So I have mixed feelings on Absolutions Contracts mode. On one hand it adds a lot of replay value to a game I already enjoy. On the other hand, my play style in Contracts is totally different then in story mode. In the story I like to take my time and survey my surroundings. Listen to conversations and then employ my dastardly plan only when the time is right. In Contracts mode I am figuring out the best route to the finish line and min/maxing the game mechanics to the fullest. You could argue this is what you do in the story missions, but the deciding factor here is time. You get a time bonus to your end score, which is the deciding factor on who will come out on top when all other factors are equal. (No shots missed, do not be spotted, all bodies hidden etc.) So now it’s trial and error in high speed until I get the result I like. You start to understand the game mechanics through regular story mode play but in Contracts I find myself taking it to another level, like realizing that some NPC’s will not be on their regular AI paths until you get within a certain distance to trigger a conversation.
So one mission in particular, I run from the start all the way into this club, past my one mark where two NPC’s are having a conversation. Instead of waiting I keep on running, pushing past a crowd of people until I come to a walking pace before I turn a corner I know a guard is at. Since I ran here I know his AI path is just leaving to go to his other post, so I walk past him and crouch to go through a door. I sneak all the way to where a guard is watching my other two marks just in time to get behind him before he turns. I knock him out behind a divider as he starts walking and grab his key card. My two marks hear a noise which interrupts their conversation and gets them on their AI paths. I fibre wire both, hide all the bodies, dash back to the front of the club where I shoot my now alone first mark in the head, dragging him into a locked key card backroom where I hide his body. Then I dash to the exit. I find that Benny Hill theme would be a good musical choice for how I approach most of my missions in Contracts.
I should add I only take this min/max approach with contracts that I am competing in with friends. Other contracts I play how I usually do and am happy with getting money to buy upgrades for weapons. I am not really complaining here, I just find it funny that to be competitive in Contracts mode you have to play like this. What are your experiences with it?