Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (2023)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (1)

With the entirety of the World of Assassination trilogy having been out for a few months now, I have decided that it would be fun to rank all the levels in the main campaign. For this ranking, I will be leaving out Sniper Assassin levels, just because they are so different from everything else. I will also be leaving out the side missions that use a modified version of the main levels, like the Patient Zero campaign.

I ranked these levels by first playing through them all and giving them a rating in five categories:

  • Level Design: How interesting are the design choices.

  • Uniqueness: Every level has something it specializes in; how well does it affect the experience?

  • Mission Stories: How well are these used to show off the level? For the few levels that don’t have them, I instead rated the mission’s purpose, because usually there is a specific reason why there are no Mission Stories.

  • SA/SO: How much fun is it to do a Silent Assassin / Suit Only run of the level? I’ll get into what method I used in each level.

  • Feel: The most subjective rating, just about how much I personally enjoy playing in the level.

Without further ado, here are my personal rankings of all the Hitman levels in the World of Assassination trilogy. And, hey, drop your own rankings in the comments!

22. ICA Facility – Guided / Freeform Training (Hitman)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (2)

Level Design: Fine

The ICA Facility is a cool idea for a tutorial level. It is designed to look like it was created inside of some kind of huge warehouse, and everything in it was slapped together just to train Agent 47. But while the conceptually it is cool, the level itself is small and relatively uninteresting, taking place almost entirely on a tiny boat. It is all incredibly straightforward, and there’s not much to it. This is of course on purpose, because of what it is meant to be, but that only gets it so far.

Uniqueness: Fine

When playing through the campaign, you have to play through this twice, with the first one being run through being guided in a strict way, and with the second having more freedom. Being made to play through twice makes a lot of sense, as it is a core part of Hitman to replay levels. But the problem comes when it pushes against another core part of the game, the free nature of its sandbox style. Bonus point though for having all the challenges for the level be super simple things that just continue to teach the player the mechanics and tricks of the game. That was a clever move.

Mission Purpose: Meh

This level is strictly here as a tutorial. There isn’t much else to it. And because of this, it can’t really compete with the “normal” levels. It does do the tutorial relatively well, walking the player through just about all the basics, even making sure they know saving constantly is a good thing to do. Even still, it’s hard to think much of it, especially when a big way it teaches the player is with huge splash screens that pause the game to get the player’s attention. It might have done a little better here, but there are also other tutorial levels in this trilogy that do the job much better.

SA/SO: Meh

It is possible, but not the most fun. After a quick attempt to get in the boat to get closer to the target, I realized the boat was way too full of people and there weren’t enough options for scaling the sides to make much of a stealth approach. So, not seeing any other choice, I just hung out by the exit car, and shot a raft while the Kalvin Ritter was getting a drink under it. It got a decent accident kill, but it just felt cheap.

Feel: Meh

The guided first attempt and the forced second attempt make this level feel like a slog for repeat playthroughs. When it is your first ever Hitman level, it is definitely helpful though. I do think I enjoyed this level much more my first time, but going back after having experienced other levels, it can’t hold up.

Overall:

In the end, this level is just the tutorial. It does what it needs to do, it introduces brand new players to the core mechanics of the game so that they are ready for the levels that give them freedom from the start. Compared to tutorials from other games, it isn’t bad, but compared to non-tutorial levels, it just isn’t fun.

21. ICA Facility – The Final Test (Hitman)

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Level Design: Fine

Much like the other ICA Facility level, this one has the aesthetic of something just put together for the sake of training. But this level is much bigger and more open, and choices of bare plywood and such really show off this choice more prevalently. One huge benefit to the bigger size is that it offers the player much more freedom in how they play, making this much closer to giving the player the feeling of a regular level than the first one.

Uniqueness: Meh

The unique quality here seems to really be one of story more than anything that affects the gameplay. The idea is that you aren’t out doing a mission of your own but playing through a recreation of one of Erich Soders past hits. This creates a feeling of competition between Agent 47 and Soders that really comes full circle later on in the first game. It is a cool narrative device, but not one that really stands out.

Mission Stories: Fine

While the former ICA Facility level was a tutorial just for the basics, this level seems to be a tutorial for the mission stories. The highlight here is probably getting the accident kill from making Knight shoot out of a jet with the ejector seat. It is a nice overview of what Mission Stories can be thanks to the variety of results, but they are all so simplistic that there isn’t a ton to really say about them.

SA/SO: Good

This one feels like there are actually a few fun options the player can use to get it done. For this playthrough, I went around the right of the building, scaled to the roof, and dropped a light onto Knight for an accident kill. It involved some fun stealth, with only a bit of patience needed when taking out the few guards that were in the way. While Knight’s tight movement loop means there isn’t much variety to the level, it does lend to it being easy to see where to take him out, and with this still being an early level, this really works.

Feel: Fine

As far as tutorials go, this level feels much nicer. There is slight variety in how to play, and the inclusion of Mission Stories help show that off. Unfortunately, there still isn’t much depth going on. It is the more fun ICA Facility level, but not a super fun Hitman level.

Overall:

This feels much closer to a “normal” level, it is a real improvement. The main things holding it back when ranking it against the rest of the levels, are really just the same elements that make it work well as a tutorial, like the simplicity and scale.

20. Marrakesh – A Gilded Cage (Hitman)

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Level Design: Great

The map for this level is built to create contrast. On one end you have the sterile, pristine consulate. On the other, you have the school that looks like it has been bombed out and condemned. Between the two is small city, that feels like an average between these two extremes. These visual cues between the locations where you find the targets seem to be in place juxtapose the people as much as the places. The white-collar criminal and the military leader trying to stage a coup may have different looks to them, but inside they aren’t that far off.

Uniqueness: Meh

Theoretically, the mission seems to be trying to use the set up of a country ready to revolt, but the problem is that this never really matters. Diana describes this job as a time bomb, and Agent 47 needs to work fast to keep things from getting worse, but these are just words that never add anything. The only evidence of the possible riots that we see is just the protest outside of the consulate, but nothing comes of it. If the mission had some kind of time-based event that took place, this could have been something. It seems like it would go too far if it was an auto-fail if the player took too long, but maybe if the protest turns into a full riot 5-10 minutes into the mission, and this puts Strandberg into a more secure location, or sends Zaydan into the streets, or something. But in the end, this is never feels utilized at all.

Mission Stories: Good

The majority of these Mission Stories are focused on ways to get into the two target’s locations. While they can end in kill opportunities, they don’t really make that the priority. The highlight here is the use of Honeycomb and Cherry Blossom as kind of twin Mission Stories, where the same actions can be done in either location to call the opposite target. When used together, it brings the two targets to one place, where an easy accident kill can be achieved.

SA/SO: Fine

Much like the looks of the locations within this map, the ways to approach these two targets for a SA/SO run felt like a world of contrasts. Zaydan took almost no effort at all. Lethal poison to some food in a shop, and then waking up a waiter who would then deliver it to Zaydan. It took seconds, and I never had to get close to the school. But then there is Stranberg. Even after playing through countless times, I couldn’t think of an approach that wouldn’t just be slowly moving through the consulate, subduing guards as I go, but that isn’t using the level itself, it is just forcing my way through. When I finally reached the second floor, I got lucky with my timing and Stranberg was looking over a rail, and I could toss him off. But I didn’t feel like I earned it, I felt like it was just luck and brute force. It was fine, but nothing more.

