About the checkpoint system...

#1 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -

While reviewers and gamers are very divided about this game the main complaint that everyone seem to agree on is of the horribly designed checkpoint save system and how it works. Do you think this is a case of the developer not having enough time to fully polish and get the kinks out or a gross oversight given how developer tendency to get "Tunnel vision" about the games they are developing?  
 
On the same notes, do you think the changes they made going from Blood Money work in the game's favor or against it.  
 
As a side note I just want to mention that I have not played the game but I will pick it up very soon because I enjoyed every Hitman game and became a massive fan of Blood Money. For better or worse I am extremely curious about this game I just hope that by the time I get around to playing it that the developer patched it enough to address the major issues people seems to not like about it.  

#2 Posted by twigger89 (278 posts) -

@mordukai said:

While reviewers and gamers are very divided about this game the main complaint that everyone seem to agree on is of the horribly designed checkpoint save system and how it works. Do you think this is a case of the developer not having enough time to fully polish and get the kinks out or a gross oversight given how developer tendency to get "Tunnel vision" about the games they are developing? On the same notes, do you think the changes they made going from Blood Money work in the game's favor or against it. As a side note I just want to mention that I have not played the game but I will pick it up very soon because I enjoyed every Hitman game and became a massive fan of Blood Money. For better or worse I am extremely curious about this game I just hope that by the time I get around to playing it that the developer patched it enough to address the major issues people seems to not like about it.

On certain missions, the checkpoint system is unacceptably punishing, to the point where it is almost easier to beat the map in one fell swoop then to try to use checkpoints. The checkpoint vs quicksave is a valid discussion, but that is not the issue here. The horrible checkpoint locations + the new disguise system disincentives you from trying new things or constantly restarting to get a fully stealthy play through, to the point where you just want to fucking kill everyone on the map, take the huge point hit, and then move on.

It's a fun game, but the way the use the checkpoints is just disappointing to the point of being a reason to stop playing the game.

#3 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -
@twigger89 said:

The horrible checkpoint locations + the new disguise system disincentives you from trying new things or constantly restarting to get a fully stealthy play through, to the point where you just want to fucking kill everyone on the map, take the huge point hit, and then move on.

That's bad. Seems like they completely cut a major feature from the previous Hitman games that made them fun to play. TO be perfectly honest. I never thought the Hitman games, Blood Money included, ever had refined gameplay. However, the level design and the freedom aspect of "you choose how to accomplish set goal" more then made up for it. 
#4 Posted by awesomeusername (4168 posts) -

@mordukai: Just played the game last night and the checkpoints are shitty. It sucks when I kill 2 of my 3 targets and the stupid cops or cooks see through my disguise and everyone's screaming so I have to restart from that level. This is my second Hitman game behind Blood Money. I'm not a huge fan so I like the game but the way disguises work and the shitty checkpoints, as stated already, are just plain awful.

#5 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3788 posts) -

*GOING TO USE SOME SPOILERS HERE*

I have been trying to understand the ultimate vision behind the checkpoint system and the disguise suspicion system and I really can't figure it out.

The disguise suspicion does increase the use of the other stealth systems in the game and those are certainly improved (the ability to take cover, distractions, vents, ledges, etc) but at the cost of sacrificing "Hitman" and the most appealing part of the game, I'd have to think to any audience, in the accidental and over the top kills.

