"Invitation to a Party". Your black suit is a great disguise here. The guards might get suspicious of you in the waiter getup, but as long as you behave in a waiterly fashion, they'll almost never sound an alarm on you. The guards outside the Embassy will fire on you if they see a waiter walking off with the General's suitcase, so watch it.
"Tracking Hayamoto". As long as you know what you're doing, this level is a breeze: entrance is easily accessible, map is small enough to not force you into walking kilometers of vast empty spaces, there's not a lot of guards, and all you have to do to finish your objective is to place a couple of items into the right plate of sushi (you don't even need to confront your target or his car personally). It also has only two points of interest (one with a costume and one with a way to distract the guard), so figuring out solution for a perfect kill isn't very hard either.
"Basement Killing". You get Silent Assassin for running around like a full-tilt ax murderer, all while dressed like a member of the Village People. That's a story 47 can look forward to telling his grandclones when he retires.
"The Jacuzzi Job". This is such a small mission, with only 4 armed guards, most of you will probably just mow down everybody and be done with it. (Why did you buy this game, again?) There is only one floor to the apartment, and it is a pretty compact level to boot. If you're playing for keeps (SA rank), the level will present more problems, but it's immediately followed by "Murder at the Bazaar", which is another simple, straightforward mission.
"The Death of Hannelore": This is a practice run for taking down the cult leader. It's quite easy to finish this with zeroes across the board.
"Kirov Park Meeting" comes right after "Anathema" and "St Petersburg Stakeout", two missions that are comparatively difficult for the early game. Here, there are two targets: a general and a mafia boss, both of whom are meeting in the park. The agency provides you with a silenced pistol, a sniper rifle, and two explosive charges. There's a perfect sniping spot across the river at the top of a communications tower and the soldier guarding the entrance isn't always in front of it. Both targets can be sniped simultaneously if timed right and, even if not, the general obligingly parks his limo right over an open manhole, making rigging up a car bomb from the Absurdly Spacious Sewer underneath an absolute breeze, so even just sniping the mafia boss will result in the general attempting to flee only to be met with and explosive surprise instead.
Catharsis Factor: "Anathema". After dying over and over and over again, it's very satisfying to return with a rifle and drill the boss as soon as you spawn in. If you come back after unlocking the crossbow from "Hidden Valley", you'll find the level is hilariously broken.
Contested Sequel: Downplayed. It's universally agreed to be a massive improvement over CN47 that deserves praise for its soundtrack and for paving the way for the sequels, but the question of whether it has aged well is an another matter. Some feel it's an essential play for any Hitman fan, while others feel it's an outdated, awkward and frustrating experience that moves at the pace of an aged turtle.
Difficulty Spike: "The Motorcade Interception". This mission is a pain in the ass. There are a lot of guards about and you have to use a noisy weapon in order to get the job done. But the guards aren't the real problem. It is the randomly wandering civilians who can cause the most headaches. One interesting thing about the MI95: It is so unique to this region that it will attract people to it. This is bad news if you do not want to be seen with it, since you can't just drop it and wait for the NPCs to stroll by before picking it up again. If only you could sneak into the palace and wire the Khan while he is taking a piss or something.
Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: While the story isn't that spectacular, many fans feel it's worth going through at least once even if you aren't fond of the (nowadays very dated) gameplay or mission design.
One trick allows you to use the door as a kind of shield when attacking someone. Basically what you do is stand by a door in such a way that when a guard opens it, it will only open partway. He will not spot you, you can still reach through the door and either sedate or kill him with a melee weapon.
47 can carry two different one-handed weapons at the same time. This involves fooling the game into treating that weapon like the Silverballers. In addition, the gun in your right hand will not need reloading. There's a bit of a caveat to this; if you use the Sawn-Off Shotgun as one of your guns, you'll only be able to fire the gun in your right hand, whether or not it's the Sawn-Off. However, it's a good tradeoff to be able to fire a shotgun which doesn't need reloading, whee.