Feel: Fine

The biggest problem with this mission is the way in which the targets are located on opposite ends, both completely surrounded by guards and trespassing zones. It just feels like busting into two fortresses. The space between the two targets doesn’t feel like it adds a lot of utility or interest, but rather it just acts as an obstacle between the two. And because the middle section is the only place that is safe without a disguise, this obstacle is more just a matter of taking up some time than being at all challenging or rewarding.

Overall:

While there are some cool ideas at play in this mission, they are never really used in ways that make it worthwhile. For the most part, this all just feels like potential being wasted, and kind of drags on to play.

19. Hawke’s Bay – Nightcall (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (5)

Level Design: Good

Hawke’s Bay acts like a new tutorial for Hitman 2. You start the level on a dark beach, with a single (relatively) small house in the distance, all the lights on to make sure it really stands out. Moments like this are great design choices that basically tell the player exactly what they need to do, without actually telling them. Also, while it is pretty barebones, it offers a few possibilities for the player to take advantage of the set up, like the ability to close the blinds to make their lives easier in the second half.

Uniqueness: Good

The big thing here is that the level is completely empty of NPCs until the player triggers an event to make them show up. This is a way of easing the player into the game. It works really well for what it is trying to do, but at the expense of any sense of danger in the first half. This whole opening section can be skipped after unlocking different starting points though, so that helps it not be too weighed down by this.

Purpose: Great

This is a much subtler version of a tutorial than either ICA Facility level, using its level design to guide the player rather than literally forcing particular actions. While there are no real Mission Stories here, even this concept is introduced with the way the player must break into the computer as a guided experience, and in the way the player can overhear a phone message about the vent, cluing them into a possible poison opportunity.

SA/SO: Meh

There is absolutely no challenge to a SA/SO run in this level unless it is your first ever Hitman level. This one hit a point where I wasn’t even specifically going for it, but I happened to kill Reynard while still in my suit (in her bathroom, after subduing Orson in the shower) and then figured I might as well leave without a disguise. It is better than Guided / Freeform Training in the ICA Facility because there is some degree of stealth involved, but that isn’t a very high bar to go over.

Feel: Fine

If judged entirely compared to the other tutorial levels, this would be one of the best. But it just doesn’t stand out enough compared to the rest. It isn’t bad though, and the use of the foliage to give ways to stealthily cross the beach is fantastic.

Overall:

There is a kind of split between how to judge Hawke’s Bay. On one hand, judging it on the terms of what it is trying to be, it should be rated pretty high. On the other hand, judging it by how it compares to every other level in the trilogy, it can’t even come close to the top half of the levels. While this leaves the scope of what is being ranked here, as an aside I have to say that the Halloween escalation in this level, “The Mill Reverie”, is incredible.

18. Bangkok – Club 27 (Hitman)

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Level Design: Good

The entire level takes place on the grounds of a hotel and is kind of split down the middle between its two towers. The downside to being in a hotel is that the environments within the level can’t change as much as in some others. They do manage to make the two halves feel different by making Cross’s half entirely a trespassing zone, which adds some interest to the level. While the concept of the two towers is cool, it leads to a lot of backtracking when moving between the two.

Uniqueness: Good

It appears that the main point of this level is meant to be its verticality, but it limits the player’s ability to reach its heights. I believe there are something like four pipes that can be scaled (one going from the group to the Queen suite, two going from the ground to the atrium roof, and one going from the second floor to the top on the King suite). More options for moving up the buildings and could have been a huge benefit to the mobility between the two sides.

Mission Stories: Great

Before anything else, the highlight for these Mission Stories needs to be said, and it is that you can make Agent 47 jam out on the drums. It is fantastic (bonus point just for this). Putting that aside, this is a level where the Mission Stories are weighted far more toward one target than the other, though in this case it makes a lot of sense. Cross’s normal movement loop keeps him surrounded by people in a place that is difficult to reach without the right disguise, while Morgan is out in the open the entire time, and so, to have more Mission Stories devoted to Cross has real logic to it. The kill opportunities are cool but nothing too mind blowing, and the backstories gleaned throughout playing these are interesting.

SA/SO: Fine

Ken Morgan can be poisoned in the dinning room. It takes almost no effort at all, apart from remembering/guessing which plate to poison, so he’s almost not even worth mentioning here. But then there is Jordan Cross… This became an issue, because while there are ways to get him away from the studio, they mostly involve talking to the right person in the right disguise. After some thought, I realized I could trigger him coming down to the birthday cake without a disguise, but it took a lot of effort and patience to do it. Grabbing the “27” candle after subduing a bunch of cooks, activating the fire alarm to distract everyone, and then crossing the atrium roof to get into the birthday celebration and place the candle. This eventually cleared the room, and I smothered him in cake, but it felt like such a brute force approach, and anything else I was able to come up with for him felt like it would be more of the same. Basically, it was alright, but Cross felt more like a chore than a fun target here.

Feel: Good

Much of this level comes down to a need for particular things that make sense in the context of being a hotel, but are less exciting to play because of it. You need a master key card to get into many of the rooms, the single security room is a pain because of how crowded it is (inside and out), and even the lack of extraction points becomes repetitive. And then there is how it is a level so built around verticality, with so few means of reaching the higher portions. None of these are egregious problems on their own by any means, but they do weigh down the level to a degree.

Overall:

As far as scoring it goes, this level is completely average. It has some problems, but they all amount to minor annoyances or inconveniences rather than really ruining it. It’s fun, but rarely one I get excited about.

17. Colorado – Freedom Fighters (Hitman)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (7)

Level Design: Good

A farm in Colorado isn’t the most exotic location, and admittedly looks a little bland when put next to just about any other level in the series. That being said, it feels like the perfect environment for the characters it is creating within it, so it’s hard to knock it too much for this. The small house on the far end of the level gets the vast majority of the action, which feels about right in terms of how a place like this would be used. Bonus point for the water tower sniper perch, especially because you can have a sniper rifle put up there as a smuggled item.

Uniqueness: Great

The need for a disguise is never more highlighted than in this level. No matter where you go in a suit it is hostile. This adds extra difficulty, especially when starting (until you get starting locations with disguises unlocked). It works to help build the impression that this whole place is dangerous and not somewhere you should be. Seeing as though it is a terrorist militia’s base, that seems pretty perfect. Overall, this is a really fun idea, but it works as well as it does only because it isn’t used in more levels. If this was the case all the time, it would get boring pretty quickly.

Mission Stories: Fine

Colorado will without a doubt go down as the level with the Mission Stories balanced the least between the targets. There are six Mission Stories divided in such a way that Rose is killed in four of them, and the other targets only get one each (one kills both Rose and Parvati). The reason this isn’t getting even less points, is just because the kill opportunities from them are pretty good. The highlight is messing with Rose until he needs a smoke, and then making him hallucinate.