For example, I just did the mine testing mission in the factory. Was first dressed as a guard, and there are way too many guards, so had to frantically run around and awkwardly cheese the suspicion system to avoid getting an alert (how dumb is it wearing a disguise, which would be something you'd do to blend in, and then having to duck in plain sight and hide so a guy isn't looking at you? so that isn't suspicious game? fucking stupid). Anyways, so I grab a scientist suit. But there are still tons of scientists. I had been scoping out how to do the kill in the coolest way for a bit, by sending the guy down into the pigs below (thus sending him to his nightmare death). I head up to where he goes in the control room, trying to see whats up with the glass panel and how I could bust it open. When I get close, some scientist starts getting real suspicious so I bugged out and I just hit a button to send the pigs out I guess (I didn't know what it would do at the time but I figured something). Then I had to run to the back of the lab and jump out the window there to avoid a scientist who was doing his whole "hey come back here" routine. So while I'm hiding back here, suddenly I get the "Target Eliminated" and with a "Signature Kill" and everything. I have no idea how he died or what happened, although I guess he just blew up. This is not the methodical Hitman I knew and loved. It's just not.

As far as the checkpoints? I really have no idea at all. I can't possibly find justification for them. Especially in a game where you will methodically remove enemies in areas. It's just insane.

#6 Edited by ihateyouron (33 posts) -

I don't know that it's something they'll patch to fix. Seemed like a pretty deliberate design decision to me. Absolution was my first time playing a Hitman game, so I don't really have much of a point of reference as to how it compares to the rest of the series. The checkpoint system was kinda frustrating at times, but I can see why IO might have designed it this way. Although it can be damn frustrating to have silently taken care of 2 out of your 3 targets just to have one nosy NPC blow your cover, it's also pretty satisfying once you put the puzzle together.

My main problem with it was that I had rented the game, and I felt like I needed to rush through the game. So I did my best to play as stealthily as possible, but after failing certain sections more than a couple times, I just said "fuck it" and cheesed my way through just so I could progress.

The "Streets of Hope" chapter is a perfect example of the duality of the checkpoint system. In the first part of this chapter you're given 3 targets, and no checkpoints (that I ran into at least). It's one of the game's more open areas, and I actually really liked poking and prodding around to see what my options were. I failed this section probably... 4 or 5 times, but I didn't lose my patience... That is until I had taken out my 3 targets, and I needed to get to the exit. In the process of picking the lock of the door I needed to exit through, a guard comes out of nowhere, and alerts the rest of the guards in the vicinity. At that point I felt like I was "done" with this particular mission, and had absolutely no desire to start from the beginning just so I could stealthily exit into the next area. So I shot those dudes... and they just kept coming. I think I ended up killing like 10 guys before I finally had enough breathing room to pick the lock and move on.

The second portion of this chapter is when I really began to get frustrated. You're in a much smaller area with 2 targets to kill and 1 that you need to incapacitate, and you have even less margin for error. Again with no checkpoints that I was able to find...

Fortunately none of these sections are particularly long, and if you know what you're doing it's pretty easy to get back to where you were. Although it's super lame to have to listen to the same conversation between NPCs each time you restart, while you wait for them to go about their AI routine.

#7 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1422 posts) -

To me, there is nothing wrong with the checkpoint system, but how it functions when it comes to approaching the level objective. Before I knew of this quirk that I am about to explain, I had an idea of approaching a level for the suit-only achievement by subduing certain guards before using the checkpoint (you can use the checkpoint anytime), because I figured it would save who I have taken out. Instead, when reloading the checkpoint, it resets all the enemies on the level. So the checkpoint becomes a bare-bones save point and nothing more.

#8 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -
@ihateyouron: The previous Hitman game had a Save Anywhere system but they limited the amount of saves you could do in relation to which difficulty you were on. Also, you had to play the entire level through. You couldn't just save in the middle of the game and exit to main menu and go back to the same point. It "hard saved" you only after you completed the level. 
#9 Posted by Abendlaender (2779 posts) -

I really don't know how anybody could have thought that this is a good idea. The checkpoint system is terrible. Sometimes guards I killed before just spawn right behind me and notice me instantly. Other times I have to hear the same stupid conversation every time I fail cause the entire scripting reloads. I....I have no idea how this is supposed to work, seriously. The old system worked perfectly, I'll take 3 quicksaves over this mess any time.

