI will know exactly what room you're in, and even the precise location of where you were standing. The map itself, the distance of where you took the shot from and where the target was killed is also completely irrelevant. This by itself is annoying, but not a bug. The broken part is the dreaded "infinite search" situation. This is caused by a flaw in the games' AI where they cannot clear areas they have no access to (such as HAVEN islands' radio tower, or Colorado's water tower), and will simply swarm the area in alert mode forever being super enforcers for all disguises in the process, making the "Sniper Assassin" challenge very annoying to achieve, and the only way to fix this bug for the player is by hiding in a box or wardrobe.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: A lot of Mission Stories and Opportunities have specific NPC's require you to do a Fetch Quest to get an important item, which then you have to give them in order to pass (such as the photo for Ingram in Dubai).
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Pops up on occasion when you steal a disguise from guards or NPC's.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: While this has always been key to the series, these games take it even further; on many occasions, 47 can knock out and steal a disguise from people the guards or his targets have already recently had conversations with, and you can walk right up to them and start a conversation with them, and said guards or targets never notice the person they were talking to just a couple minutes ago is suddenly a 6 foot tall bald white guy.
  • Hammerspace:
    • This is how the briefcase in 2 and 3 acts. Unlike in Blood Money, where you could only use it for sniper rifles, here you can fit just about any weapon, melee or tool in the briefcase, be it a sniper rifle, a long-sword, coin, or the lockpick. Can turn into Bag of Holding for certain items, such as the long-sword and the "A New Bat" bat, which are far longer than the briefcase, and yet can still be stashed inside of it.
    • 47 himself can hold three large items (One gun on his back, one item in his right and left hands respectively), but can have an infinite amount of pistols, coins, snooker balls, and various other small items in his suit.
  • Handbag of Hurt: The Briefcase in 2 and 3 can be used in this way, acting as an impromptu melee weapon should you need to. Like other objects, you can also aim it at a persons head, and it'll knock them out.
  • Hand Cannon: The "El Matador" and "The Striker" are M1911 variant chambered in .357 magnum pistols. They kills in one shot, pierces multiple bodies with one bullet, and is so powerful it will cause enemies to fly through the air and flip end-over-end, likely a reference to the broken physics of the Silverballers in the earlier games.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight:
    • The "Blend In" mechanic allows 47 to conceal himself by performing a mundane action within the environment as long as he is wearing the appropriate disguise while doing so. For example, washing a bar while disguised as a bartender, mopping the floor while disguised as a janitor, chopping vegetables while disguised as a cook, etc. While this might seem at first redundant, this allows 47 to be overlooked by people who would otherwise see through his disguise, allowing him a safe spot to overhear information or wait to make his move.
    • Blending into both crowds of people and bushes/foliage returns from 2 onward.
  • Hidden Weapons: You can hide small items in your suit (coins, pistols, a screwdriver etc.), though some of the later unlockable weapons, such as the 5mm pistol, the folding knife and the collapsible baton, are deliberately designed to be concealed from guards during a frisk search.
    • You can also hide weapons by putting them in the briefcase, though you can't get frisked when an illegal item is in there.
  • Hide Your Children: As per the rest of the series, there are no children in Sapienza, the Sceptre, Miami, playing in the streets of Chonquing etc.
  • Homing Boulders: Thrown weapons, melee items, food items, as well as your briefcase, are able to track targets around corners and through walls.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Beginning with 2, You can play the levels on Casual, Professional, or Master difficulties. Casual mode has very forgiving combat, no security cameras, and Mission stories are active. Professional mode adds back in the security camera's, as well as the smarter AI, and getting into combat isn't advised, while Master Mode only lets you save once, disables auto-saving, and the AI is smarter still. They will also respond to running (crouch-running is unaffected).