SA/SO: Great

This was a ton of fun, and honestly easier than I expected when going into it. The fact that the entire map is one massive hostile area makes the whole thing feel more like a puzzle than some other levels. My run here involved taking the perimeter around to the house, sneaking in, taking out Berg in the basement, Rose in his bathroom, and Graves in the kitchen. Finally, I ran around the perimeter again and got Parvati with an accident kill by dropping the haybale on her. Really taking the time to watch how the guards move to slip between them rather than subdue very many feels so rewarding, although, I did end up taking out quite a few in the house…

Feel: Great

The whole point of this level is how dangerous the mission is. You are infiltrating a terrorist militia to find out the secret link between every target you have killed so far. The entire map being hostile, and the number of guns all around, really make it feel that way. It is a fun change to the formula, and makes the player have to look at things differently than usual when trying to be sneaky. While there is a single forced exit for the first playthrough (for story reasons), every subsequent play has the rest of the exits opened up, which is a fantastic best of both worlds kind of approach.

Overall:

I hear some hate for this level being too hard, but I think that difficulty is used in interesting ways that create even more engagement with the game as a whole. While the environment fits the mood, it isn’t quite up to snuff with the others, coupled with the fact that the Mission Stories being almost entirely focused on Rose, the overall score is really brought down.

16. New York – Golden Handshake (Hitman 2)

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Level Design: Good

New York’s bank is the only building in this trilogy that forces you to stay in the interior for the entirety of the level. There is Dubai, which comes close, but it still offers up points to go outside to scale the building. This kind of interior only set up means it limits stealth mobility to only where the player can get around noticer NPCs. There are some nice elements like the very open central section, topped with a clock that hides the office of the target, where she can look down on everything going on. There is nothing exceptionally bad here, but not much that is too exciting either, it is just kind of down the middle.

Uniqueness: Great

The points here are being given out mostly for the ambition behind the concept. This level has you robbing a bank to get the data core in its secure vault. This is an awesome idea, and the fact that you can get a bank robber disguise makes it all the better. The only real problem comes out of it not quite living up to its concept in the very end. Basically, everything about getting to the vault, and opening the vault, feels great. But when you enter it, there are two options: if you have the card, swipe it and the lasers go away; if you don’t, you have to slowly work your way around the lasers like you’re Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment. The style and mechanics of Hitman don’t really allow this to play out in any kind of exciting way. It is about watching the lasers with your Instinct vision, waiting for them to turn off, then taking a step or two. Then repeat. This could be fine, but the third person view hinders it even more, where it really feels like it needs to be top down to have any real success. But, other than this, the concept is great. The fact that the data core is always an illegal item (unless in a briefcase) is a nice touch, and the ability to get the three hard drives from killing or subduing people allows for a variety of play.

Mission Stories: Great

These are very simplistic and seem to be more based around getting access to parts of the level than any particular kill opportunities, but this works for what New York seems to be going for. Things like “The Heist”, which gets you a keycard and disguise to get in front of the vault, but not actually into the vault, makes the player still need to work out how to get inside and pull of the heist themselves, and with that being the primary focus of the level, that works. While being minimal, this is probably the highlight because of how it works with the heist concept. As an aside, I would have loved a Mission Story where you work with the thieves to get into the vault.

SA/SO: Great

It feels so heist-like to do a SA/SO run in this level. My strategy was to get down to the basement via the stairs on the right and drop a gun into the vent from the IT room to get a guard on the vault side to grab it and bring it out. I knocked him out and took the key card. From here it was just a matter of chloroforming the guards in the security room and to get the vault’s key card. I got the data-core and put it in a briefcase to not be more suspicious. Before heading upstairs, I got into the deposit box with the whistleblower paperwork, and then gave it to Ruby to crash the stock market. Then, I just hid in a closet that Savalas would soon be in front of to make a phone call, and murdered her, and put her inside the closet. I left right out the front door with the briefcase in hand, and it felt like a great bank robbery.

Feel: Good

The thing with New York is that outside of the ability to rob a vault (which has a diminishing sense of excitement after a while), it isn’t the most memorable. The environment is looks great, for a bank, but is kind of forgettable in the end. It just feels too confined to really live up to the other levels.

Overall:

If it hasn’t been made abundantly clear yet, this level is built around the heist concept, and has very little else to really bring up. But the thing is, that concept is really cool, and there is something to be said about designing a high concept level to change things up. So, while not everything really works out in the end, the general success of that one piece really pushes this level higher than it otherwise could have been.

15. Carpathian Mountains – Untouchable (Hitman 3)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (9)

Level Design: Good

This is the most linear level. You are on a train, working your way up from the back to the front. Where the design becomes incredibly interesting is in how it differentiates the cars of the train in layout, which windows can be climbed through, and the way ice affects the path on the outside of the train. Because of the tight spaces of the train cars, the NPCs placement and walk cycles are a far more important than is obvious in other levels, and it is fantastic to work out the safe paths around them. While the level is designed amazing, and clearly purposefully, the fact that it loses the sandbox nature or Hitman does lose it some points here.

Uniqueness: Great

There is one single target and a literal train full of enemy guards between the start and the finish. This is the final target of the series, and it makes the player really work to reach him. One very interesting way that the difficulty is accomplished, is by giving the player rusty crowbars and rusty nails that both act as single use tools for breaking into crates or opening locks.

Mission Purpose: Great

The name “Untouchable” could not be more apt for what this level is. It is in reference to Diana’s repeated line that “no one is untouchable”, and Arthur Edwards belief that he’s untouchable. But the thing is, this is also how the player feels completing this level. Whether you gun down all the enemies between you and your target, or you take the stealth approach, you feel untouchable by the time you reach Edwards.

SA/SO: Great

This is possibly the most rewarding feeling to complete in a SA/SO run. And what’s best? You can literally do this level that is filled with enemies without subduing a single one of them. Managing that is amazing. This level might have gotten a 5/5 here, but the single means through which this is possible, makes it not feel quite perfect. It is an amazing example of a linear level though.

Feel: Good

Like most of the other criteria I have gone over, this is just another one where, if this way talking about the level in a vacuum, it feels amazing, but when talking about it in terms of how it feels as a Hitman level… That’s a more specific thing, and relative lack of choice really makes it hard to rate it higher. Points for the final kill though, where you have the option to either have 47 take the serum and go back to the emotionless killer he has always been or kill Edwards and move on with his life.

Overall:

Carpathian Mountains fits as the final mission of the trilogy in so many ways. It is a great and memorable ending, and that’s why it still manages to rank as high as it does.

14. Santa Fortuna – Three-Headed Serpent (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (10)

Level Design: Great

There are so many discrete areas with different kinds of environments in this one map, that it is easy to start to think you are in different levels all together, and yet each connects to the others in such natural ways. If you are looking for a level to just explore, Santa Fortuna is for you. Now, this is a double-edged sword, but that will be talked about more in the next bit. Design-wise, it all looks fantastic. There are a number of ways to scale the few buildings that would benefit from it, and the piranhas eating anyone who falls in the water is a fun touch.