#10 Posted by gaminghooligan (1434 posts) -

I swear. I never used a checkpoint after the first two missions, and found very few of them. Besides, I'm the type that restarts the whole level after death anyway, I want my hits to go a perfect as possible. When I checkpoint back in, I'm never sure what has or has not been accomplished as far as trap setting on a level.

#11 Posted by John1912 (1854 posts) -

I enjoyed the check point system, It is very old school, but the game made me want to try over and over to get things down perfect, or improve my score. That would be completely ruined if you could save anywhere or you got a check point after every little thing you did. I felt it gave the game better atmosphere as well. It increased the sense of danger. It all hit that sweet spot for me on aggravated enjoyment that kept me wanting to try again and again.

#12 Edited by ihateyouron (33 posts) -

@mordukai: Well that makes sense to me, aren't the previous games supposed to be a lot more... sandbox-like ? Absolution rarely gives you much freedom, and although a manual save would have alleviated a lot of the frustration I had, I think it also would have made for a shorter, and less methodical experience.

Also as far as the disguise system goes, I think it would have worked a lot better if there was a reliable way to break line of sight, and have the AI lose interest. The "Hide" points are too few and far between. Maybe I just suck at this game, but once you raise suspicion you're pretty much screwed, unless you don't mind gunning dudes down in plain sight as the game punishes your overall score.

#13 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -
@ihateyouron: Every level was it's own self contained world. Expropriation and experimentation were key parts of the games. I really recommend you play Blood Money.  
 
The main issue I had with the old Hitman games was the disguise system was extremely over powered. 
#14 Posted by ihateyouron (33 posts) -

I've wanted to play Blood Money for a while, unfortunately I don't have an Xbox or a computer capable of running it. Everything I've heard about the previous games has made them sound a lot more interesting than what I experienced in Absolution.

#15 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Previous Hitman games were like toys to experiment and play around with. Absolution is a linear stealth game with occasional branching paths and a nonsense story with Hitman characters.

#16 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3788 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@ihateyouron: Every level was it's own self contained world. Expropriation and experimentation were key parts of the games. I really recommend you play Blood Money. The main issue I had with the old Hitman games was the disguise system was extremely over powered.

I don't consider disguises to be overpowered in any way in the past games as they weren't even really trying to be stealth titles. They were puzzle games really.

Now Absolution is trying to be a stealth title.

@ihateyouron said:

I've wanted to play Blood Money for a while, unfortunately I don't have an Xbox or a computer capable of running it. Everything I've heard about the previous games has made them sound a lot more interesting than what I experienced in Absolution.

I just was ranking my 10 favorite games for fun and I think it's my 6th favorite game ever. Best in a unique series. I highly recommend you do check it out if you have a way to do so.

#17 Posted by awesomeusername (4168 posts) -

@ihateyouron said:

@mordukai: Well that makes sense to me, aren't the previous games supposed to be a lot more... sandbox-like ? Absolution rarely gives you much freedom, and although a manual save would have alleviated a lot of the frustration I had, I think it also would have made for a shorter, and less methodical experience.

Also as far as the disguise system goes, I think it would have worked a lot better if there was a reliable way to break line of sight, and have the AI lose interest. The "Hide" points are too few and far between. Maybe I just suck at this game, but once you raise suspicion you're pretty much screwed, unless you don't mind gunning dudes down in plain sight as the game punishes your overall score.

Nope, you don't suck. The disguise, checkpoint and suspicion system are completely broken pieces of shit. I'm so tempted to just give up on this game. Once you've been spotted, there's basically no way to lose them besides restarting the entire level or checkpoint. The mission "streets of Hope" had 2 checkpoints. You just have to really go out of your way to find them which is completely fucking stupid. I'm nominating this game as the worse game I've played all year.

#18 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@ihateyouron: Every level was it's own self contained world. Expropriation and experimentation were key parts of the games. I really recommend you play Blood Money. The main issue I had with the old Hitman games was the disguise system was extremely over powered.