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: If you go openly loud after a particular messy hit, then the local law enforcement/guards will bring you down rather quickly on anything above Casual Difficulty
  • Immediate Sequel: The games begin one after the other pretty much immediately. The second game takes place a week after the events of the first games' "Situs Inversus" mission in Hokkaido, while the third can't be anymore than a week or two, given The Partners are attempting to flee back into obscurity. The games' timeframe seems to be late-2019 and ends in mid-2021.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • The Fiber Wire has this baggage among players, despite its status as something of a classic weapon. It's still fairly useful, which is why its your default "tool" in your loadout when you start a new level for the first time, the issue it has is that other tools are simply more useful; lockpicks are more frequently used by their nature (and most maps have them so it's useful to take), or the Disposable Scrambler/ Keycard Hacker (which unlocks doors with keycards, albeit on three separate doors). Even coins see more use as they have unique NPC-attracting properties. By comparison, the Fiber Wire lets you take down a target silently when they have their back to you, while also allowing for the player to drag them out of sight without having to manually press the "drag body" prompt, which is just Boring, but Practical by comparison. So unless you're speedrunning a level, require precise timing so people don't see you, or are specifically gunning for the "Piano Man" and, by extension, "Versatile Assassin" challenges, pretty much any other tool or small item is more useful to bring along. And that's not going into the fact the reskins of the fiber wire are much more commonplace than the other tools, and can be found in the levels proper.
    • The various Remote Explosives. While they can be useful for setting up accident kills, they are otherwise "fun" items that don't have much use in a Silent Assassin Run. Using these will give you the "Bomber" rating in Hitman 3 though.
    • The various poison syringes tend to get overlooked as they can only really be used when a target is isolated, and using one is illegal in any disguise, so using one in a public place is undesirable compared to poison vials (which can be used in public when in a food-related disguise).
  • Insecurity Camera: Played with. Disabling the security cameras is considered an illegal action regardless of disguise; similarly, guards will get suspicious if they actually witness a camera being destroyed - and your cover will be blown if they connect it to you. Guards will not, however, attempt to turn the system back on once it's been switched off, and except on the highest difficulty settings, discovering blank monitors or a previously destroyed camera will not raise their suspicions. In addition, tampering with any security console will disable all the cameras on a given map, even when said cameras are spread across numerous buildings with no narrative reason for their security systems to be linked.
  • Instant Sedation: Sedative poisons act on a target or NPC almost immediately after they've been consumed, in which they will be put to sleep and, if found, will not count towards the "Body Found" section of the scoring screen from 2 onward. The only exception is if the Target has a Mission Story where Drinking poison would be animated (such as Francesca De Santis).
  • Item-Drop Mechanic: Anyone carrying something will immediately drop it if they are killed, knocked out or sedated. This is to ensure that mission-critical items and otherwise useful items (such as door keys and keycards) don't fall into the abyss in places like the Dubai building.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Literally the response of guards when they semi-spot you and inspect an area where they hear a sound, and they quote the trope in response. Normally to their undoing.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: The Modus Operandi for 47 and his penchant for disguises. Played straight in Dubai and Marrakesh, where you can enter as part of the maintenance crew.
  • Karmic Death: All the targets have at least one in the games, see their respective pages.
  • Kent Brockman News: Pam Kingsley, a news reporter from Marrakesh, returns in 2 onward to tell everyone the goings on of past events, being a Mr. Exposition to world affairs.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: If there's a locked room in this game, then there's a good chance the key (or keycard) to said locked room is in there too.

    L - Z 
  • Lethal Joke Weapon:
    • Muffins, soap, and apples. When thrown, they knock NPC's down, but it does not pacify them. However, sneaking behind an NPC and decking them in the back of the head does pacify them.
    • The rubber duck explosives. On one hand, they attract some attention, NPCs can pick them up by accident, and they cannot be planted on walls or equipment, but they are also surprisingly silent; their noise doesn't carry outside the room you detonate them in, so you can use them for relatively easy unnoticed explosive kills. The concussive variants are arguably even more useful, as you can use one to knock out entire groups of guards without alarming NPCs - although with the threat of one guard seeing another one go down before losing consciousness, ruining a Silent Assassin rating.
  • Leitmotif: Snippets of "A World of Assassination" are used in various music pieces in the trilogy, essentially marking the first time 47 has had his own theme that wasn't Ave Maria. It's most notably remixed in Hitman 2 and 3 with each level getting a unique "Mission Complete" theme, while in 3, disguising as a DJ and dropping the beat will have 47 play the leitmotif as some underground techno. It stops being used prominently after Chongqing, with Mendoza only using it when you exit the level, as with other levels), with Carpathian Mountains being the first level in the trilogy to not include the tune (fully replacing it with "In Constant Motion", Hitman 3's leitmotif) to signify that 47 has changed.
