HITMAN (or H6 as I’m used to calling it) does things differently. Very differently. In previous cases, we could simply go through the main story of each of the games and be fine with it. We could disregard anything that happened in the meantime, any lesser side stories told within the missions themselves. Here we could, arguably, still do that. It’s just that we would be missing most of what makes the game interesting. H6 takes pride in its environmental storytelling. Every mission is a separate story, which ultimately makes sense as every mission is a separate episode. They all link up in the end, however. They are all important in one way or another, so we do have to make sure to round up the side stories told during the missions themselves for it to make at least a tiny bit of sense. Keep in mind, there are tons of little details that don’t fit anywhere in the grander scale of things just yet. These may be random name drops or mentions of events that don’t link up to the overarching story. We will also be talking only about Season 1’s main episodes. No Elusive Targets, no Bonus Episodes, no Patient Zero. None of that business. Main story only. So let’s not dawdle anymore. If you’d come here to read my ramblings on the game itself, I’m sure you’d just click the HITMAN Opinion Pieces button instead.
H6 throws most of Absolution out of the window – apparently it still happened but forget about the leftover plot holes, sequel baits and all of that other jazz. It’s irrelevant now. The main story takes place in 2019 and we start out in Paris. More precisely – Palais de Walewska – where there are some shady deals going on in the background of a prestigious fashion show. Viktor Novikov – originally a man of many talents, such as corporate espionage, arson, kidnapping and insurance fraud – bonds with Dalia Margolis to create IAGO – a spy ring using models as their cover agents. In addition, the duo blackmails a famous fashion designer to work with them and use it as a disguise to hold a secret auction. The goal is to exchange information, albeit not all is well in the World of Assassination.
Speaking of a world, the crowd consists of people from all around the globe. The invitations were sent out to folks like Prince Po or Sheik Salmon al-Ghazali. Generally people with power but not the best of intentions. That’s not very surprising as IAGO holds some impressive information. So impressive, in fact, that Viktor Novikov himself is sought out by a peculiar mysterious man who is willing to help him in exchange for the IAGO dossier. Help with what, you ask? Even though Novikov ran away from the past and settled to be protected by Margolis, he has more problems than he realizes. A case against him was set up by the FSB and the news was picked up by an editor for the “Showstopper” magazine. If that’s not enough, Dalia herself plots his assassination. Viktor agrees to give up the dossier to quietly get rid of some problematic people. Someone (whom I’m going to be calling Our Main Bad Guy from now on) is now in possession of truly powerful information…
Other shady deals are definitely happening in the meantime. The MI6 themselves ask International Contract Agency to get rid of Viktor Novikov and Dalia Margolis, as they don’t want precious information leaking out to the world. Given the high security of Palais de Walewska (currently crawling with employees of a security company called CICADA), the task seems impossible at first. But not to Mr. 47 himself, who succeeds in eliminating both of his targets.
Our next stop is Italy and the ever beautiful tourist town of Sapienza. It’s not all as pretty as it looks on first glance, though, as beneath the great residence of the Carusos lies a secret underground lab. In it – a deadly virus is on its way, developed by a pharmaceutical corporation called Ether. Invisible and impossible to detect, the virus has potential. To add to the list of greatness, it can be encoded with its target’s DNA, spread across the globe and leave hosts unharmed until the DNA strikes a match. 47 is to eliminate Silvio Caruso – a stem cell researcher, the lead of the project and probably one of the best characterized targets in the entire series – and Francesca De Santis – a research scientist who’s working on the virus. The ICA also has an additional objective for our protagonist. Sneak into the lab and destroy the virus. Seems easy enough… It definitely is for the best assassin in the world. But what’s with up with Our Main Bad Guy?
One week after the hit, Ether is still wondering what happened at the lab. Our Main Bad Guy uses information ripped from IAGO’s hands to follow a certain fella (who we later learn is one of the “Heralds” – we will learn about them later) to an underground parking in Johannesburg. A few names are brought up: Cobb, Providence. Our Main Bad Guy achieves his goal, gets a key and then straight up kills its previous owner. Classy.
Across the world to Marrakesh where heavy riots currently take place! Claus Hugo Strandberg – the former CEO of Morocco’s private bank has been accused of investment fraud after a reporter revealed his criminal activities to the public. He’s currently residing in the Swedish Consulate after mercenaries freed him from transport. Involved in his escape and manipulating the entire situation is Reza Zaydan – a military general and author of fake propaganda. Their original plan was to evacuate Strandberg via an underground secret tunnel, which doesn’t mean much as he would be eliminated during his flight to Argentina. All of this orchestrated by who else but the mighty organization we’ve heard of before – Providence – whose Zaydan is a part of. Unfortunately for them, 47 gets to Strandberg first and kills him and the general, ruining the plans of them both.