Uniqueness: Fine

The size and variability seem to be the big selling points here. This might be the largest level in terms of just surface area. Within this one level you have a village, a construction site, a jungle, a cocaine farm, a fortified mansion, and a series of underground tunnels that connect to most of these and contains a lab. This is a lot of stuff. The problem comes from the fact that this is just a lot of area to cover while playing. When you try to run from one area to the next, you feel that distance. Less so if you can take the tunnels, sure, but those aren’t nearly as available depending on how you are playing in a given run. Plus, in terms of uniqueness, size isn’t the greatest quality.

Mission Stories: Great

These give great insights into most of the characters. We have things like Martinez’s fling with Delgado’s brother, just getting into Delgado’s mansion teaches you everything you need about his ego, and Franco doesn’t have as much going on but tossing him into a cocaine machine is fun. The highlight here is playing a drum while Rico drops a statue (of himself) onto himself, in a fantastical showing of death by one’s own ego. There is also just a nice mix overall in the types of opportunities these all give.

SA/SO: Great

This was especially fun because I managed to get some unique opportunities for 2/3 of the targets, and none of the three has anything to do with the Mission Stories. I snuck around through the construction site to get to just outside Delgado’s mansion, and fed his hippo some meat. This led to Delgado coming to see his pet and wanting to be alone, so I could feed Delgado to his own hippo. Then I got into Franco’s shed and destroyed a plant he was experimenting with, prompting him to need to get a new one. When he got to a cliff, I pushed him off. And finally, I made another long run around the perimeter to get back around to Martinez’s house. For her I just put emetic poison in a bottle of water and drowned her in a toilet (I would have used lethal poison to save a step, but I wasn’t quite 100% sure if it was her water bottle or someone else’s). This was great, but hurt by just how much space there is between targets.

Feel: Great

This level has so much going on that it is hard to hate on. The fact that it could almost be a few discrete levels all in this one is pretty impressive. It is a bit too large and spread out for my liking (too much time running between places), but as far as problems go, this isn’t the worst to have.

Overall:

Santa Fortuna nails what it is going for, the size, but unfortunately that same thing is what makes it hard to fully love.

13. Dubai – On Top of the World (Hitman 3)

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Level Design: Great

This building is gorgeous. And more than the building itself, the sky around it is so beautifully done. Take nearly any shot through a window or when you’re outside, and it can make a breathtaking wallpaper. The level itself is primarily interior, but you can get outside to scale up the building in particular sections. Even on the inside, there are so many walls that contain vines that you can scale, giving a shocking number of options for ascending this vertical level without needing to resort to finding a disguise to use the stairs.

Uniqueness: Great

In the final game of the trilogy, they really nailed how to incorporate a tutorial into a normal level of the game using the “How the Mighty Fall” Mission Story. Between the quick prologue where you enter the building, and this Mission Story itself, the player is guided through all the basic mechanics of the game, as well as those that are left out of the previous tutorials, including an emphasis on scaling mechanics, and the three new mechanics introduced in this game (the camera, keypads, and shortcuts). Being a tutorial isn’t the most unique or exciting thing, but for its great implementation, it deserves the points.

Mission Stories: Good

I have already gushed about the “How the Mighty Fall” Mission Story, which works amazingly as a sneaky tutorial, but it isn’t the most memorable outside of that. Though it does bring you to an opportunity to kill both targets at once, which is always a plus. The highlight here is becoming an assassin who is being hired by one of the targets to kill Agent 47, and the irony is great. The really exciting kill opportunities here are all done outside of the Mission Stories, making the ones the game chooses to make important feel, well, not so great.

SA/SO: Great

It was a wildly different experience between these two targets. First I took out Stuyvesant in the art gallery using the sun art instillation. This is a great accident kill, and while some stealth was needed, it primarily used public areas with just short bursts of sneaking. After this, the whole thing changed. I needed to reach the penthouse to take out Ingram, and that meant getting through hostile areas. I found myself the exploding golf ball, but this may have been a mistake. It is always fun to get an exploding golf ball accident kill, but moving around the penthouse to annoy Ingram until he goes golfing was kind of a frustrating experience. It is easy to do with disguises, but less so in a suit. But it did work in the end! And having a man explode off the largest building in the world is pretty great.

Feel: Good

In terms of what it feels like to play through Dubai, it is pretty average. The first experience in it is amazing, between the views, and the ways it incorporates the new mechanics makes it feel so different. But after that initial awe, it sort of just fades into the background. There aren’t really any major complaints though.

Overall:

What Dubai has going for it are its aesthetics, and its cleverly sneaky tutorial implementation. While the aesthetics are there no matter how many times you play, the rest of the level is just kind of pretty good.

12. Whittleton Creek – Another Life (Hitman 2)

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Level Design: Great

Whittleton Creek is one of the smallest (non-tutorial) level in the series, but it jams enough into that size to feel like every bit of it is used. This is a level that seems to put an even bigger emphasis than usual on environmental storytelling, especially with things like the mystery of the previous Providence Herald, Schmidt’s, death.

Uniqueness: Fine

As already mentioned, this level puts a lot into environmental storytelling. This is highlighted by the importance of intel in the mission, where you must find at least three specific kinds of intel before you are done. The fact that there are options for each of the three pieces of intel adds a bit of variety to future plays, but this does get old quick. It makes a lot of sense why it is here for story reasons, but it would be helped so much if it became optional on subsequent plays.

Mission Stories: Good

Once again, these are weighed down by the importance of those pieces of intel. In a way it makes sense to have a Mission Story in place to run the player through one way to get them, but it feels like a waste. The final piece of intel you collect with this Mission Story is in Janus’s basement, but given the fact that there is a kill opportunity with Janus in the basement if you use the gramophone for into, this could have been better used. Of course, the gramophone and the lawsuit give the same intel, so there are reasons why this doesn’t work. Overall, these are mostly fine, with the highlight being when you use insecticide to put subdue an entire house full of hostile guards, to walk through and kill a single person. It’s also worth mentioning that two of the three Mission Stories focused on the old man Janus involve blowing him up.

SA/SO: Great

It is relatively easy to sneak in anywhere with a suit within this map, meaning the challenge isn’t so much about how to move around, but how to keep from having the body be found. My strategy here was to quickly get Batty’s lawsuit, and then dig up the cigar box, as they are probably the easiest intel items to get. From here I went to the end of the block to use a basement passage into Janus’s, where I got the picture for the last piece of intel and could easily sneak into his kitchen to poison a muffin for an accident kill. Then for Cassidy, I fed the realtor muffins until he finally went to do his job and put an emetic poisoned muffin in the house for sale to get Cassidy’s guard out of the way. When they went to the basement, I subdued the realtor, shot Cassidy, and got out of there. It was fun, and the fact that I did so much with muffins felt right for this level.

Feel: Excellent

As much as the intel collecting objective is a pain in the butt, Whittleton Creek makes up for it by being a lot of fun to play around in. The size is one of its biggest assets, because it never feels like you are too far from any particular task, and it gives the impression that it is all more connected just by the nature of proximity.