What!? The disguises were the whole point of previous Hitman games. They were supposed to work without problem as long as you didn't brush shoulders with an NPC that could blow your disguise. If you did get within danger of being detected you had time to walk back the way you came. The challenge was selecting the appropriate disguise for the appropriate area. Hitman was very rarely about staying entirely out of sight, and the times when it really was about that type of stealth are among the weakest parts of the previous games. Hiding in plain sight is Hitman's unique gimmick. You take that away it's not a proper Hitman game anymore.

#19 Posted by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

While I would like a traditional save system with real save states, I really don't mind the checkpoint resetting at all. As someone who's sometimes dabbled in Silent Assassin speed run-esque stuff in the past, and attempted to fully exploit 'creative' kill opportunities (or whatever they're called), the level resetting with a different start location can be very helpful and time-saving, as opposed to waiting 10 minutes for targets to make their scripted rounds. So, I guess I like it well enough, and see it as fully intentional on IO's part.

#20 Posted by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

@awesomeusername said:

@ihateyouron said:

@mordukai: Well that makes sense to me, aren't the previous games supposed to be a lot more... sandbox-like ? Absolution rarely gives you much freedom, and although a manual save would have alleviated a lot of the frustration I had, I think it also would have made for a shorter, and less methodical experience.

Also as far as the disguise system goes, I think it would have worked a lot better if there was a reliable way to break line of sight, and have the AI lose interest. The "Hide" points are too few and far between. Maybe I just suck at this game, but once you raise suspicion you're pretty much screwed, unless you don't mind gunning dudes down in plain sight as the game punishes your overall score.

Nope, you don't suck. The disguise, checkpoint and suspicion system are completely broken pieces of shit. I'm so tempted to just give up on this game. Once you've been spotted, there's basically no way to lose them besides restarting the entire level or checkpoint. The mission "streets of Hope" had 2 checkpoints. You just have to really go out of your way to find them which is completely fucking stupid. I'm nominating this game as the worse game I've played all year.

Where we fundamentally disagree on this game's design is that I just don't see restarting when you screw up as a negative. Restarting to achieve that perfect stealth-through is Hitman for me. Also, the levels aren't that long, so restarting isn't a huge time waste, although I've probably only played maybe 3/4 so far, so maybe that changes.

#21 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

While it does sound like the checkpoint system is a bit of a PITA, it is notable that easy reloads and unlimited saves (even if it is just from many checkpoints) can get a title in as much flaming and general vitriol as being harsh and irritating. It kind of makes me wonder if the developers just figured a checkpoint system that was any more generous would just lead to a bunch of complaints about being to easy. Maybe off the back of how Dark Souls / Zombii U have been received with how a death is an ordeal to deal with (although those have more meaningful mechanics than just the amount of back tracking).

Kind of reminds me of how the removal of instant death in 3d platforming is either a great thing that makes that sort of gameplay fun, or that it makes the game impossible to enjoy.

#22 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -

@HerbieBug said:

@mordukai said:

@ihateyouron: Every level was it's own self contained world. Expropriation and experimentation were key parts of the games. I really recommend you play Blood Money. The main issue I had with the old Hitman games was the disguise system was extremely over powered.

What!? The disguises were the whole point of previous Hitman games. They were supposed to work without problem as long as you didn't brush shoulders with an NPC that could blow your disguise. If you did get within danger of being detected you had time to walk back the way you came. The challenge was selecting the appropriate disguise for the appropriate area. Hitman was very rarely about staying entirely out of sight, and the times when it really was about that type of stealth are among the weakest parts of the previous games. Hiding in plain sight is Hitman's unique gimmick. You take that away it's not a proper Hitman game anymore.

You mean it wasn't overpowered when all you had to do is find the right disuse, which usually involved a high ranking body guard, and the level was pretty much yours?

