Every year I look forward to AGDQ and SGDQ, and after every year of watching incredible speed runs of games that I love (and hate), I get a sudden urge to "speed run at least one game". That passion usually fades pretty fast and I tend to just move on after a week or so of trying to figure out which game I want to try out.
Not this time! After this year's AGDQ, I had the idea of running a bunch of different stuff (I even looked into the idea of trying The Last Guardian before realizing that that would be a terrible idea). I ended up settling on my personal favorite game from last year, Hitman. Hitman was perfect because I wouldn't need to do any dumb out of bounds glitches that always turned me off of certain speed runs that I see every year and I've put in many hours into the game already so I have a pretty firm grasp of all the core mechanics that the game had to offer.
The ground rules that I set for myself was to run the game with no unlockables, because I find the NG+ runs pretty uninteresting overall. The rubber duck alone breaks the game and makes it real easy to get away with pretty much anything. I also didn't care about doing a Silent Assassin run because it's been done before (even though I took strategies from The Kotti's Silent Assassin runs for three of the maps). Speed running Hitman is basically trying to figure out the fastest route possible through a level and just executing on it as close to perfection as you can. There are a lot of fuck ups in my run, but overall I'm pretty happy with it (under 30 minutes was my goal). It's worth noting that I'm playing on an original PS4 so the run is a lot of loading screens.
Freeform Training: 00:35 - 01:23 (48 seconds)
Something that I hadn't seen much in full game speed runs for Hitman was the first two training levels. So I decided to do them here and just finalize my goal for the run to be under 30 minutes. There are better speed runs out there that you can find on youtube, but they usually involve pistol sniping a moving target and I just don't have it in me to consistently try to do that with a controller. You'll notice that for at least the first three levels of this speed run are very much "go this path, shoot targets, dodge enemies and get out". It almost kind of reminds me of a game you'd see in American Gladiators or something like that. Anyways, this level is pretty straight forward. For some reason the hitbox on the door right before going up the stairs is the only thing that gives me problems in this level, sometimes you get stuck on it for a few seconds and the guards that are beneath the stairs are able to gun you down before you make your way up the stairs.
The Final Test: 01:50 - 02:30 (40 seconds)
The way I did this level was taken from here. The door that the guy walks out of at the beginning of the level is locked so you have to make sure that you make it through before the door closes or else that's the end of the run. Lining up the shot of the stairway guard is pretty difficult with a controller, but you have to take out that guard before he starts shooting your or else everyone else in the level with shoot at you no matter what outfit you have on. There's another guard in the same office as Jasper Knight, but usually by the time you put that guard's outfit on someone will see you through the window so you have to be fast. This level is probably the hardest one in the entire run, a lot of errors happen on the stairway that caused me to reset the game.
Paris: 03:39 - 05:00 (81 seconds)
The way I did this level was taken from here. <--- That video is probably what made me want to try to speed run this game in the first place. It's just so whacky to watch 47 just run past all of the security and shoot targets in the head (I ended up shooting Viktor Novikov in the crotch region over and over again because it was the easiest way to line up the shot and I found it hilarious every time). I have a theory that I have no proof of where if you look down while running through the front door, it delays Novikov's spawning into the game and he spawns further up the stairs. After Novikov is down, you have to survive through the hallway. I weave around the stage equipment a little bit to shield myself from some bullets. The second target is always going to be at the same spot so it's usually not a problem to just shoot her and escape via helicopter. I guess it's worth noting that none of the pathing in this game is random, so all of the targets are always going to be in the same spot all the time unless you do something that changes their routine (which is what we see in Sapienza).
Sapienza: 06:28 - 09:22 (2 minutes 54 seconds)
The next three levels are going to be somewhat similar to The Kotti's Silent Assassin run that I super recommend checking out. This level is a fucking nightmare in this video. First of all, I forgot to equip myself with a Proximity Mine, so on the fly I made the car on the outside explode by shooting the gas tank and then the gas leak from the car... which is something that I saw once in a video but never actually did myself. You want to make the car outside explode so the guards at the front gate leaves their post. After that you want to shoot the electric panel to cause Silvio Caruso to stop golfing and check out what's going on. From here you want to snipe Caruso from the roof with your pistol (which I used to be pretty good at, but now I usually screw it up and look like a fool at), and De Santas is right next door so that's not a problem either.
Now, it's time for my worst nightmare. Pistol Sniping the virus from across the cave. This usually ends most of my attempts to speed run this game. I usually get it about the end of my second clip, so I try not to panic too much on it. But I completely botched taking out the shotgun guard and now everyone in the cave is hunting me down because the guard got a shot on me. So now I'm completely screwed, . There is the one and only glitched that is used in this game, which is the skip of using the pole to shimmy down the side of the cave. Instead if you aim your weapon and hit the climb down button ("O" on PS4 controller, B on Xbox, Space on PC) on the left side of the pole you do a super weird hop that saves you a few seconds.
Marrakesh: 10:57 - 15:12 (4 minutes 15 seconds)
This run also taken from The Kotti's run. Most of this level boils down on you just being at a specific place at the end to shoot your second target through the window. This level (and the next honestly) is just me on autopilot while I run the route, which is nice because after the stress that Sapienza builds up I need something like that. This level often features a lot of bonking people in the heads with hammers which usually makes me chuckle. At the end sometimes that guard isn't alerted and it makes the end a bit easier but it's usually no problem to take the guy out and then shoot the target.
Bangkok: 16:39 - 19:52 (3 minutes 13 seconds)
Another level where I'm on autopilot. Only thing to note is I'm looking at the minimap for Ken Morgans position before I drop the lights on him. Rest of it is pretty straight forward.
Colorado: 21:06 - 25:23 (3 minutes 57 seconds)
Hey! I actually made up the route for this level! I'm not completely a hack that steals things from others (between most of this and my Best of Giant Bomb videos, I can see why you would think of me this way). I get the mask for the end out of the way at the beginning and found a way to eliminate two of the four targets with the proximity mine pretty quickly. After that you zig zag your way out of the house and then make it in time to shoot the hay down on Maya Parvati. Timing that sequence out perfectly is probably what killed most of the runs if I somehow made it past Sapienza at an acceptable time. Unfortunately, Sean Rose is at the other side of the map so it takes an extra two minutes to kill him. In a dream world, I would be able to intercept him at the beginning of the level when he's walking to the other side of the map before I get to the house, but him being in the middle of the level followed by his security guard has made that impossible for now unless I figure out another way.
Hokkaido: 26:32 - 28:06 (94 seconds)
And finally, we get a nice and easy way to finish out the run. You kill the first target at the beginning of the level and then run and shoot the heard and get the hell out! Pretty simple (I guess I came up with that route too, but it's so obvious once you know that choking the guy out at the beginning sets off no other security guard).
Total In-Game Time: 18 minutes 52 seconds
And that's it! Hopefully some of you will enjoy watching, I don't know if I'm going to hop onto another game right away or just keep up with this one for now... but I am very proud that I was finally able to say that I'm able to speed run at least one game.