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The Suspicion Meter (also known in-game as the Tension Meter) is a recurring gameplay feature which made its first appearance in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, and appeared in all later Hitman games. Its main function is to inform players of the level of NPC suspicion against Agent 47.
Hitman: Codename 47
The suspicion meter is not present in Hitman: Codename 47, as the guards are never able to see through 47's disguise (unless they see him partaking in an illegal activity, such as entering/seen in restricted area, dragging bodies, killing, or armed with a weapon unless the disguise worn allows it).
However, specific individuals are able to see through specific disguises instantly, such as Tzun, who can instantly recognize Agent 47 if he is disguised as a bodyguard.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
The suspicion meter first appeared in Silent Assassin. It is located near the health bar in the top left corner, and indicates the suspicion 47 is under through oscillations of a bar.
The more the amplitude and frequency of the oscillations, the more suspicion Agent 47 is under. Oscillations are black colored, but becomes red if amplitude becomes more serious.
If the bar starts to oscillate at maximum frequency, Agent 47's cover will be blown and the disguise will become useless. Being seen killing, pacifying, attacking, entering a restricted area, dragging bodies, picking up the locked doors, or remaining in restricted area after being ordered to leave (if ordered), etc will result in immediate cover blown.
In Hitman: Contracts. the suspicion meter is identical to its appearance, functionally, in Silent Assassin, except now being aligned vertically like the health bar and located in the bottom left corner of screen.
Hitman: Blood Money
Suspicion meter's mode of function is changed in Hitman: Blood Money, as it indicates suspicion through the rise of a bar instead of oscillations. Similar to Contracts, the meter is located near the health bar in bottom left corner of the screen. The bar also changes its color from green to red depending on the suspicion 47 is under.
- At the beginning of a mission, the bar will be empty, indicating zero suspicion on 47. Depending on 47's actions, it will rise accordingly.
- The bar may rise slightly and become green as the game progresses. This indicates NPCs are aware of 47's presence or distracted by something. For example, when 47 walks up to a guard disguised, or when 47 distracts NPCs with a coin.
- The bar becomes yellow and rises to a medium level (almost 50-75% of the bar) when guards are alerted by gunshots, discovery of a body or explosions. The bar would also become yellow if 47 is under high suspicion, or is seen in a restricted area, or seen doing minor crimes such as trespassing, sneaking in front of people and climbing obstacles. Being seen picking a lock in a public area will also cause this.
- The bar becomes red and rises to a high level (more than 75% of the bar) if 47 is under very high suspicion. For example, if a guard is very close to seeing through 47's disguise, the guard will follow him around for a while. If he does not get away quickly, his cover will be blown. This can also be the result of 47 refusing to obey a guard's orders, such as leaving a restricted area. If this is the case, the guard will point his weapon at 47. If 47 does not immediately comply, the guard will shoot.
- If the bar becomes full, the guards now perceive 47 as a serious threat, and will open fire on him. If 47 is wearing a disguise, his cover is blown. Being seen doing serious crimes, such as holding a weapon, attacking or sedating will trigger this. This can also happen if 47 is seen doing minor crimes continuously or repeatedly. Going through a guarded entrance without an appropriate disguise will also cause this. Being seen successfully picking a lock, or picking a lock in a restricted area will cause this too. If every witness is either incapacitated or killed, the bar will decrease back to green, unless the area is on full alert.
In Hitman: Absolution, the suspicion meter's mode of function and appearance was changed once again. The meter appears in a form of light-yellow curves around 47, with their direction indicating the direction of threat/suspicion. The curves become yellower and wider with an edge as the suspicion rises, and as it becomes maximum with a pointy edge, 47 is spotted.
- If 47 is seen in a restricted area, he will be ordered to leave. If he doesn't leave, he will be ordered to surrender. Refusing to do this will cause the guards turn hostile and attack 47.
- If 47 is seen in a hostile area, he would be instantly ordered to surrender without being ordered to leave. If 47 is seen doing activities like picking up objects/performing actions not allowed in a specific disguise, or dragging bodies, he would also be ordered to surrender. Seen killing/pacifying/attacking someone will result in guards immediately turning hostile towards 47.
- If 47's cover is blown, he would be asked by the specific person to get close to him and let him see his face. He will be ordered to surrender either he does it or not. Entering a hiding spot in this condition will cause the guard to leave.
Multiple meters now appear, depending on the number of guards/people watching 47. If 47 is spotted by hostile enemies, the direction of threat will be indicated by a full, light red-colored curve with an edge. If 47 receives a bullet, the direction from where the bullet came will be indicated by a dark red, small crescent.
Like other HUD elements, the suspicion meter is not visible on Purist difficulty.
In HITMAN™, the suspicion meter is somewhat similar to that of Absolution.