Overall:

This is getting repetitive, but the biggest thing holding this level back from being in one of the top spots is that damn third objective. It just isn’t interesting. Nearly everything else in this level does legitimately feel great, so whenever there are other kinds of missions in here, even just contracts, they are always ones I gravitate toward.

11. Chongqing – End of an Era (Hitman 3)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (13)

Level Design: Great

Above ground is a neighborhood that looks to be on the decline, homeless people sadly scattered throughout its back alleys. The rain is pouring to really build this bleaker atmosphere around the whole place. And then, you find the ICA facility, hidden underground where it is kept spotless and more futuristic. While the laundry mat sits on the furthest side of the map from where the targets move around, it still feels connected to the rest thanks to the sniper perch on the roof.

Uniqueness: Good

The big thing here is mainly based around story. There is a final objective, destroying the data core, that can only be done after the two targets are killed. This makes perfect sense in terms of story, because the moment is Agent 47 deleting all reference to his ties to the ICA before, in essence, killing the ICA. This could even be taken so far as considering it as killing a part of Agent 47 himself, or at least a large amount of his history. This also ends in a great stealth escape sequence, moving through vents and around hallways, as you escape the facility that is now on fire. Because of the way this forces itself to be done last, taking away some player agency, it is hard to love it in a Hitman level, even if it makes perfect sense for what it is. Thankfully, it only needs to be done in the first playthrough, and as an option objective it isn’t so bad.

Mission Stories: Excellent

There is a lot to love from these three little stories. With two of them, you get great insight into the targets and what they are doing, and it leads to two fantastic and unique kill opportunities. But the highlight here comes with “All-Seeing Eyes”, which is of course based around being a sniper, and gets you a double kill opportunity, and even works as a super easy SA/SO run.

SA/SO: Good

This is going to sound weirdly hypocritical compared to what was just said, but as great as it is that “All-Seeing Eyes” is a super easy, sniper based, way to do a SA/SO run, it feels kind of cheap. This is how I ran it here, and while I love a lot of it, the fact that it was just using the Mission Story exactly withut any extra thought from the player, well, I didn’t feel great about it.

Feel: Great

The rain sets the perfect mood for this level, a mood that is made even better by having Olivia in your ear instead of Diana. She just has this more aggressive energy to her that fits so well with the particular mission. It is a very different setting that is super interesting to explore.

Overall:

In the end, Chongqing is a very good version of a Hitman level, with a final objective that plays as one of the most thematically important moments in the series. The biggest issue this level faces is that the sandbox style of the game is at odds with how this plays out, whether it works well for the story or not.

10. Haven Island – The Last Resort (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (14)

Level Design: Excellent

Haven Island is a decently sized circle, split into three main sections. The bulk of it is taken up by the resort itself, and then it has a mansion and small private island separated off and filled with guards. This level is a beautiful island that feels relaxing to move around in, and it is the environment and simplicity that really create a nice experience to be in. While it is almost entirely flat, it uses foliage to continue to grant the player opportunities to move stealthy through spaces.

Uniqueness: Fine

The weather system in this level seems to be what it is highlighting, and it is cool, but can easily go unnoticed. The level starts on a bright shiny day, and after a while can become a horrible thunderstorm. The only issue is that this mainly plays out through a darkened atmosphere and sounds of thunder. While it is understandable there isn’t rain because of technical limitations, it does keep this from really living up to what it could have been, especially after seeing how they pull off rain in Chongqing.

Mission Stories: Good

There is very little to these, but they do weave together in interesting ways. Both “Idle Hands” and “A Lucrative Opportunity” are centred around the same USB drive, and you can do both, using “Idle Hands” as a step in the middle of “A Lucrative Opportunity”. The way these can then work with “The Shape Changer” to lead to a way to accident kill two targets is the highlight here. But even with how they mostly blend and work together, there isn’t a lot going on in them individually.

SA/SO: Great

What was cool with this SA/SO run, was that I was no where near any of the targets when they died by accident kills. I got Vetrova by subduing and hiding Portman, and unlocking the floor hatch, so she would fall through. I got Williams by sneaking into his mansion and poisoning his pills. And I got Bradley by putting a bomb in his water scooter and giving him the keys. This was fun because it used different kinds of stealth than I often have to use. I was getting out of fields of vision by maintaining distance and ducking into foliage. I felt a need to rely on kill opportunities brought up in the Mission Stories but tweaked to allow me to do them in a suit, which kept them at least a little more interesting.

Feel: Excellent

Pick the shark hut and just hit play and you start off with Agent 47 just relaxing on a patio chair, staring off into the ocean. This is the feeling that most of Haven Island has. I just love playing in it. It is the relaxed atmosphere and relative scale that really makes it enjoyable to come and have fun in. As an extra plus, you have the ability to bring all three targets into one place (the server room) and gas them all with poison at once.

Overall:

This is a real small but sweet level in the same vein as Whittleton Creek. The atmosphere and environment are really what sell it, but the weather system just doesn’t go far enough, and the Mission Stories don’t make themselves memorable enough, to really take it over the top. The addition of a treasure hunt with map pieces to find and a treasure to dig up is great.

9. Mendoza – The Farewell (Hitman 3)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (15)

Level Design: Great

The final normal level of the trilogy steps away from the darkness that fills so many of the Hitman 3 missions, and instead places itself in a bright happy day, in a classy winery. The true joy of this level’s design is just how many ways it manages to use this environment for kill opportunities, from dumping someone into one of the wine tanks, to flatting someone with the grape crusher, to just simply poisoning someone’s glass of wine (and more!).

Uniqueness: Great

This is the second level use the idea that there is a particular NPC that can’t be killed, but this time, it is Diana Burnwood, Agent 47’s partner. This plays out so differently than it does with the Constant in Isle of Sgàil, because this time it really feels like it matters to the gameplay. There is at least one Mission Story that puts Diana in danger, meaning there is actually a reason she might be killed without just the player doing it by accident. On top of this, Diana will help Agent 47 with particular kill opportunities, making it feel like the pair are really partners in the field for the first time.

Mission Stories: Great

As already mentioned, so many of the kill opportunities in this level that use the environment in such great ways, and the Mission Stories are the same. There is a great variety here, and even a couple different ways to have other people kill Vidal for you. The highlight is having Yates’s sniper kill Vidal, with Diana helping you get her into position.

SA/SO: Good

This is where Mendoza really loses points for me. Where the biggest problem lies is the fact that I went into the level with so many ideas on how to get the kills in very cool ways, using interesting things I had learned throughout the level… but none of them could work. One by one, it turned out each needed a disguise at some point, even if it doesn’t really make sense that it should need that. In the end, I got Yates by emetic poisoning his food (which had him walk all the way from the main event, to the bathroom in his house, which makes no sense!), and got Vidal by subduing the guards in the central security room, so I could kill her when she came in. Vidal’s murder especially felt cheap, but after a lot of trial and error, I was just too frustrated to find a better way to do it.

Feel: Great

There is a lot of great stuff in this level! For one, you can get Yates’s own wife to murder him for you. The Mission Story gives the player the signature suit before going to exit the mission by dancing with Diana is such a fantastic send off to the series (at least as far as the regular levels are concerned).

