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  • Anti-Climax Boss: Put a bullet in Rick Hendersen's dome to end the game. If you're really unlucky, 47 will tangle with...a paraplegic who trips and dies if you lure him to the stairs.
  • Ascended Glitch: The infamous phrase, "Allan please add details", comes from this game. The HD collection changed the line to "Any details yet, Allan?"
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Security guards almost always have unrestricted access in a level; in the few instances where they don't, disguising yourself as one can still carry you through a significant portion of the level, so long as you don't get caught killing anyone. (Of course, if you're going for Silent Assassin, you'll at least need to figure out how to sedate them rather than killing them.)
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    • There is practically no reason to choose any weapons on the mission briefing screen other than your shiny custom weapons, as most of the standard weapons (the SLP. 40 notwithstanding) don't come with a silenced variant and are not as accurate.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The White House. Just check out the Skippable Boss entry on the main page to see how embarrassingly easy it is to avoid the boss fight and get the Silent Assassin rating. It comes after two previous missions which were much more difficult.
  • Even Better Sequel: The previous game was a semi-remake of the first game with the gameplay improvements of its sequel, and was considered bland because of it by some players. This game, on the other hand, improved the series on almost every aspect. Better graphics and gameplay, the addition of customizable weapons, the improved accident system, and the post-mission stat-based newspaper clips were only some of the most well-received additions. Even 15 years later, and 2 HD re-releases on (for the Xbox 360/ PS3 in 2008, and much later for the Xbox One and PS4 in 2019), this game is considered by many to be one of the best games in the series, only being usurped by the much later entry into the franchise: Hitman 2, which builds upon the previous three games' mechanics.
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  • Fake Difficulty: Two disguise related examples. One, you can't take disguises from bodies you've hidden and Two, if you steal the clothes of someone in a bodybag, the bodybag is removed instantly so the now stripped body can be found again. Both were fixed in the future games, but this game provides no explanation why 47 can't just reclose the bodybag or take the clothes of someone in a dumpster.
  • Forced Tutorial / Stop Helping Me!: Upon starting a new game, you have to play through a tutorial mission at least once (other difficulty levels in the same save file allow skipping it later). The mission was clearly designed to show off the gameplay upgrades, at the cost of being annoyingly linear. The game not only holds your hand throughout the mission, it also doesn't notify you that killing non-targets should be a no-no. Instead, it actually makes you kill several gang members, and tells you to poison an innocent civilian (Which can be avoided).
    • The hilariously weird part is that it was also the game's demo - a demo that not only tells you to be reckless when it comes to causalities, but is linear and tells you exactly what to do any given moment. In short, everything a Hitman game shouldn't be.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • With a bit of Hilarious in Hindsight, the tutorial mentioned above is very linear, something Absolution would later be criticized for. It also gives you constant instructions of how to kill your target, something the 2016 game was criticized for (although the majority of hints in 2016's game can be turned off).
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    • A common complaint about the later games is that they're apparently too easy, something that hardcore fans find annoying. However, this game is also much easier than its predecessors, as you can run to your heart's content and disguises are much more effective, knockouts now last for the entire level, bodies can be hidden in containers, and hiding bodies is no longer completely necessary thanks to accidents. The main things the sequels have added are that HUD elements tell you which areas are allowed or forbidden, and a bit of realism and A.I improvements (you no longer get shot when you accidentally enter a forbidden area).
  • Fridge Horror: Vinnie's wife. If you kill her to get the microfilm, you've both orphaned and traumatized their kids. If you spare her, her kids get to grow up in a broken home with their alcoholic single mom. Yay?
  • Game-Breaker: Using human shields. At first it seems like you can only sedate two people per level with the syringe, but once you realize that you knock out people after taking them hostage and that they don't count as witnesses, you'll have no more trouble getting through a level.
  • Genius Bonus: In "Curtains Down", many of the stealthy methods for taking out the tenor involve somehow turning the execution scene being rehearsed into a real one. In Tosca, the opera being rehearsed, the tenor character and his lover are told his execution will be faked, only for him to be killed for real.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Take any long/melee weapon that NPC characters will find suspicious, pick it up, and equip the detonator. As long as the detonator is in your hand, you can carry forbidden weapons around even in your suit. The AI will only react to your equipped weapon, and the detonator is suspicion-free. This is one of the only ways to properly use unlocked long weapons without sacrificing good rankings.
    • It's unclear if it's a bug, but you might be better off not zooming with sniper rifles. You might not see the target as well, but just aiming in first person guarantees 100% accuracy.