How to do this? Take any pistol, any Dual Pistol and a Sawn-Off shotgun to your mission. Drop them all to the ground. Pick up the single pistol first. Now pick up the Dual Pistols. Agent 47 should move the single pistol to his left hand. Now, pick up the sawn-off shotgun.
"Invitation to a Party": It is possible to exploit the game's programming by dragging a sedated waiter (the one at the very start) towards the rear of 47's boat and dropping him into the water. This requires patience, as you must repeatedly grab him and use small dragging/turning movements until he falls off the pier. Doing this does not count as a kill, and removes his icon from the map and renders him unable to alert the guards.
While it normally is unlocked by finishing all the St.Petersbug levels in one sitting on Silent Assassin, its possible to fibre-wire/trick the M60 jeep soldier to kill UN troops on "The Motorcade Interception" which doesn't fail the mission, allows you to disguise yourself as a UN soldier and steal an M4 that way. (though apparently the game will sometimes crash when attempting this.)
There is a very rare glitch which happens when one of Charlie's bodyguards fires continuously for too long. The girl wearing the pink bikini will somehow commit suicide when her snub revolver explodes in her face.
In "Temple City Ambush", the only way to achieve Silent Assassin is to kill the wandering hitman (Ball Cap Man) without using the R93 Sniper. Being that he will always be in the market and in plain view of everybody, this task is extremely difficult. But, if you wait long enough (and this depends on what version you have), he may freeze up with his arms outstretched. If this happens then 47 can just kill him with a melee weapon. (In the Xbox version, the assassin will never freeze no matter how long you wait.)
If you get frustrated because Agent 17 can hear you sneaking behind him, try this. Start sneaking, and tap the forward button so you only make slight movements. (1/4 to 1/2 of a step) As long as you don't make a full step, he shouldn't hear you.
Speaking of half-steps, it's possible to navigate the level faster by tapping the sprint button. Like with example above, as long as you don't go into full run animation, guards won't get suspicious about your sprint, which makes it absurdly easy to both escape from guards following you and pass through areas where getting caught with your disguise is inevitable otherwise.
An amusing way to complete "Motorcade Interception" and get Silent Assassin rating with it is to replay the mission and bring in a large melee weapon. You will have to drop it whenever there are witnesses around, but you can find several opportune positions where once the motorcade passes, you can run up to the armored limo and kill your target by chopping at him through the car. Then quickly drop your weapon and leave. While logically the UN troops around should have seen you, it seems the game does not activate their normal AI until they have fully dismounted from their cars.
The game's sneaking mechanic receives a lot of criticism from players, for being very, very slow. It's only useful against NPCs standing still.
The fact that enemies detect you when you run was lampooned for years after the game's release. This mechanic makes some sense when in a heavily fortified Russian prison or terrorist base, but becomes nonsensical when the guards at an embassy hose 47 down with submachine gun fire while he's dressed as a waiter for the capital crime of jogging down an empty hallway. Additionally, it forces you to move around at the game's very slow walking pace in heavily guarded areas, which can be frustrating if a level has timed objectives.
How the weapon storage functions in this game is unnecessarily unwieldy. New weapons are added to the storage when you finish a mission while carrying them. So far so good. The problem is that when you pick weapons to take with you on a mission you do not just bring along one of infinite copies of the weapon, but it is fully removed from the storage. If you do not keep the weapon with you at the end of that mission, it is gone and you have to reacquire it. While this is arguably realistic, this is also a game where you can go back to redo missions and gather weapons from there into the storage.
Some civilians don't have specific routes they loop through, and instead simply wander around randomly. As you can guess, this can make any job with lots of civilians into a Luck-Based Mission, since their random A.I makes it difficult to plan around - one civilian may be wandering around a door you need to pick, another may walk in on you hiding a body etc.
The game's map system, while a step up from Codename 47, makes no distinction between 47 and civilians, both being displayed in green, nor does it differentiate between living and dead people on the map, leading to much confusion in dealing with guards. These two issues were rectified in Contracts.
