Hitman Freelancer is the new free roguelike game mode that Io Interactive has added to Hitman 3, and in some ways it feels like a brand new game. From his cosy lil woodland safehouse, Agent 47 has been tasked with taking down crime syndicates across the globe, using whatever tools and weapons he can lay his hands on.
At first, you only have your trusty Silverballer pistol. Gearing up means scavenging from your surroundings, or completing missions and challenges to earn Merces—the currency with which you buy new weapons and equipment from Suppliers. Once you've dropped enough targets, you'll have to hunt down the syndicate leader in a make or break mission. If you lose, say goodbye to your gear and guns, and it's back to square one. For series fans used to the silent assassin approach, it can be a lot, so here are seven Hitman Freelancer tips to help you get started.
Get yourself a silenced pistol
Freelancer mode is less precious about who you kill, and so silenced weapons are worth their weight in gold. However, they are hard to find and cost a lot of Merces to procure from Suppliers. The best way to get a silenced pistol early on is to take down an assassin and steal theirs during a syndicate leader mission—the final mission in each segment of a campaign.
The fact that failing this mission means failing the whole campaign does make it risky, but assassins can still be lured with thrown objects, and seeing as they often stick close to your target, dealing with them is helpful in its own right. You'll also receive a warning when an assassin is nearby. Silenced sniper rifles are extremely valuable, too, but sadly you'll have to buy one of those from a Supplier, or get it from a reward crate earned by defeating a syndicate.
Couriers aren't always worth the risk but safes are
Couriers and safes are both excellent ways to score extra Merces in Hitman Freelancer so you can buy guns and equipment, but safes are a far less risky proposition. It's rare to find a Courier who is easy to pacify and not in a public place, so you often risk exposing yourself to take them down. Safes, on the other hand, may be located in secure areas, but once you procure a disguise, it's easy to get to them, scan a few items, and collect the Merces. Opening the safe is actually the only high-profile action involved, but just wait until no one's watching. It's also worth noting that all of the previous, non-Freelancer Hitman 3 keypad and safe codes are the same as before.
Be precious with good weapons, less so with gear
Decent weapons cost a lot to procure from Suppliers in Hitman Freelancer, and considering their selection is random, it can take a long time to get what you need. Many of Freelancer's challenges are also tied to weapon rarity, ie, silent takedowns with epic melee, so that adds even more value to the rarer weapons you collect along the way. There's no point loading yourself up with an arsenal of weapons when it might take you multiple missions to acquire them again if you fail. Instead, be selective and take what you need to complete challenges.
While you don't lose guns from your safehouse when you fail a campaign, you do lose all of your gear, so you don't need to be quite so precious with it. Gear is far cheaper than guns to purchase from Suppliers, you can get it in Stashes, or you can even find free versions around the map, such as emetic rat poison, rusty crowbars, kitchen knives, hammers, screwdrivers, and coins or soda cans to throw. If you're lacking the means to complete a challenge, check in with your Supplier as they might also have what you need on the cheap.
Don't be afraid to shoot your way out
It's hard to break from the silent assassin mindset of Hitman, but freelancer rewards you more for completing specific challenges than it does for not getting spotted, or stashing bodies out of sight. Don't get me wrong, all of these things are good practice, get you more XP, and lead to a less hostile map to work with. But you shouldn't be afraid to go guns blazing if it's the only way you're going to get out alive, especially in a syndicate leader mission where death means a failed campaign.
If discovered, take out the few people around you and quickly get away from the scene to find a new disguise or hide. If escape isn't possible, get yourself in a room with a single doorway and thin out the guards as they come to apprehend you. The good thing about completely bottling a mission and going loud is you can then explore the map, collect stashes, safes, couriers, and stock up on guns.
Taking down the wrong syndicate leader is actually useful
This tripped me up multiple times in Freelancer. I saw a suspect in a syndicate leader mission who matched 90% of the criteria, so rather than risk running across the map to get eyes on the others, I tried killing them and was wrong. Turns out that you can kill or pacify the other syndicate leader suspects, and provided their body isn't discovered, the real one won't try to flee. They also often drop a phone that lets you arrange a meeting with the other suspects, so you can take them all out in one, or get a good look at them all and decide who the actual target is.
Find what you need on the map or in your safehouse
Why spend your precious Merces on what you can get for free? Since you visit the same maps over and over in Freelancer, it's worth establishing where you can find certain items. Is there a hammer, screwdriver, or crowbar in that toolshed? Is there a propane canister in the garage? Is there emetic rat poison in that bathroom? Stashes are another way of getting what you need, providing a random selection of three items that you can use. While doing things cheap is a little harder, you don't have much choice for completing challenges when you've just failed a campaign and lost all your gear.
You might not want to potentially lose precious gear on a regular old mission either—no point risking that fancy ICA lockpick when a rusty crowbar can also get the job done. As you unlock new rooms around your safehouse, it's worth noting that you can also grab items from them for use in missions. Freelancer is a mode all about improvisation, so there are plenty of ways to beat challenges without using the fanciest equipment, though it can definitely make things easier.
Stack Prestige objectives and choose campaigns based on what you have
After a while you'll unlock Prestige objectives, and these challenges often line up with what you already have to do in certain missions. Stacking these is a very easy way to get a load of Merces without too much extra effort. When choosing a campaign, it's also worth factoring in what weapons you have to work with, since some challenges centre around silenced weapon kills, headshots, or kills with different melee types and rarities.
You might even want to open your free supply crate in the safehouse before you choose, so you can select an item that will help accomplish one of the campaign challenges, such as a grenade, or a poison syringe. It'll only help with one challenge, but even that gives you some extra capital to work with on subsequent missions.