#23 Posted by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

@Zekhariah said:

Kind of reminds me of how the removal of instant death in 3d platforming is either a great thing that makes that sort of gameplay fun, or that it makes the game impossible to enjoy.

It's a hard question to answer for sure. I like how the 3D Prince of Persias sort of hit a happy medium there with the time rewinding mechanic.

#24 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

I think the ultimate issue is with their saving/loading system , its unclear why they would even respawn the entire level unless it was just impossible for their ai system to save and reload mid state etc , so if they had manual saves wherever you wanted but still had to respawn the level , you could save in some terrible locations with guys literally respawning where you saved etc, i guess they had to compromise and place the checkpoints in areas that wouldnt be that punishing when the level respawned.

also ,im like 99% sure that blood money still penalized your end of level score/payout for any saves you made , regardless of how many you had to begin with , either that or the no saves on hardest difficulty made me end up playing the entire levels without saving anyways , so most of the time i ignore the checkpoints completely.

and yeah the disguise system feels much less satisfying than before , because when you do find that perfect costume , nobody gives a fuck anymore , i guess thats what contrasts most with the increased suspicion of most other disguises , i personally would like a more case-by-case basis for disguse strength, just some hand tweaked balance stuff that will probably take a zillion board meetings to finalize in some future patch.

#25 Posted by awesomeusername (4168 posts) -

@PillClinton: Restarting isn't the problem. Restarting back to the beginning of an area is because that's what you have to do all the time unless you go out of your way to find a checkpoint. I have to restart so much because some cockwad spots me from the other side of the room every damn time. Every system in this game is broken and completely breaks another part of the game. I'm an impatient person when I continuously fail a level over and over again in a game so having to hear the same conversations over and waiting for the A.I. to move to their next spot just gets me more pissed. Limited manual saves should've been what they did, not this broken ass checkpoint system. I'm YouTubing a walkthrough for the rest of this game because I'm done with it. I seriously hate this game.

#26 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@HerbieBug said:

@mordukai said:

@ihateyouron: Every level was it's own self contained world. Expropriation and experimentation were key parts of the games. I really recommend you play Blood Money. The main issue I had with the old Hitman games was the disguise system was extremely over powered.

What!? The disguises were the whole point of previous Hitman games. They were supposed to work without problem as long as you didn't brush shoulders with an NPC that could blow your disguise. If you did get within danger of being detected you had time to walk back the way you came. The challenge was selecting the appropriate disguise for the appropriate area. Hitman was very rarely about staying entirely out of sight, and the times when it really was about that type of stealth are among the weakest parts of the previous games. Hiding in plain sight is Hitman's unique gimmick. You take that away it's not a proper Hitman game anymore.

You mean it wasn't overpowered when all you had to do is find the right disuse, which usually involved a high ranking body guard, and the level was pretty much yours?

Yeah. Hitman games are traditionally like a puzzle in that sense. Although, to be fair, finding a disguise that had you 100% covered for every situation was a rare case. Blood Money was more forgiving in that regard as a way to soften some of the less straightforward parts of disguise utilization. In Silent Assassin and Contracts the differences between medium effectiveness vs. strong effectiveness of a given disguise weren't clear. Some would allow free movement as long as you weren't hanging around in close proximity to other people of the same type, while others would go from suspicious to detecting you in a matter of seconds. Blood Money fixed that, and it seems most players were happy with the adjustment. Had IO really listened to feedback from Blood Money they would have known that the mechanics regarding disguises specifically were just about perfect, and that they should not have attempted to fix what was not broken. Absolution has much "fixing" of perfectly functional things just for the sake of difference.

#27 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

Very disappointed in the checkpoint system. I almost bought this game but wisely rented it first. The checkpoints are pointless (no pun intended). Respawning the enemies I just killed? What the hell did I bother activating a checkpoint for? I'm not big on redoing things over in my games so it looks like this is going straight back to Gamefly.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.