  • Lighter and Softer: The games are a return to the cleaner, more colorful "International Man of Mystery" vibe of the first two Hitman games, Codename 47 and Silent Assassin, pulling back from the darker, more lurid and obscene atmosphere of the more recent Contracts, Blood Money, and especially the Grindhouse-inspired Absolution.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Most of the main cast of characters do not change clothes between cutscenes. Grey has two clothing choices (with and without his duster coat), Diana is seen wearing a blue jacket for most of 2016 and 2, but does wear a black dress later in 3, as well as a red turtleneck. Olivia really doesn't wear anything but a grey hoodie, ripped jeans, a shoulder bag, and a pair of headphones, while 47 wears his suit almost universally, but is seen wearing the Tactical Turtleneck and the Raven suit in specific cutscenes in the tutorial and Hitman 2. In-game however, each level enforces a specific outfit per location (Paris has 47 wear a tux and tie, for example), but you can choose from other suit options if the player desires to go in dressed as a blue flamingo.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • 2016, 2 and 3 all fall under this for their names. There's never technically been three game called "Hitman", "Hitman 2", and "Hitman 3" until now - "Codename 47", "Silent Assassin" and "Contracts" have subtitles.
    • On the Casual and Professional difficulties, completing challenges and acquiring their rewards doesn't actually require you to complete the level. For example, You can complete the wine tour in Mendoza, load a save made before you completed said challenge, and carry on with another challenge like killing Yates with a grape crusher. Master Mode averts this, however, as it expects you to play the level with one save slot.
  • Lore Codex: All the targets, and several notable NPC's, have a fairly detailed biography of their life and haits found in the mission menu. This extends to Elusive Targets too; one of the few things not time-restricted by the game as it has a specific section to read up on them.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Averted. The female NPCs in any given level are treated nearly identically to their male counterparts - they are equally capable of being enforcers for a given disguise/location combo, and can be knocked out or killed with no greater or lesser consequences than a male NPC. The only differences are that 47 cannot take their clothes as a disguise, and female guards are not present (as Word of God admitted that it's a balance measure). Beginning from 3, the staff of each map have a notable population of female employee's, which may be a response by the developers to this complaint.
  • Mad Lib Thriller Title: Escalations are named in this fashion; the titles are usually obscure references, a foreign language pun, obscure reference, or a play on a phrase. There's specific location examples in each folder on each games' page.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Just like in previous games, this is a viable way of eliminating the target(s). Even if the body is discovered when the target gets killed in an accident or with poison, it doesn't count against the "Bodies Found" section in the post-mission scoring.
  • Master of Disguise: Agent 47, natch. The whole gimmick of the games is the disguise mechanics.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Each previous game was made available in the newest one. The levels in 2 are in 3, and the levels in 2016 are in those games' too!
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: There are no boss fights or tougher-than-normal assassination targets overall, unlike the earlier games in the series.
  • Mundane Utility: In addition to being used as distractions or improvised weapons, certain items can be used for their actual intended purpose - coins can be used as payment, wrenches and screwdrivers can be used to make legitimate repairs, etc.
    • Even those who intend to pursue Silent Assassin rank or doing accidental kills would carry a silenced pistol, as it can be used to shoot lightbulbs off and also distract patrols (bullet holes doesn't compromise).
  • New Work, Recycled Graphics: This game series reuses a lot of game assets from one another, such as the cherub candle statues that appear in Paris also appear in Dartmoor. Weapons, as well as objects you can interact with, such as hammers, knives, cups and glasses are also shared (though this is more to do with player familiarity and game logic). NPC in-game dialog is also shared, but that's downplayed, as the NPC's have different accents for each location, with guards and scared NPC's being when they break from that. In total fairness, unlike other games, the developers don't really try hiding this fact, as it helps them make levels faster.
  • Nintendo Hard: Master mode is very tough and will likely require players to retry several times to get the hang of the new rules. Bloody kills and most accidents ruin an NPC's disguise, as well as NPC's being more Attentive to gun sounds. In short, IOI looked at possible tactics most players would use for each level, since most routes have at least one new obstacle specifically to make it more impractical to those trying it.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Subverted for most weapons, as shooting where you aim at will kill them, this includes Sniper Rifles, even at long distances. The only weapon to play this straight is the Kalmer 1 and 2 tranquilliser dart guns, which have an arc that you need to learn in order to use the weapon effectively.