    • The newspapers in the post-mission briefings tend to break if you play the mission in a certain way. For example, the briefing for a stealthy run of "A Vintage Year" can be summed up as "A violent episode claimed the lives of two people, father and son. Both were murdered with the same weapon and one of them was found hidden in a crate. Police are still investigating if the hidden body is related to the crime."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: 47 checks into a hotel in Las Vegas, has weapons hidden in his person and his room, and then kills some people. In fact, the arguably easiest way to kill one of the targets is to shoot them from a balcony. It's a cool mission, all right, but after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, it's a lot more uncomfortable.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Some find that the major overhauls made for the game makes it too forgiving when it comes to disguises, as the suspicion bar almost never rises unless they are sloppy on purpose, have high notoriety, or play on the hardest difficulty. On the other hand, a lot of people see this as a (somewhat) good thing, as it allows more freedom to just play around.
  • Lighter and Softer: Kind of. While the world of assassination is as dark as ever, every mission isn't set on nighttime with permanent rain like in the previous game. Additionally, the graphics look more cartoony and the game allows a lot more off goofing around with the new accident system.
  • Narm/Narm Charm: Some of the disguises. The Crow and the Birthday Clown costumes come to mind. Of course, whether they are the former or the latter depends on the player.
    • "Listen up 47... The president of the United States is about to be assassinated." The way Smith says the briefing sounds rather awkward, and the line is cheesy already.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Look closely at the right side of Mission 7's loading screen Contract on the Hitman time.
    • Nightmare Retardant: Of course, it gets a lot less scary once you realize how easy that particular assassin is to bypass, as well as the cheesy nature of her scene if she actually kills you. If you want to talk about nightmarish fellow assassins after 47's head, Eve comes to mind.
  • Polished Port: The Hitman HD Enchanted Collection version of the game takes an old classic, upgrades its textures, plays it in 4K, and runs at 60 FPS. There isn't really anything to complain about.
  • That One Level: "Requiem" on higher difficulties, as your spawn is surrounded by a ton of enemies. 47 returns from the dead!... only to get turned to Swiss cheese three seconds later. Even the poor priest's body doesn't add much protection.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The split-screens that often occur to show distant actions for timing/assassination hints. Problem is, you can't control them. They pop-up without warning taking up a third of your screen. These make the screen's right-side a potential blind-spot, getting you detected by patrolling guards. There are times when it flashes up when a guard discovers a dead body, and said guard being only 25 yards away, right in front of you.
    • While climbing on top of elevators is genuinely useful, jumping back down may cause fall damage. It's especially fun when you fail a long mission on professional because 47 hurt his knees while jumping down.
    • The dual wield upgrade for the silverballers is a textbook example of Awesome, but Impractical: It looks cool as hell, but reloading times are doubled. This is one of the reasons Requiem is so difficult on higher difficulties, as while extra firepower is good, you'll likely end up being ventilated when you need to reload.
  • Scrappy Weapon: There's very little reason to use most of the unlocked long weapons, as they are deemed suspicious even in most guard disguises, and they aren't nearly as useful as the free customizable guns you get from the start. Even the customizable long guns suffer from this, as they are smuggled into the level's ICA crate that may not be in the greatest of places.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: For years, this game was the definitive Hitman game, with interesting, large levels with various ways to kill your targets. However, nowadays its various mechanics can come off as pretty limiting note  and the levels feel small when compared to those of Hitman 2, for example.
  • Tearjerker: The tutorial mission "Death of a Showman". After the Ferris Wheel falls apart, you can hear a woman screaming about where her son is. After several newspaper clippings reveal that your soon-to-be target got away with the whole incident, we then see a photo of a young boy with his father still grieving over his death. He then makes a call...
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Sometimes, if you kill/sedate a sitting person, others seem to ignore them, thinking they are just sleeping (even if they're a guard). However, this seems to be completely random, to the point it's hard to tell if it's even intentional. Likewise, if you sedate someone who was already sleeping to ensure they won't get up, guards can somehow tell they've been sedated and ruin your rating.
  • Values Dissonance: Three of your targets (Alvaro D'Alvade, Richard Delahunt, Skip Muldoon) are involved in child trafficking/molestation — they all also happen to be gay/bi males, which modern gamers will likely find a bit jarring. However, the game does try to balance this out by having at least 2 instances where homosexuality is shown/implied without negative connotations in "A Murder of Crows"note  and "A Dance with the Devil"note .
  • The Woobie: Joseph Clearance. Sure, he's a penny-pinching buffoon whose incompetence let to a disastrous accident, but by the time we meet him, his beloved theme park is overrun by a street gang, his wife's divorcing him and he is bullied and disrespected by everyone. His assassination seems more of a Mercy Kill than anything.
  • You All Look Familiar: Every civilian looks like they are a clone. There's about 6 different civilian face models; they just have different clothes and hair/facial hair. Fortunately, the targets have unique designs.
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