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Killing Gary Busey: A Harrowing Hitman Experience (Spoilers for Elusive Target)

I killed Gary Busey. It feels strange to write that sentence but killing Gary Busey as an elusive target in Hitman had a very large impact on me. That being said, the fact that Busey was the target is purely incidental. It came down to the unexpected sense of urgency I felt as I went about setting up the kill, taking the shot and slipping away.

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I began the endeavor by loading into contract to see what I was up against. After some careful and stealthy observation, I discovered that Busey was sauntering in a loop, stopping at various points between the church and the beach. Those of you who are familiar with Sapienza know that the church is a superb vantage point if sniping is your thing. I figured that I could get a clean shot from the steeple as long as I was patient and waited for the perfect moment. I had not planned for a long range kill so I loaded up the mission again. This time making sure to arrange for a suppressed sniper rifle pickup, in the sewers beneath the church.

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I re-planned and reloaded the mission, ready to put my target down. I quickly made my way to the pickup in the sewers. Along the way I silently subdued a plummer who got in my way. it was a minor wrinkle but it did not change my plan. I got the rife and quietly crept though the sewers and into the church. Making my way past unsuspecting workers.I shuffled silently up the stairs to my predetermined perch. I stood up there looking for Busey, suppressed rifle at the ready. After a few minutes of careful scanning I spied Gary Cole, Busey's co-star, making his way toward the church. This meant that Busey was nearby.

I waited a bit more and spotted Busey walking with his guards a log the beach. I tracked him in my scope as he walked up and down the beach, completely unaware of the quick death that was in store for him. I let him walk along a bit more. I was itching to take the shot but I knew I would not get another chance. I waited. Finally, he stopped to answer his phone. This was the moment. I lined up the my sights, squeezed the trigger and watched the actor's knees buckle as pink mist escaped from his head.

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That was it. All I had to do was get out. I dropped the rife and began to make my way down the stairs of the steeple. I moved down, checking each flight, one by one, making sure there were no surprises in store for me. I was nearly at ground level when I spotted three guards charging up the stairs. "Oh no!" I said to myself out loud. I darted back up the stairs in hopes of buying myself time to improvise a way out.

I managed to get up to the top, with a few precious seconds to think. I remembered that there was an overhang that I could shimmy across. I wondered if I could use that as a hiding place while I felt things out and planned my next move. I hung over the side of the railing, taking care to ensure I would break line of site with the three trigger happy guards rushing to meet me. They yelled commands at each other and paced around a bit as they searched for me. Eventually they retreated back down the stairs, moving their search else ware. One even took my rifle with him. I muttered to myself, "I can't believe that worked!".

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When the roof was clear I made my way down to ground level and took the boat out of the harbor; unseen, and unharmed. I felt pretty badass, having such a risky move pay off like that. In the end I had no choice. No saves. No restarts.

That's what I love about elusive targets. The stakes are high. You can't just restart, or roll back to an earlier save. Once you've killed the target or escalated the situation in any way, the option to replan and restart goes away. In my scenario I had to commit. When the guards pegged my position I had to try something unexpected and crazy, or I would have lost the opportunity for good.The best part is that it actually paid off! I accomplished my mission. This was one of the most exhilarating moments I've had with a videogame in a long time. I was hesitant about the proposed bite sized nature of the elusive targets but in the beginning.However, now that I've done a few I think they are very unique and serve to set the game apart. The sense of urgency that this "one and done" format brings to the table, makes the game feel incredibly immersive. I felt like 47. The satisfaction I got from succeeding in such a rare opportunity though such an unexpectedly slick method will stay in my gaming memory for quite some time. If you have Hitman, I recommend checking out this target while you still can. I am definitely looking forward to more unexpected, and badass moments with more elusive targets.

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