  • No-Sell: Guards or NPC's who have white dots over their heads will get suspicious of you if you enter their line of sight while wearing their disguise, as they know everyone in the level with that particular outfit.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Played Straight for 2016, but averted from then on. Characters and NPCs generally have accents that fit their nationalities rather than just having generic American/British accents.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • Lockpicks. They're not weapons, briefcases, poisons, or bombs of any kind, but are among the most useful things in your arsenal as they unlock conventionally locked doors (and most levels have such locked doors).
    • Breaching charges tend to make way for keycard hackers or the aforementioned lockpick due to their single use, but they are invaluable if you need to make a quick, unnoticed kill across the map or a player-made contract requires an "explosive device" kill without being detected. Just knock the victim out, drag them somewhere quiet, and drop a breaching charge next to them - the thing has a very small lethal radius and is silent to boot.
  • Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: The games open with a disclaimer similar to the ones from the Assassin's Creed series, indicating that the game was made by a multicultural team of various nationalities, religions, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. At no point does the game touch on any sensitive real-life religious, political, or racial controversies, so one does wonder what the purpose of the disclaimer is meant to achieve. It's possibly a response to the internet backlash the previous game Absolution received for including latex-clad dominatrix nun assassins as enemy characters, or the much older controversy from Hitman 2: Silent Assassin where one of the levels (a luxury hospital) was architecturally based on a real-life Sikh holy site.
  • Only Six Faces: This is a Downplayed Trope, as the game has upwards of 350 to 1000 NPC's per level (for context, Marrakesh has around 970 NPC's) so it's not going to take long until reused faces start appearing. However, the pool of face swaps is far larger than the six or eight of older games like Blood Money this trope otherwise covers. There are about 10-20 face models for each gender, ethnicity, race, and varying hair styles and facial hair. So even if you see the same face again, it's even less likely for two NPC's to be in the same clothing or have the same hair.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Some of the suits are identical to one another in all but color, the "Phantom Suit" from 2 is just a greyscale-variant of "The Undying Look", while the "Midnight Black" suit is a black version of the Marrakesh suit. The "Winter Coat" suit in 2016 is identical to the one in 2 in all but a tiny pin on the breast pocket. Averted with location-specific suits, which have minor model changes (normally gloves) that stop them being direct swaps.
    • Some of the equipment spread across the three games are reskinned versions of each other, most infamously the Mark II variants from Hitman 2, which simply slap a sticker on the side with a red "II" on it. The ICA19 pistol has a ridiculous number of variants with the only major difference between many of them being a different paintjob.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: 47 disguising as a guard? Not too hard to believe. 47 disguising as a middle-eastern Sheikh in Paris or a barber in Mumbai....less so.
  • Perfect Poison: There are three poison types in the game that can be used, all of which have pill bottle and syringe variants:
    • Lethal Poison: This kills any one person on the spot.
    • Emetic Poison: This makes the victim throw up, and they will head to the nearest toilet or bin to spew their guts out. The Sieker 1 dart gun can make people throw up from a distance.
    • Sedative Poison: This sedates people on the spot, and will make the victim immediately be put to sleep. They can, however, be woken up again, so use with caution. The Kalmer tranquilizer dart guns can sedate people from a distance.
  • Punny Name: The poison weapons all have puns associated with their intended effects:
    • The Kalmer's (Calmer, as in, to sleep) and Sieker 1 (Sick, as in to throw up).
    • The poison vials all have labels; VomiTOROL (Emetic, a pun on Vomiting), resTYNZINE (Sedative, a pun on resting), and FataLIDOMIDE (Lethal, a pun on Fatal).
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Since the ICA is supposed to be a neutral organisation, its agents generally do not take a stance in the morality of their missions or their targets (something which Montgomery in "Apex Predator" says to an undercover 47). In the end, the ICA is only concerned with completing its contracts, and the fact that most of their targets happen to be very unsavoury characters is just a small bonus. It's implied in 3 and in the comics that handlers can pick and choose contracts based on their own morality.
