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Monday, November 5, 2007

Husband, Father, Contract Killer...

Over the past week, I've read that the Hitman activity in Saints Row is one of the most frustrating activities in the game. In fact, GameSpot suggests that the activity is for "completionists" only and reminds readers that they don't need to complete all the side-activities in Saints Row to complete the game. Well, call me a completionist because I managed to take out twenty-one more "innocents" in Stilwater over the weekend.

The weekend started off quite slowly from a gaming point-of-view. I spent all of Friday night helping my wife calm our newborn son. Unlike video games, it seems that soothing a screaming child is not something that one gets better at in time. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I've gotten worse at stifling my son's cries. I've tried hugs, kisses, holding him upright, sideways, turned in towards my body, turned out, in the car, in the baby swing, and laying on the bed in the master bedroom: nothing works. If we were living in the seventies, I'm sure our pediatrician would suggest a good belt of whiskey or something. Nowadays, our pediatrician simply tells us "That's babies!" and gives us a little laugh. But that's enough about babies...

Saturday saw me log three hours of playing time! Sure, it was touch-and-go for a while and I had to change diapers and hold kids intermittently but I got to play! It was great!

And finally, I managed to squeeze in another hour and a half last night to finish off all twenty-four Hitman targets and pick up the Contract Killer achievement! For those of you who are looking for advice on how to finish off the Hitman activities (doubtful given that the game is over a year old), let me go through my hit list.

Chinatown Hitman Missions

  1. Jackie (Vice 9): Jackie was an ambulance driver. I called 911 a few times in while in Saints Row (the district) and Jackie was driving the third ambulance that showed up. A couple shots through the windshield with my Vice 9 and that was that.

  2. Alan (Knife): I found Alan in the Arena district, near the Ultra Dome, at around 3 PM. He was on the sidewalk just north of the Dome itself. I ran up and did the stabby-stabby thing to take him out.
  3. Jose (T3K Urban): Jose was wandering the Trucking district in the afternoon. As soon as I entered the district, three possible "Jose" targets appeared on my mini-map. One of the Jose targets had a meeting with the business end of my T3K.

  4. Roxanne (NR4): Roxanne was a pain in the ass to find. I drove around the Apartments district for quite a while and could not find her. I eventually made my way downtown and towards the suburbs. It was still morning as I drove around the Suburbs looking for Charles (see below); instead, I happened upon a buxom blond woman wearing a white dress. After verifying that she was indeed Roxanne, a quick double-tap with my NR4 saw her pushing up daisies.

  5. Charles (Nightstick): I bumped into Charles a few minutes after the Roxanne "incident" and only a couple blocks away. Perhaps Charles was curious to see what all the commotion was about? I pulled up in my Five-O and gave Charles a few quick whacks with my nightstick to put him down.

  6. Juan (Tombstone): I found Juan sitting on a bench just outside of the Ultra Dome at around noon. I was actually looking for Bucky at the time but got lucky to find Mr. Red Speedo himself! After verifying that there were no other "red speedo freaks" in Saints Row, I let Juan feel the sting of a shotgun blast to the chest.

  7. Bucky (Hand Grenade): I found Bucky in the Arena district while trying to run from the police. I accidentally knocked a police officer down when I noticed that he was holding the nightstick that my grandmother had given me a few Christmases past. This seemed to upset local law enforcement and I found myself running through the back alleys and hiding. However, when I saw the Hot Dog Man crossing the street a block down, I couldn't help but bust out of hiding and tossing grenades like a crazy mo-fo. The first five grenades missed my target. The sixth grenade knocked Bucky off his feet; the seventh knocked him into a better place.

  8. Bill (K6 Krukov): While robbing the Friendly Fire in Downtown Saints Row, I accidentally set off the alarm. While this brought a few officers to the scene of the crime, things didn't get hairy until I managed to blow up ten or fifteen Five-O police cruisers...and a helicopter...and a old lady crossing the street with the help of her walker...and the S.W.A.T. team.

    That's when the FBI showed up! Thankfully, a burning 2x4 piece of wood had fallen across the front door to the Friendly Fire which prevented any of the officers or agents from entering the shop. This gave me plenty of time to rest up and heal. And it also gave me a good vantage point to see Bill setting up shop behind the passenger door of a nearby FBI SUV. A few controlled bursts from my K6 Krukov took down a fine FBI agent while also unlocking a platinum A7 Riot shotgun at my crib and unlocking Mr. Wong as a homie!

Airport Hitman Missions
  1. Chris (SKR): I drove to the Airport district at around 10 am. Chris appeared on my mini-map almost instantly. I quickly ran up to the side of his Newman mail truck and took a shot at Chris. I think I hit the car door although I don't recall the specifics. I do remember Chris driving off like a crazy person, leaving me no choice but to chase him down. Thankfully I had infinite sprint (thanks to completing all the TAG locations) and caught up with Chris at the next set of lights. Taking no chances, I pulled Chris from the safety of his mail truck and filled him full of holes with my SKR. Messy but effective...

  2. Thomas (Baseball Bat): I found Thomas wandering the Docks and Warehouses district at 9 AM. No muss, no fuss - just a whole lotta swinging and a little bit of screaming.

  3. Julia (Vice 9): I found Julia one morning in the Suburbs while looking for Marty. Unfortunately, I realized that I was holding an NR4 instead of a Vice 9. With very little choice in the matter, I popped over to the nearby Friendly Fire and bought a Vice 9 before returning to the Suburbs. Imagine my dismay when I noticed that Julia had disappeared completely from the area. Only a scant few minutes prior, Julia had appeared on almost every single street corner. And now? Gone.

