In late 2018, I became obsessed with Hitman 2. My friend and I were both playing missions at the same time, attempting to devise the finest, most hitman-like routes through each. We had a lot of fun dissecting the dozens of esoteric kill tasks, but there was one crown jewel of Hitman challenge runs that we took very seriously: the SASO Master (Silent Assassin, Suit Only). SASO Master is a tremendously enjoyable challenge in what is already one of the best stealth games ever created. And one of the most difficult maps to pull off? Sapienza.
To give you an idea of how difficult the challenge can be, consider the following conditions for an SASO Master run:
- You must never remove Agent 47’s suit.
- You must not be spotted engaging in any illicit activity.
- Unconscious or dead bodies are nowhere to be discovered.
- You are only allowed to kill targets.
- If you are caught on camera, the recording must be destroyed.
- On top of that, you must play on Master difficulty, which means
More security cameras have been installed.
There are no visible camera vision lines.
Guards have more acute senses.
You are only permitted to save once.
So it’s essentially the conclusion of three challenges—Master, Silent Assassin, and Suit Only—all of which must go flawlessly. The most difficult obstacle is accessing Sapienza’s many restricted zones while entirely ignoring the disguise system. In a Suit Only mode, Hitman transforms into Splinter Cell with the addition of night vision goggles.
Why is Sapienza so difficult? Surprisingly, it is not Silvio Caruso and Francesca De Santis, the two main targets. The main challenge comes from the side objective of the map, which is to get inside the basement lab and kill the virus in creation. I couldn’t figure out how to go into the lab without being noticed. For hours, I unsuccessfully sucker-punched guards until I saw a strange computer in the underground cave that I hadn’t noticed previously. It required a USB key that I did not have, so I set out to find one.
My friend and I were perplexed until one day when I chose to investigate the chapel in a remote section of the map. That’s when I realized that if you go to the church at the beginning of the mission, you’ll find a lab scientist visiting the morgue. When I knocked her out, a USB key slipped out of her pocket. Jackpot.
I restarted my run, left all the dominoes in place (but with a trip to the mortuary on the agenda), went down to the lab, and bang. The key activated the computer, which remotely eradicated the infection without requiring any physical contact with the lab. I went out on Silvio’s beloved jet like a perfect little ghost.