  • Random Event: A Defied Trope for the most part. The great majority of major NPC's, targets, and level events are static and have predictable outcomes that run on a loop, which the player exploits as a part of the gameplay. There are some exceptions to this, some targets have randomised routines that are generated on-the-fly (John Stubbs' routine is not consistent, other than the starting point, but does have places he will always go to). "The Lust Assignation", an escalation in 3, is the only mission in the trilogy which directly invokes this as a gameplay loop, as Lust's "Secret Admirer" is functionally randomised upon a restart.
  • Replay Value: The game has a lot of it. Part of the appeal of the series is to do the same level over and over again to find the best routes, fastest completion times, kill your targets in various eccentric ways, or just to listen to the background lore of the crowds and the target.
  • Retcon: This trilogy is a Soft Reboot of the Hitman series, and every past game is still considered canonical to this one, the exception being to Absolution, which was retconned six ways to Sunday:
    • The writers have written out and discarded the main plot of Absolution, and left it deliberately ambiguous as to what events from the game are canon or not for this trilogy.
    • Blake Dexter, one of the antagonists, is apparently a well-known person worldwide by the time of 2016, even in a place like Hokkaido, where the staff really shouldn't know the owner of a fiercely American weapons manufacturing company is (the level has a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Amos Dexter, prompting the comparison staff make to him). Even his status as being alive is also up in the air, as the games never say either way, and in Mendoza, Diana comments that he was killed off in a "Parallel Universe" as a Discontinuity Nod, which is less than helpful, to say the least.
    • Dominic Osmond from the Vixens club is the only officially canon target from Absolution to have been shown to be killed by 47, who shoots him in the head through the one-way mirror in his nightclub, albeit with an unsilenced Silverballer... which he doesn't have for that mission as they'd already been stolen from him).
    • The ICA being dismantled and reformed just doesn't happen, as while Absolution states that the accounts of ICA Agents were published covertly by Diana at the start of that game so as to keep the ICA off her tail (and not out of business altogether), 3 makes it clear in its news footage and in-level conversations that you can overhear in Mendoza that this is the first time such a thing has happened, and nobody comments on anything similar happening in the past, despite individuals in attendance being in places of power where such knowledge would be discussed.
    • Victoria is oddly absent, and never mentioned, despite Diana taking her in at the end of Absolution, and 47 forging his own connection with her.
    • Diana's file seen in the intro has crucial parts changed:
      • Her parents and Diana's little brother, while still named Nancy, Peter, and James in the comics and in this trilogy, Nancy's surname was changed so that she took Peters' name after they got married.
      • Lucille Burnwood, Diana's sister, has been completely removed from the main Burnwood family members.
      • Diana's birthdate was changed from 1972 to 1975, as Diana is explicitly noted in the hospital as 14 years old in Birth of the Hitman (which is mostly set in 1989 where that age is shown).
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • There are a lot of overt references to the Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman comic series in this trilogy; especially in 2 and 3 where the developers did not shy away from making considerably obscure references to it. In 2, such references were more vague and less obvious due to the change in cutscenes and time pressure of releasing the game, meaning much of the lore got lost in translation. Hitman (2016) alludes to certain events the comic later explains (as said comic was released afterward that game). Various in-level NPC's, Diana, and Grey repeatedly references parts of the comic to 47 and the audience, and a Mission Story in Mendoza has 47 give a cliff notes description of the comic itself.
    • Listening to the background lore of the crowds and the targets nets you with a surprising amount of connections to past missions. Some of the guards in Mendoza were actually hired for protecting Silvio Caruso back in 2016's "World of Tomorrow" mission, while recurring NPC's can be found in various levels, such as Sheikh al Ghazali (from Paris) can be seen in Miami. Sebastian Sato (also from Paris) returns in Miami and Dubai, or Florida Man (from Miami) in Berlin.
  • Real-Place Background: As per tradition with the series, the levels are designed to represent the culture and architecture the real life location would inhabit and have. Mumbai for example, has appropriate accents for most of its denizens, there is derelict architecture all over the place, the streets are crowded, and it feels very claustrophobic.
  • Request for Privacy: Most of your targets will have at least one bodyguard trailing them at all times, and many Mission Stories set up an opportunity to have you and the target hold a private conversation as they dismiss their guards (or just dismiss themselves for whatever reason) to give you a chance to kill them unnoticed.
