I've always been a sucker for good dialogue. It's why I enjoy Tarantino movies, shows like Justified, etc. In the Paris level of the recently-released Hitman game, there's some brilliance and hilarity if you just walk around and take in the conversations and comments. It can easily be missed on a brief playthrough or if you just focus too much on the mission, but it's definitely worth it to explore and listen. (Minor spoilers ahead if you plan on getting deep into this game, as I'm going to quote/paraphase some of my favorites here.)
Much of the dialogue is serious and useful, as opportunities are revealed to assist you during your gameplay, in addition to some real background on the characters and story beyond what there is at first glance from cutscenes and the like. The game does a terrific job detailing some motivations/attitudes of NPCs, from your targets all the way down to random attendees. Listening in also reveals more information about the relationships between NPCs. After piecing enough of it together, you start to understand the characters' character, which is a cool dynamic. It legitimately adds a layer of depth to the game.
Better yet, there's the humor to add some real charm to the game on top of that. The dudebro conversations between guards are phenomenal, with topics ranging from man purses to art appreciation to zingers aimed at the legal profession. Most of them seem to center around busting each other's balls, which is both entertaining and believable. Also, as the level centers around a fashion show, it's filled with appropriately vainglorious comments like "This piece is supposed to satirize American exceptionalism, but of course, the irony is completely lost in translation, and she just looks exceptional!" It's all done extremely well and kept me grinning throughout much of my time with the game.
Contextually, things get really fun.
Certain player actions cause NPC reactions. I was caught dragging a body, which prompted "How about you show some respect? He's not a sack of potatoes!" This led to a fistfight with a guard, whose buddy came running up in the middle of it and said, "Yeah, get 'em Steve!" I promptly knocked Steve out, so his buddy said, "It's okay; next time, Steve" and then shot me in the face.
Later, when I punched a guy within earshot of another guard, he wondered aloud, "Did I just hear somebody open up a can of whoopass?" Then I bailed out of a window onto a ledge and an NPC caught me hanging there, who hilariously deadpanned "Don't do it; you have so much to live for." The voice work and delivery is great overall, but that line in particular was perfect.
Donning different outfits produces comical results.
When dressed as Helmut Kruger, you get the celebrity treatment from generally pathetic fans:
"Helmut, my man. Remember me? It's Phil! Phil, with the pills?"
"Hey, if you ever need a bodyguard, I'm available...........Call me!"
Trying to access a restricted area as a stage crew member produced a harsh career burn:
"I'm sure your work setting up the stage is great and all, but you're not getting through here."
(I genuinely felt bad for my lowly stage hand for a second. It's honest work, damn it.)
I got busted trespassing in the attic as 47, and the guard radioing for help did not disappoint:
"Bald guy, dressed in a suit. It's well-tailored and pressed!"
(Insert "off-the-cuff" pun.)
Everyone hates the vampire magician.
First off, he isn't allowed anywhere except the main areas, so guards damn near shoot him on sight, which is funny enough in its own right. People just eviscerate you while you're wearing this outfit. You're made to feel like the saddest hipster who's trying so hard to be some cool party crasher and is getting wholly rejected for it. The mockery is brutal.
"How about you, uh, disappear? Can you do that?"
"I'll let you in if you give me eternal life."
"I'm fresh out of candy, sorry!"
Then, my favorite comment of all:
(I don't know if the NPC was genuinely cheering or not; I'm just glad it happened.)
Anyway, this game is great. For $15, you'd be hard-pressed to find something with more to it than this, which is a weird thing to say about a game that essentially has one level at this point. Just walking around listening to everything is basically worth the price of admission, and the deeper you dive into it, the more it rewards you. If the rest of the locations have this much going on under the surface, this game will be a freaking masterpiece.