Hitman rewards a keen eye and the gumption to pounce upon emergent opportunities, but it also penalises rash acts or a hastily fumbled implementation of your plans. Nowhere is this more evident than in Contracts mode, the player-generated hit-list that sees community members setting challenges for others to take on. The premise is simple: tag and execute up to five NPCs in a level. The method you use to kill them - along with any disguise you're wearing at the time - then becomes the criteria by which your contract will be set.
However, with so many contracts available to play straight off the bat on launch day, how do you make your Contracts stand out amongst the many humdrum efforts? Here are our tips and tricks for creating the very best Contracts, be they funny, skilful or just plain odd, and making them irresistible to others.
Use a snappy title
When players are browsing the Contracts mode for the latest community-created kill orders, they'll be faced with any number of lookalike options. Using a short, snappy or funny title for your contract will make it stand out. You can take inspiration from film, books or music tracks, and parodying pop-culture favourites is bound to get people clicking to find out more, which leads to...
Write an interesting brief
It needn't be Shakespeare or even Dan Brown, but a brief, intriguing backstory explaining why the target(s) are on the hit-list will lend colour to your contract. Perhaps, more importantly, some basic information about how the contract itself plays will give you a leg-up on the competition, most of whom are currently leaving the default text in place.
Give potential players a heads-up on the approximate length of your contract, so they know before they take the plunge whether they'll need to commit for 10 minutes or half an hour. Include recommended starting gear for players that have the option of making changes in the planning area too.
Pick an atypical target
Again, for the benefit of grabbing attention straight away, choose someone other than the first security guard/bartender/mechanic that you encounter in a level. Fast and dirty contracts are ten a penny right now, with many people plumping for the first person they encounter in a level as the primary target. This has the knock-on effect of a great many targets on the Contracts front page looking identical, and there being little reason to pick one over another.
Tag targets retrospectively
One particularly useful feature of Contracts mode is the ability to choose targets as Contract marks after they've been killed. This means that if an unexpected situation presents itself for you to take advantage of, you can concentrate on making the kill without being spotted, and then assign them as a Contract target after the deed is done. However, be aware that if you hide a body before you've tagged it, you won't subsequently be able to mark it as a Contract target.
Perfect the art of Contract creation
With the ability to select up to five targets, your Contract creation has the potential to be more complex and in-depth than the main Paris Showstopper level itself. However, start off small and, to rope people in, make it quirky. Pick a larger than life target, such as flamboyant designer Sebastian Sato, or fashion superstar Helmut Kruger - someone that people will instantly recognise and be confident of identifying.
Then, gradually build complexity by changing disguises multiple times, or opting for an unusual weapon or method of execution. Don't just pick the most obscure, difficult to-get-at target for the sake of it. Ultimately, if you have fun creating the Contract, then others are likely to have fun playing it.
As a final word on this topic, here are a few interesting Contract criteria to try your hand at creating. Have fun!
A Temperamental Model: Kill Sebastian Sato with scissors while disguised as Helmut Kruger.
Explosive Meeting:Take down Max Decker and Viktor Novikov with explosives while disguised as a bodyguard.
Print is Dead: Kill the blogger using her own camera while dressed in your tuxedo.
Stop Stealing My Tips: Wipe out the staff at the main bar using a knife while dressed as kitchen staff.
The Sheikh's Stunning Headshot: For those feeling skillful, resourceful and quick off the mark. Eliminate Helmut Kruger with a sniper rifle while disguised as the Sheikh (much easier to achieve after completing the Paris Showstopper level and unlocking the option to begin the level at the IAGO auction.)
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