  • Save Scumming: Enforced. The games has eight save slots for manual saves made by the player, and eight slots for the autosave. The only limit on this is with Master Mode, where autosave is turned off, and you can only use one manual save, as the games do not expect you to complete a level in one life, so to speak.
  • Save-Game Limits: While in combat, the saving system is disabled. Elusive Targets, Custom Contracts, and Escalations don't allow saving at all.
  • Scenery Porn: Part of the charm of each level is how gorgeous some of them can look. Back in 2016, Hokkaido was lauded for it's snowy setting, Sapienza for it's bright colors, and even Colorado had a grungy aesthetic. The later games improve on this with bolder colors, or otherwise better graphical effects.
  • Schmuck Bait: Almost everyone will check out any noises they hear, and pick up any placed coins/weapons 47 has interacted with. You can place a coin on a ledge, throw something to get someone to investigate, and push them off once they notice and try to pick up the coin, for example. They're not idiots though, so trying this while they are watching won't work.
  • Soft Reboot: This trilogy is the start of a soft reboot of the the entire Hitman franchise, going out of its way to avoid mentioning the more gonzo sci-fi elements found in past entries, while retaining most of the narrative elements from the past games. As a whole, the game was primarily designed to give the series a consistent continuity, and does tie in every game, almost every novel, and a comic book was created to give more backstory to the characters. Hitman (2016) and later games describes the other games in ways that don't strictly contradict Codename 47 and the later references to it and older games, while the tie-in prequel comic goes out of its way to try and keep continuity, flesh out the ICA some more, as well as establish a consistent backstory for 47, Ort-Meyer, Subject 6, and Diana). As such, the trilogy mentions a few of the missions' targets from the previous games (Beldingford from Contracts, D'alvade from Blood Money, and Hayamoto from Silent Assassin to name a few), and the "Legacy" cinematic shows off the canonical kills for one target from each of the earlier games (even Absolution, which is dubiously canon at this point.), implying they all happened even if the storylines around them didn't.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Continuing from Blood Money, many doors can be shot open with adequate stopping power - as in, almost anything that isn't a pistol (Unless they're The Striker or El Matador). Any explosives, from the intentionally destructive bombs to humble fire extinguishers, also work quite well if you're out of options.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: The entire Trilogy is this. The first game is simply known as "Hitman" (universally referred to as Hitman (2016) by everyone else in the world), and the later games add a 2 or 3. Those subtitles from later games become much more important now when talking about them.
  • Stop Poking Me!: Much of the dialog for doing weird things in front of civilians and guards (such as bumping into them, knocking them out, or pointing a gun at them) is quite varied, to the point that it largely avoids falling into the Welcome to Corneria trap. Impressive, as there are multiple spoken languages in the trilogy, with various British English, American English, Mexican-Spanish, Colombian Spanish, Indian, and Chinese voice actors with different accents, colloquialisms, and dialects specific to respective levels, Notably, in "The Undying/ Returns", which features Sean Bean, the developers went out of their way to record this kind of extra dialog so they wouldn't replace it with generic dialog.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Much of the dialog you can hear in the first two entries reference either past events relevant to the overarching narrative, or is some kind of Foreshadowing to future events. Bangkok in 2016, for example, has numerous NPC's outside the Himmapan Hotel mention the mysterious plane crash that killed Eugene Cobb, and another pair talk about a conspiracy involving Claus Strandberg, in that riling up protesters via an interview (something 47 is able to do in the prior mission to Bangkok) is a part of an elaborate plot.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Mission Stories and Opportunities basically exist to partially to maintain some Rule of Funny, and to show off 47's impressive skillset. A full list can be seen on 47's character page, but to give the cliffnotes: 47 can fix any and all equipment required by circumstance, drive any car or vehicle when exiting the level, sell a house, teach yoga, pull of an impressive drum solo, and point out bad writing in a book series he's barely aware of.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The events of all three games are repeatedly mentioned and discussed throughout the trilogy by NPC's, and they mostly lead to realistic scenario's playing out. In 2016, it was mostly conspiracy nuts who believed some evil organisation ruling the world would kill people in power, but at the start of 2, all of the worlds' CEO's start to get Properly Paranoid about all the deaths of other CEO's Grey's Militia and 47 kill around the globe, and they hire more guards accordingly to decrease the likelihood of being offed (something the bodyguards note in Miami as a benefit to them as they get more work). In 2, such killings are called the "1% killings". Essentially, even if 47 and Grey's Militia make a lot of the deaths look like accidents or leave no evidence of a murder taking place, the world is going to get suspicious by the sudden and successive deaths of multiple influential members of society eventually, no matter how they died.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Anyone will die the instant their face makes contact with water, even if it's a tiny puddle. Played with in the case of Vanya Shah in 2, where part of her routine has her wash her face in her own personal water pond, but cannot be exploited with electricity traps. You can, of course, still dunk her head into said pond to eliminate her.