Overall:

In so many ways, this level is the spiritual successor to Isle of Sgàil. Mendoza takes Sgàil’s main conceit and improves on it so well. While a winery is not nearly as cool as a secret society’s island castle, it does at least feel comparative. In terms of just how it uses the Diana, it is amazing, but it is held back so much by the SA/SO run.

8. Paris – The Showstopper (Hitman)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (16)

Level Design: Great

This level is a fashion show in a massive Paris building, even sprawling outside to the edges of the property. The fashion show is focal point of the entire level, not only being literally in the middle, but having everything else seeming to be built around it. To one side is the public areas to get to it or have a drink, and much of the rest of the first floor is devoted to behind the scenes, and then the top floor is an auction selling secrets. Between the variety in the security within the single location, and the number of ways to move around it, this first level really shows off what Hitman has to offer.

Uniqueness: Good

A key aspect to Hitman is the disguise system, and this level puts it front and centre, not only in the gameplay, but thematically. This is a level built on needing new disguises to reach higher portions of it, while taking place a fashion show, where people have literally come to see the clothes people will put on. There are also two disguises that act as skeleton keys to get just about anywhere, actions that can be taken to allow you to enter the auction in your suit, and even a fun vampire magician disguise (it’s not super useful, but these sillier additions are always fun).

Mission Stories: Great

There is an eclectic collection of stories presented here, leading to a variety of kill opportunities, as well as really presenting some story for the game. Through these you are getting a real look at what is going on with IAGO, and how they’re using models to get information to sell. The most interesting kill opportunity has to go to “Playing with Fire”, which can end with throwing Margolis down onto Novikov to kill them both at once.

SA/SO: Great

This was super fun, and what seemed to be the easiest method turned out to be a nice fusion of knowledge from the Mission Stories and from just wandering the map. Using the IAGO invitation, I could get up to the auction in my suit. On the way, I had to get a little stealthy to get the fireworks remote, but aside from that quick detour, I was never even trespassing. The double accident kill could not have been easier.

Feel: Great

This is the first proper level of the Hitman trilogy, and it really shows off what the series is. The level is fun to explore and there is enough going on that discovering what the level has to offer feels rewarding. It is also a huge plus that the security room is located in such an easy location to sneak to. Every single run I make a quick detour down there and didn’t have to worry about cameras at all.

Overall:

Having the first level take place at a fashion show was just an amazing choice, as it really sets up the importance a core mechanic of the game. The idea of Helmut Kruger, this famous model, looking exactly like Agent 47 is a joke that never gets old. And the fact that the two targets are never even on the same floor, but still feel connected in various ways shows the degree of care put into it.

7. Berlin – Apex Predator (Hitman 3)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (17)

Level Design: Great

Agent 47 ends up in rave, where ten unknown targets are hunting him as he attempts to kill them first. The setting plays such an important part because it is a mass party where everyone is suspicious, a contrast that does so much for the atmosphere of the mission. One big reason that this level doesn’t get a perfect 5/5, is the inclusion of a radio tower for an awesome sniper perch, where you can only actually get a shot on four of the minimum five targets needed to finish the level. Even if the last target was incredibly tricky, having such a great sniper perch and not being able to do a full sniper run from it feels like a tease (this probably bothers me more than most other people…).

Uniqueness: Excellent

Where every other level is about is about Agent 47 coming into a place knowing exactly who he is taking out (or, in the Maelstrom’s case, at least having a pretty good idea), this one has you start with absolutely nothing. In the first playthrough, this goes a step further by starting you off relatively far from the level itself, on the side of a highway, building this creepy sense of dread as you stumble across a man who’s been stabbed, and you struggle to find Olivia. This level is all about making the player feel like the perfect hunter even with no prior information, and it does do a great job of that. It is a huge bonus that depending on where you start the mission, you can have the targets hidden or seen with Instinct right off the hop.

Mission Stories: Great

Here’s the thing: technically, this level doesn’t have any Mission Stories, at least not in the typical guided experience, but they do still exist. Take for instance, when you first arrive outside the rave, there is a man talking on the phone about needing to find some pills. Go get the pills for him, and he makes you his plus one to get you into the club. There are so many of these scattered across the level if the player is really looking and listening for them, with the highlight being one that leads to five targets coming to you, and where you flip a desk to reveal a shotgun and kill them all in a shootout.

SA/SO: Great

This was deceptively easy, but in a fun way. I took a loop behind the rave from the left, and then climbed to the top of the main building where turning off the power led agent Green to me. Headshot, hid body, done. Then I stayed on the roof and crossed the bridge to the biker hideout where I dropped a bag of bricks on Agent Thames for an accident kill. Next up, a run across the biker roof and down some stairs took me to Tremaine, who I subdued and threw him over the edge for an accident kill, so that it wouldn’t matter if he is found. After this I ran across the biker hideout and then down some stairs to end up just outside of their security room, where Agent Rhodes likes to lean against the window. I pulled him through, snapped his neck, and hid the body. Finally, I poisoned the food on the delivery scooter and rang the doorbell so that it would be brought in to kill Agent Lowenthal. It just worked out as a bonus that I could then use the delivery scooter as an escape. All of this was great, and it really felt like there were enough ways to do these kills that it could have been just as possible to do it with the other five possible targets, focusing on the rave rather than the biker hideout.

Feel: Good

The concept for Berlin is really badass, but unfortunately, the way it goes about making Agent 47 feel hunted by these ICA agents, has the side effect of making them all feel less important than usual targets. Each of them feels almost like normal guards rather than high priority targets, and while the fact that there are ten and you only need to kill five keeps the level feeling fresh with more possible ways to play it, it also adds to this feeling of them being less valuable on their own. There is so much that is great here, but this one element feels a little off.

Overall:

Even with the minor problems with it, Berlin is a great level. So much of it is about challenging the player in a different kind of way and making them feel more responsible for how badass Agent 47 can be. And most importantly… Florida Man is back!

6. Mumbai – Chasing a Ghost (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (18)

Level Design: Great

Another example of level with great variety within it. From verticality of Rangan tower (which is made more unique by being under construction), to the bustling maze of the slums, to the abandoned trainyard fortress. There is so much character even in the environment and how this level is laid out.

Uniqueness: Great

One of the three targets here are a complete mystery at the start. The Maelstrom’s appearance in not known by the ICA, so, you need to figure out who he is before you can actually take him out. What is extra interesting, is that he is randomly generated between a few NPCs with each playthrough, so you can’t just memorize his clothes and take him out. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to figure out who he is, between finding one of the pictures around the level, or just having him attend a meeting.

Mission Stories: Great

The highlight here is without a doubt the chain of Mission Stories involving the Kashmirian. This series of three can have him kill two of three targets for you, and then leading you to the Maelstrom, and is a ton of fun to do. Outside of this, the collection is pretty good, with a couple interesting kill opportunities. Because of how the “Picture Perfect” can lead down a whole chain, the Mission Stories are perfectly balanced between the three targets, which is great.