Scrappy Weapon: The sedative is very slow to draw, as 47 has to soak the rag in chloroform every time. Like the fibre wire, it can only be used from behind, but takes time to apply and has to be held down to keep the target down for any amount of time, not an ideal thing to be dealing with in a Stealth-Based Game that has such a slow movement in sneaking mode. Even at that, it'll only keep them down for five minutes or so. Contracts replaced this with the sedative syringe, which keeps the target down for a little bit longer and is, more importantly, quicker to use and subsequent games give 47 hand-to-hand techniques that work from the front as well.
Disguises are a smaller factor than in the first game. Private security disguises are pretty useless, since they don't hold up to scrutiny. (A suit of clothes alone isn't going to fool the Mafia into thinking you're cousin Luigi.) Hope you like sneaking. And waiting. Weirdly (since 47 is clearly Caucasian), the ninja and Afgani outfits work fine, which is good because the missions are borderline impossible without them. But you need to follow the usual rules for blending in.
Guards/kitchen staff have no random patterns and, in general, ambushing them in the open isn't a difficult thing to do. The main wild cards are those damn civilians, especially with their random movements and speed. And they move much faster than the guards which adds to their annoyance factor.
In H:C47 the guards were pretty laid back. You could run all around them without them getting suspicious as long as you were dressed for that area. In SA you have to be careful when running around guards, as they can be pretty twitchy at times. Guards here move VERRRY slowly in such large orbits that predicting them is often quite hard. They also look around quite a bit while they patrol (unlike most stealth games, enemy cone of vision is tied to where they're actually looking rather than just how their body is facing. The looking left and right animation of their heads while walking actually means something in this game).
Sneaking up on people: This also plays a smaller role than in the original, which is good, because it's bloody hard now. People will get a little suspicious if you walk up on them from behind, and sneaking is very slow. Which means you can generally only sneak up on enemies deliberately placed for that purpose. The unarmed and innocent are much easier: They will flee from you, so you can just run up from behind and grab 'em.
Signature Scene: "Anathema" is what Hitman is all about. It's a beautiful level and a true classic. This iconic status is evident in the references found in World of Tomorrow, such as the flower delivery man and the target playing golf.
The first level, "Anathema". Guard AI is at its worst, and it seems like 47 will raise suspicion no matter where you go. Even people who kick ass in the other Hitman games find this level to be frustrating if Google is any indication.
The Japanese levels are quite tedious apart from the first one. They were specifically designed as an 'infiltration mission' in an attempt to inject some action into the game. You're given a crossbow and a healthy amount of ammo to snipe your way through the map, so it's not a hard mission when played as intended. But due to how rankings work, it's tough to play stealthily, let alone earn a Silent Assassin rank. The map is HUGE. Snipers are everywhere, making certain open areas 'no-go-zones'; step inside them and you are dead. They'll often inexplicably see through your full-body disguise. Supply truck run you over as you try to sneaks your way past the guards. Guards themselves can accidentally get run over by them, through no fault of your own. General consensus is that it's just better to swallow your pride and shoot your way through it. In a fan survey, the following level, "At the Gates", was voted the worst level in the entire franchise.
"St. Petersburg Revisited". You don't get to choose your weapons for this mission until it's beaten at least once, meaning that you only start with fiber wire. You are given a sniper rifle, but the thing is useless, as it only fires blanks. Your target can hear you sneaking behind him (in non-Windows versions), and if he does, he turns around which disables stealth attacks and a melee system wasn't introduced till Hitman: Blood Money, unless you count Pistol-Whipping—which can be done with your blank-loaded SVD, but it's damned awkward. If you manage to get a gun, it wont have a silencer, thus actually using it causes every guard in the building to rush to you with Desert Eagles and automatic shotguns. Even if you manage to kill him, you still need to get past of freshly-spawned guards to escape.