    • And of course, there's also the general fact that none of the NPCs in the game can swim. If you shove them off a ledge into water, even from a small height, they will drown. There is one specific exception: there is a certain body of water Rico Delgado can be thrown into and he'll be shown swimming... the pond his man-eating hippo lives in.
  • Sunglasses at Night: You can invoke this by playing on the any night map (like the Isle of Sgàil or Berlin) and donning any suit with Sunglasses, such as the Summer Suave suit, or the Tropical Suit.
  • Take Your Time: Something of an Enforced Trope for the trilogy; very few actions done by targets or prominent NPC's are one-time only. Their "loop" around the level is very constant and consistent, down to the second. The only routines that are earmarked as this trope are ones that are presented as Mission Stories/ Opportunities or Challenges.
  • Tap on the Head: This trilogy adds more nuance to melee items; 47 can now bludgeon an NPC with any blunt object (or throw nearly all of said objects at an NPC's head) for an instant knockout - faster than the Choke Hold, but at least marginally louder depending on the exact object used. Unconscious characters will remain like that unless awakened by another NPC, but will display no ill effects if woken up.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Lethal poison is colored Red, Emetic Poison is denoted the color green, and Sedative poison is denoted the color blue (the syringes are a yellow-orange color, however).
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Elusive Target missions are only available for a certain period of time and you only get one chance to complete them. Once you complete an objective, you can't restart the mission, and once you complete the mission or get killed, you can't replay them. Hitman 3 attempts to downplay this as it introduces Elusive Target Arcade, an escalation-esque format which lets players replay the targets in an escalation format pretty much whenever (and get unique rewards too), and "Year 2" and "Year 3" designations was given to previously released targets so if players failed the first time, they can try again.
    • "The Wildcard" Elusive Target ran precisely once, and "The Undying/ Returns" ran three times. Due to legal issues surrounding the people in the contracts being voiced and based on celebrities (Gary Busey, Gary Cole, and Sean Bean Respectively), will likely never re-run.
    • The ICA Performance Coins from 2016 are legitimately unobtainable now; they were only available to players who played in the first run of Elusive Targets in 2016, and thus, are one of the few rare items where new players cannot get them. They came in two variants; Superior (rewarded to those who merely completed any Elusive Target mission) and Outstanding (get any Elusive Target contract with Silent Assassin).
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The throwing mechanic is lifted from Absolution wholesale, and it locks onto NPC heads. Lethal items will always kill them, and blunt weapons will always knock them out, walls, stairs and corners be damned.note 
  • Tranquillizer Dart: The Kalmer tranquillizer dart guns. They have two darts, and act like a long range sedative poison gun.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: Diana's target identification quips comes off as this ("That is X [occupations list], [optional snide comment]"), to the point of becoming a meme in its own right. Grey and Olivia also start doing this too when they take turns as 47's handler, but less emphasis is placed on their titles and occupations, and more on their habits:
    Diana: "That is Yuki Yamazaki. Former lawyer to the Yakuza, and current operative for Providence."
  • Violation of Common Sense: The briefcase has the same frisking system as frisks, meaning the Custom 5mm pistol can be stashed in a briefcase, and the guards will not acknowledge it as deadly, whereas putting a letter opener in the same place leads for the prompt for being frisked to be removed until you drop it.


Video Example(s):


Gory Details

In the penultimate level of Hitman 3, one of Agent 47's targets is the corrupt lawyer Don Archibald Yates. After impersonating one of Yates' subordinates and knocking out a hapless guard, 47 can enjoy a private meeting with his target, which can lead to this moment of darkly comedic timing.

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