    I decided to drive down to Barrio to see if I could find Julia there. As I drove onto the Freeway, Julia suddenly appeared on my mini-map in three separate locations. I stopped the car and quickly jumped off the freeway overpass in an attempt to either shoot Julia while in mid-air or, failing that, simply land right on top of her. Unfortunately, neither of my plans worked and I found myself walking out of what I assume was a nearby hospital. Imagine how happy I was to turn around and find myself face to face with none other than Julia! It took all of three seconds to pull out my Vice 9 and take care of business.

  4. Theresa (Knife): Theresa was a lady of the night who seemed rather proud of her robust stature. She was easy to spot as I drove down the main drag in the Barrio district. As I pulled over to the curb, she must have thought that she was about to make a sale until I jumped out of the car brandishing a large knife. Wrong place, wrong time for poor Theresa...

  5. Gabriel (Tombstone): A quick drive down to the Factories district in the afternoon. A few leisurely laps around the area and I found Gabriel. One little shot from my Tombstone and he was down.

  6. Bill (Molotov): After taking out Gabriel, imagine my surprise to find Bill riding a rather large bulldozer just a block away. I pulled Bill from his ride and threw him to the ground. As Bill scrambled to his feet, the air turned to flame as a thrown molotov cocktail shattered on the tip of his dirty steel-toed boots. I took the bulldozer and left Bill to cook on the streets of Stilwater.

  7. Tina (GDHC): It was mid-afternoon when I found Tina roller-blading in the Museum district. A couple shots from my GDHC ended her workout early.

  8. John (McManus): A botched attempt to rob the Sloppy Seconds in Saints Row and an officer down brought out the S.W.A.T. team. As I ran to evade the police, I found John standing by a S.W.A.T. truck. Instead of trying to gun me down, John began running. While that was a little odd, it made it much easier for me to take him down with my McManus rifle. As soon as John hit the pavement, a gold-plated GDHC handgun was unlocked for me at my crib!

Project District Hitman Missions
  1. Richard (.44 Shepherd): I found Richard wandering the High End Retail district during morning rush hour. A couple quick shots with my .44 ended things quickly.

  2. Hank (Molotov): It was mid-afternoon when I made my way to the Museum district. I knew I was looking for a delivery truck driver so I started looking for delivery trucks. It only took a couple minutes to find "borrow" a yellow delivery truck and start cruising the district. Within seconds, Hank appeared on my radar. I tracked him down, pulled him out of his truck, and hand-delivered a Molotov cocktail. Before I could ask for his signature, Hank was gone.

  3. Louise (RPG): After picking up an RPG earlier in the day, I bumped into Louise in the Downtown district just outside the loan building. Actually, I didn't bump into her so much as my rocket propelled grenade bumped into her. Boom!

  4. Marty (Baseball Bat): It was early morning in the Suburbs district and Marty was out for his morning walk. I happened to be in the Suburbs too...only, I was out for a little batting practice.

  5. Billy Bob (12 Gauge): A nice warm mid-morning in Saints Row makes the Downtown district quite nice. Shops, lattes, museums, cowboys, and crazed hitmen carrying 12-gauge shotguns.

  6. Henry (T3K): It was a beautiful afternoon in the High End Retail district. I'd just bought myself an expensive new suit. I spotted a limousine nearby and decided that this ride would make for finer transportation than the beaten up Capshaw I'd driven to get downtown.

    As soon as I hopped into the limo, Henry showed up on my mini-map. I tried to make a quick u-turn but screwed it up and promptly lost all traces of Henry. I drove around the block a few times and was about to give up. And then, I spotted Henry consulting a map or fiddling with his iPhone; regardless, he was preoccupied. If only he'd taken a second to look up from what he was doing, he might have noticed an impeccably dressed young man fast approaching with an automatic weapon out of its holster and ready to fire.

  7. Don (.44 Shephard): I couldn't find Don in the Projects. I couldn't find him in the Red Light district. Instead, I found him wandering the streets just west of my crib on the other side of the construction yard. Two hopped fences and a short run later, I found myself pressing the muzzle of my .44 into the back of Don's head before pulling the trigger. Poor Don...

  8. Dick (Knife): I scoured the Downtown district, the Projects district, and Chinatown for an hour and a half looking for Dick. I finally found Dick wandering Downtown near the Police Station. See Dick walk. See Dick run. See Dick fall down. Bye-bye Dick.

    For taking care of Dick, a platinum T3K was unlocked at my crib.
Besides unlocking a few great weapons at my crib, I also picked up 10 gamerpoints for completing the Contract Killer achievement and a platinum rocket launcher is now available for me at my crib. Sweet!

Now that I've got the hardware (GDHC, T3K, Riotgun, and RPG), my plan is tackle the following achievements:

  • Scavenger: Time to stop the killing and focus on the stealing. The Chop Shops in Saints Row are looking for some cars and I know just where to find them.

  • Fast and Furious: A number of the vehicles required for the Chop Shop activities can be found while working through the Hijacking activities. Why not kill two birds with one stone? I'll complete all the hijacking activities that come my way, being sure to drop off any rare cars at the local chop shops as needed.

  • Vandal: Now that I've got my very own platinum RPG launcher, I should probably put it to good use. I can't think of a better way of doing so than by working my way through the Mayhem activities available for me in Stilwater.

  • Professional Thief: I really shouldn't have any problems robbing Stilwater's various stores at night given the time I've spent playing Saints Row lately. Steal a delivery truck, gather up some homies, and go shopping - piece of cake!

I look forward to further describing my exploits in Stilwater: the most exciting town this side of Liberty City!