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Disguises are a vital part of gameplay in the Hitman series.
In all eight Hitman games released so far, Agent 47 can disguise himself as an authorized gentleman of an incapacitated or dead unplayable gentleman's body. In some cases, disguises can be found throughout the level individually. When he takes one, the clothes he is wearing at the time are left behind. Depending on the prestige of the disguise, he can be granted access to various areas that would otherwise be prohibited for entry. This allows him access to certain actions otherwise not possible (such as performing the wedding ceremony in Till Death Do Us Part) and carrying visible weapons relevant to the disguise. In Absolution, certain disguises can also be used to hide at safe spots.
Most disguises available in the games are of common bystanders such as workers or guards. Taking them allows 47 to blend in with them and go by more or less unnoticed, unless (in most games) he stays too close to them for too long, at which point guards will see through it and become alarmed. While guards aren't as observant in Codename 47 and Blood Money, it has been so in the other games. In Absolution, guards are able to see through 47's disguises if he is dressed like them, though he can cover his face to sneak past them at the cost of Instinct. If the disguise is seen through, it doesn't instantly mean 47's cover is blown, but it means the player has to walk out of view before the guard catches on.
Certain disguises have additional physical abilities, such as the SWAT disguises, which improve Body Armor, the radiation suit in The Bjarkhov Bomb, which protects against radiation and the swimming trunks in Traditions of the Trade, which prevents carrying too many weapons.
In Blood Money, 47 gets penalized on difficulties over Rookie if he leaves his original suit behind in the level when exiting. On most levels this is easy enough if the starting point is in the same place as the exit, but on others, such as A Vintage Year, the exit is more heavily guarded and/or in a restricted area and requires some stealth to access.
In the World of Assassination Trilogy, various characters called "enforcers" are able to see through certain disguises. These enforcers are not necessarily members of the group whom the player is disguised as, as their ability comes from either awareness of the staff in a particular area, familiarity with a specific work team, an ability to spot small uniform errors, or an eye for other characteristics that the player cannot imitate. They are often supervisors or high-ranking characters, the personal bodyguards of targets, and some targets are disguise enforcers as well. A small number of characters are even able to recognize 47 as a threat while he is in his civilian clothes (starting suit) due being especially observant. Enforcers aside, security uniforms will normally allow the player to be openly armed without attracting attention, with the exception of sniper rifles, which are unusual enough to arouse suspicion in all but a handful of outfits. Various civilian clothes will also allow the player to carry items that are normally considered forbidden weapons; for example, cooks are permitted to carry kitchen knives.
Like previous games, disguises that include a gas mask or equivalent will permit the player to safely enter a contaminated environment.
An NPC that has been disrobed but not eliminated will, if revived, run to a wall locker and don an identical uniform. NPCs can sometimes change their uniform on their own in this manner, though this is extremely rare.