In the meantime, it appears someone else was quite busy. Previously name dropped dude AKA Cobb was found dead and with it, a secret door was opened and the insides of some very important room were exposed! Apparently that’s what the key was for. Who knew?! Anyways, we now learn another name – Director Fanin – and that Providence is under attack. Who do we know it from? Some guy who doesn’t get a name for the entirety of Season 1 so we will call him a “stereotypical wannabe mysterious” syndrome dude. Yes, I need to give him some name, he will be important later…
Oh hey, we’re now in Bangkok where Jordan Cross and his band are recording their next single. His father is a powerful figure who ends up dead a week later after being kidnapped during the funeral of his son… whoops! Spoilers! Jordan gets killed, too, albeit by Mr. 47 himself. Interestingly enough, his second target of the mission is Ken Morgan – an attorney not just to the Cross family but also a representative of such giants as Hamsun Oil, Kronstandt Technologies (we could hear about them back in Paris but there was no point in mentioning them) and Ether Corporation. After the hit, 47 and Diana meet up at the airport to talk about some secrets in public. The ICA found out that the shadow client (or Our Main Bad Guy) had his hands in their recent operations but no need to worry as the analysts are already on his tail. Damn, the Agency works fast!
And if you thought this piece is going pretty fast as well… Colorado is where a lot of information comes into play all at once. In fact, it was this mission which holds the most worldbuilding and attempts to tie everything we’ve just talked about. So hold on to your seats. This will be quite a ride.
The trails led the ICA to a remote farm in the USA. A one which, conveniently, is currently used as training grounds for a private militia. One of the people involved in said organization is Sean Rose – a radical activist and bombmaker, responsible for several terrorist attacks and Thomas Cross’ (Jordan’s father) kidnapping. That’s not the only thing the Agency analysts managed to find. They also came across traces of a 24-year-old hacker by the name of Olivia Hall, who is actively working with Our Main Bad Guy, as we can see during a later cutscene.
As the stakes get higher, so does the target count. Besides the aforementioned Sean Rose, 47 is also to eliminate Penelope Graves, Ezra Berg and Maya Parvati. You can totally forget about the last gal as she’s completely unimportant but the other folks show potential. For example, Penelope was brought up to the militia for being “best of the bests” but no one really knows if she really switched sides. After all, she used to lead a manhunt against Sean Rose before inexplicably joining him in his fight. In reality, she is working with the shadow client behind the scenes, asking difficult questions and trying to get close to Mr. Rose. She is familiar with IAGO, knows about Cobb’s death and met Olivia Hall herself before coming over to the farm.
But she isn’t the only one working with the shadow client! Ezra Berg is, too! In fact, he is holding a hostage. A man only referred to as “Herald”. From their little investigation, we deduce that Heralds are Providence messengers and key holders. Other terminology includes a “Constant” – the leader of the Heralds – and “Partners”. Apparently, Providence has their people on every IAGO auction to contain information they deem important. They stay in the shadows, don’t intervene, only coming out of hiding when absolutely necessary. Our Main Bad Guy’s role in all of this is to destroy them. He is working with a group of people to make this happen. He is the one behind the kidnapping of Thomas Cross, tracking and eliminating Cobb for his key and ransacking Providence’s vault. In addition to all of this, he uses the ICA to do his dirty work, stay anonymous and yet still have problematic people taken care of. What a sneaky guy! Just as sneaky as our man 47 who ends up killing all of the Colorado targets and getting access to a hidden room in one of the houses’ basement. The ICA now knows all of the previous hits were connected – the targets were all part of Providence. Also, they have a Providence mole right in the Board of Directors.
This is also the time to reveal another huge plot point. Our Main Bad Guy was eyeing 47 all along, going as far as to follow him to Colorado. He and Olivia Hall are exchanging observations throughout the phone call, and we learn the shadow client is actually one of 47’s “brothers” from back in Romania. Not just that, he and 47 were quite close during that time, and he claims he knows 47 “better than anyone”.
Before moving on, let’s look at one more detail now that we know Cobb was one of the Heralds. Eugene Cobb was a bank director in New York and apparently quite a hot topic. He died in an airplane catastrophe and the black box has gone missing. This led to many assumptions, one of them being that his successor wanted him dead. What was the name of his successor, you ask? Fanin. Why is this important now? One of the targets in Hokkaido recommended him as Cobb’s successor. Who was that?
Yuki Yamazaki – a secret operative of Providence… in addition to being one of the best lawyers in Tokyo. She has ties with the yakuza – being their go-to attorney – and Masahiro Hayamoto (whom you might remember from Silent Assassin). There is another familiar name involved in all of this. Erich Soders. You see, our Prologue guy Soders ended up joining the ICA Board of Directors. But that wasn’t enough. He also became a mole for Providence as they offered him money to prolong his life. We learn that he suffers from a rare condition in which his internal organs are reversed. He now needs a heart transplant and, as you might imagine, right-sided heart donors are a tiny bit tough to come across. Providence arranged the best medical care by getting him all the way to Hokkaido, Japan, where a weird futuristic robot called KAI is going to perform the operation. To tie things up, it was built by Kronstadt Technologies. The company, as well as Ether are what is called a Partner to Providence. They are working on technologies not available worldwide which Providence wants to control and use for their limited purposes. They also want to get their hands on the Agency. Why? Multiple reasons, I assume. One of them of course being 47 and his connections with the shadow client. Speaking of the best guy the ICA has, he completes the hit on both Yuki and Soders and flees. In the meantime….
Remember the “stereotypical wannabe mysterious” syndrome dude? He’s back, too. He just “happens” to be on the same train as Diana Burnwood and he uses this opportunity to strike a deal with her. He offers her a job for his organization but she isn’t interested. After all, that would be making Soders’ mistake again. A mysterious photo brought by the wannabe mysterious dude might change her mind though.
You’ll have to wait for Season 2 to find out!