SA/SO: Excellent

In every other level, even though I have played them all a ton in the past, I went in with an open mind about how I would eventually do the SA/SO run. With this one, before I even started, I knew I would use the Kashmirian. I just love the way this plays out, and is so much fun to stealthy make happen. I set up the Kashmirian for his sniper shots on Rangan and Shah, and then rushed into the Crow’s hideout where I hid in the room the Maestrom would eventually meet Kashmirian. The wait here was longer that I would like (because it gives you ample time to steal Kashmirian’s disguise), but it was such a fun journey outside of that fact.

Feel: Great

You can put a train through Shah’s entire base if you aren’t aiming for Silent Assassin. That alone already makes this level stand out. Honestly, this level is pretty great. The biggest problems are that the slums can be difficult to navigate, and looking for Maestrom can take a little effort, but neither of these are deal breakers by any means because of how lively the level feels and how many ways are given to identify the Maestrom.

Overall:

Pretty much every aspect of this level feels really good. It is a fun location that uses its space well and creates natural separations between the targets. Just like any other level ranking so high, it is hard to find negative things to say that aren’t just nitpicks, like, it would be nice to have a few more ways to bring the targets together.

5. Dartmoor – Death in the Family (Hitman 3)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (19)

Level Design: Great

The map for Dartmoor is incredibly small, with minimal variation, but while these qualities may not always be positives for an average level, it perfectly fits what this one is trying to be. This level is all about the details of a space, and so by keeping it small, it puts more emphasis on those rather than having the player taking in a massive area. The use of secret passages is both great from a gameplay perspective, as it is a huge plus for a stealth based game, but it also fits the genre that the level is imitating. And then there is the safe combination, which is the most explicitly a puzzle game kind of puzzle that this trilogy ever gets.

Uniqueness: Excellent

More than anything, this is a level that goes incredibly high concept. While it isn’t the only way to play the level, Dartmoor is primarily designed around the “Means, Motive and Opportunity” Mission Story, in which Agent 47 disguises himself as a private investigator to solve a locked door murder mystery. While it doesn’t entirely pull off this feat, it manages to get incredibly close, which is an impressive bending of what a Hitman game and its mechanics are capable of. Things like the ability to accuse people other than the real murderer to get different results, or the fact that doing this one Mission Story can lead to the completion of both objects really help it feel worth it even after the initial solving of the mystery. On top of this, the option to play it like a normal Hitman level is always still there if you don’t choose to take advantage of this (although, without this concept the level would definitely be ranked much lower).

Mission Stories: Great

The greatest Mission Story for the level has already been talked about, but I will still give it as the highlight for the fact that telling Carlisle that her brother did really kill himself can get you the file you need, and have her kill herself, completing both goals with a single lie. The other Mission Stories here are fun, the fact that you literally take a picture of Carlisle being electrocuted for one and bury her in her own grave for the other, are such great kill opportunities.

SA/SO: Great

Any chance to get a SA/SO run with a sniper is always a bonus. I had a sniper smuggled into the graveyard and shot the birds nests while I was grabbing it. From here I had enough time to scale to the top floor of the house (using the shortcut to reach the very top), and break into the safe for the file before Carlisle reached the graveyard. From here, I shot her into her own grave when no one was looking. The mansion has a nice number of ways to scale the outside making it feel possible to really get around in the suit.

Feel: Great

I love murder mysteries. I have been reading Agatha Christie for years, I loved Knives Out, Clue is the best movie to ever be adapted from a board game, so, well, I was primed to love this from the second it was announced. While the mystery itself is basic, it is about what can be expected from a game that is only trying out the genre for a single level. While it can’t really be denied that the level has less going on when you don’t play this particular Mission Story, there is still enough here to have fun with it.

Overall:

How this level ranks probably comes down entirely to how the particular player feels about the murder mystery aspect. Personally, I loved it, and that is a big chunk of why it is scoring so well here, but it is very easy to see how if you don’t like it, the entire level could probably fall to somewhere near the bottom of the rankings. In so many ways, this level feels like it is what Whittleton Creek tried to be in terms of how it has the player pushed more toward intel and environmental storytelling, but far more successfully.

4. Hokkaido – Situs Inversus (Hitman)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (20)

Level Design: Great

Out of every level in the first Hitman, this is the one that most demonstrates what will come to be a regular split between the levels in their design. Hokkaido is approximately half spa and half super high-tech hospital. It fuses calm and serine with mechanical and sterile. The two oppose each other so much but fit together so seamlessly. On top of this, the entire level is a maze of corridors. There are very obvious paths to go around, but with the right disguise or key card the player has all kinds of other paths opened up to them to move between places in new ways.

Uniqueness: Excellent

Hitman’s main stealth mechanic is its disguise system, and this level takes that system to the extreme. While most levels use disguises to let you roam freely between different places, this one literally makes the disguises into the keys to the locked doors. Looking at the first game as a whole, where the first proper level tells you the importance of disguises by taking place at a fashion show only to have the last level use them in this way, is pretty fantastic bookending. What really makes this perfect is that it can be negated future playthroughs by finding a master key card (and if you start in the morgue, you can grab this pretty much immediately), keeping it from ever needing to feel too forced.

Mission Stories: Great

It is impressive how many ways there are to kill a man who is in the middle of surgery. This level has a nice variety of kill opportunities around the Mission Stories, it balances them pretty well between the targets, and has one that is just to infiltrate the hospital side of the level (which brings back Helmut, in a way, which is another case of beautiful bookending with Paris). The highlight here is that if you do “No Smoking” first, which has you delivering a pack of smokes to Yamazaki’s room, then you will likely stumble upon a USB in a computer. Taking this and plugging it into a computer by Soders’s surgery and then doing most of “Malpractice”, without taking the surgeon’s disguise, will lead to the surgeon killing Soders for you.

SA/SO: Great

This one was surprisingly fast to do, and really made learning the level feel so rewarding. I started in the morgue and paid a quick visit to Mr. Smith to get a master key card. After this, I basically performed the “Tell-Tale Heart” Mission Story to destroy Soders new heart super easily. Then I made a quick run over to the spa section and shot in Yamazaki’s direction. Doing this triggers her to run to the gondola to escape the level, and shooting the gondola gets an easy accident kill.

Feel: Great

As mentioned in an above section, while the disguise-as-key concept is really cool, it is a massive benefit that the player can grab a master key card so easily to overwrite that whole idea. This gives the player far more freedom, especially when doing a Suit Only run. The level is spread out but very easy to get around when you come to know how it all connects. It maybe could have gotten a perfect score here, but even with all they do to create a variety of ways to kill Soders, he still isn’t quite as fun as he would be if he were mobile.

Overall:

Hokkaido ends the first game on such a high note. This is just another example of a level where basically all the complaints about the level are the tiniest of nitpicks, because outside of that stuff, it is actually really great. Also, shoutout to the Godzilla Easter Egg. It sucks to do, and I have no idea how the first person to do it was able to figure it out, but it is cool that it is in here.

3. Isle of Sgàil – The Ark Society (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (21)

Level Design: Excellent

Isle of Sgàil’s use of verticality feels like it is what Bangkok was trying to be. This level is all about going up through a castle, with two especially large towers as peaks. There is such a myriad of ways to traverse this level, between the usual stairs, an underground passage, and a huge number of ledges and pipes to scale. It is how these ways to get around are weaved through the entire level that really make it stand out.

Uniqueness: Good

If the Constant dies, you fail the mission. There is also an optional objective at the end to force him to the boat exit, which adds to the narrative of the series very nicely and gets some great dialogue, but is only really worth doing a couple times at most because it is a long slow walk that exists basically only for that dialogue. While this is all interesting, it doesn’t really affect much of anything. There aren’t exactly times you need to make sure he doesn’t die, you just, don’t kill him. Basically, this is cool in what it does for the narrative, but often makes no difference at all to the gameplay.

Mission Stories: Excellent

There is such a fantastic variety of kill opportunities in these. And in terms of what it takes to work through them, the addition of one starting out as a scavenger hunt is a really interesting idea and fun excuse to explore the map. The highlight here is definitely trapping Zoe in the phoenix effigy, but there is a lot to love from most of them.

SA/SO: Great

Managing to stay Suit Only in Isle of Sgàil is the biggest challenge here to this run. The two targets never go anywhere that is actually within the non-trespassing areas for a suit, and so, the player needs to get familiar with how to move around the outside of the castle. My run here involved starting at the dock and quickly making my way up the side until I reached the area with the funeral. I waited for Zoe to come around, shot the wall under the gibbet to make her check it out, and shot the gibbet to get an accident kill. Next is where it got tougher, where I slowly moved up from the funeral, in and out of the Ark Society lounge, around the building on a ledge, and into the small room with just two guards that Sophia often visits. I subdued and hid the guards, placed a coin directly under a chandelier, and when she came to pick it up, I shot down the chandelier. But even escaping was no easy task, I used the ladder in the warehouse, and nearly got caught in the very last second.

Feel: Excellent

When first arriving in this level, it feels so large and imposing, but as you become familiar with the map it gets to be so fun to get around. On top of everything already talked about, the atmosphere created by the dark night and this old castle on this lone island is so great and perfect for what was the final mission of the game (before the DLC levels came around).

Overall:

Taking out the new leaders of a secret society in a castle located on a nearly unapproachable island is such a great way to culminate the second game. The fact that it contrasts so much with Hokkaido’s bright and futuristic hospital/spa is an added plus. When the biggest thing holding this level back is that its third objective barely matters, that’s a pretty great sign of its general quality.

2. Sapienza – World of Tomorrow (Hitman)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (22)

Level Design: Excellent

Sapienza is a pretty massive level in which all of the targets are contained in just a single section of it. While on the surface this seems counter-intuitive, like it could render the rest of the map moot, it rewards the player who takes advantage of searching through these other areas by giving them new insights into how to get to the targets. The three sniper perches that surround the mansion, each of which give you a line of sight on at least one target, is already a great use area outside of where the targets are found.

Uniqueness: Great

This is the first mission to bring in an objective that isn’t killing a target, and in this case, it is destroying a virus. In many ways it essentially becomes a similar type of objective to killing a target who doesn’t move. The flexibility in how to perform this task does keep it from feeling like too big a pain in the butt for future replays, but in the end the fact that it remains stationary means there are only a finite number of ways to take it out and keeps it from feeling fresh after a while.

Mission Stories: Great

So many of these are focused on Caruso and his relationship to his deceased mother. The highlight of the stories is when you can have Caruso faint because he believes his mother’s ghost is haunting the mansion. While De Santis does get a few Mission Stories more focused on her, the balance is definitely waited more on Caruso, which means trying to complete them all will eventually have the player only worried about him. None of these are too over the top, but the focus was clearly just meant to be put on character development for the targets.

SA/SO: Excellent

Once again the sniper comes up as a huge plus for a SA/SO run. My method here was to go to the church where I could get the biolab key card, take out the security footage, and then head to the bell tower for a sniper perch. From here I could shoot the panel off the telescope controls and then turn it on. When Caruso came to check it out, I could shoot him through the telescope. After this, it was a quick run into the lab, where I took an entrance that only required subduing two guards. I shot the virus with the sniper, waited for De Santis to come to check on it, and shot a stalactite to have her die in an accident. All around it was a fun time.

Feel: Great

This level feels damn near perfect as far as a Hitman level can go. The only thing docking a point is that the destroying the virus eventually does start to feel repetitive to need to do every time.

Overall:

There is a reason why Sapienza is talked so highly of when listing Hitman levels. It is so much fun to play in and uses its size in incredibly interesting ways. This level reaches so close to feeling perfect that the only things holding it back are really nitpicks that only reveal themselves when playing the level repeatedly in a row.

1. Miami – The Finish Line (Hitman 2)

Ranking Every World of Assassination Hitman Level — Unsupervised Nerds (23)

Level Design: Excellent

This is a level that is beautifully vibrant and alive. It takes a racing event that is primarily flat with just a couple short buildings and mixes it with a large tech expo and lab to switch to a more vertical design. While the targets stay on opposite sides, there are multiple ways to make them interact with each other, including throwing Robert onto Sierra’s car to kill them both at once.

Uniqueness: Great

One target is in the middle of a race when you first begin. This leads to some interesting opportunities, including messing with the car during a pit stop. While it is close to being almost like Soders, the fact that the race ends – and that you can even cause it to end sooner – gives it a best of both worlds feel. You can take advantage of this new kind of situation, or you can treat her like a normal target after the race.

Mission Stories: Excellent

These are great. So much so that I can’t pick a single highlight, I needed to go with two: feeding Robert Knox some of Florida Man’s coconut balls (poisoned, of course), and walking around as a bright pink Flamingo to eventually kick Sierra Knox into a hole. Mission Stories manage to take you to just about every end of the map, they lead to some unique kill opportunities, and are generally just fun to do.

SA/SO: Great

This was pretty fun, but not my favourite, though it could be in part because I felt spoiled for choice. I spent a little while half thinking about so many different ways that I missed the timing on a few interesting ones by not committing. My eventual method here was all about the poison. I started in the marina and made a quick run to the medical pavilion to knock out the dude who can’t pee, and then poisoned the IV. Doing this, it was just a matter of waiting for the race to end, and the doctor would poison Sierra for me. Then I ran back to the marina and went into the Kronstadt building from the basement and worked my way up. I subdued a couple guards on the top, put poison in Robert’s eye drops, and turned his AC to dry so he would use them. Then I just hung out on the helipad for both to take the poison and left via the helicopter.

Feel: Excellent

They managed to put so much variety into Miami, it is hard to ever get sick of it. Taking out both Knoxs by throwing Robert onto Sierra’s car was such a proud moment when I first figured out how to do it. And then the Easter Eggs with the flamingo (both turning NPCs into flamingos and flying away as a flamingo to exit) are hilarious. This is just a fun level all around.

Overall:

With Hawke’s Bay acting as a tutorial, this is the first normal level in Hitman 2, and what an amazing start to the game this is! It is actually pretty hard to think of any complaints about the level at all, or anything I would hypothetically want to be handled differently. This is without a doubt the best level in the World of Assassination trilogy, and does so much to earn that ranking.

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