Death To Spies 3 Infilitrates Kickstarter

Specifically this spy, one would assume.

When your crowdfunding campaign fails, it’s time to have a good think about what you’re doing. Death To Spies 3 devs Haggard Games tried last year to raise $80,000 to finish their Hitman-ish murder simulator through Indiegogo, but only drew $982. Oof. They went back to work, and a year later released a demo. Now they’re back on the crowdfunding trail, launching a second attempt on Kickstarter. They’re after $85k (~£52k) this time to take the series timeline from its roots in World War 2 through to end and beyond into the Cold War.

While reminding me of how terrible I am at stealth games and that quick saves are the greatest invention in games, the demo showed some promise. Once I felt out the edges of the stealth system and alert statues, it was strong. It’s less about sneaking around and avoiding lines of sight than not lingering too long in suspicious positions. Finding ways to assassinate targets without any (living) witnesses was the main challenge.

Haggard want every level to be open, so they’ll have multiple ways not only to get to targets, but to deal with them as well. Executions that look like accidents means your cover is less likely to be blown. Some missions in the final release will also have two additional characters to switch between dynamically and combine the powers of. Olga, a femme fatale, and Viktor, a sniper and master of explosives.

It certainly has the ambition of a game that’s been developed quietly for years. By many accounts the first games weren’t exactly masterpieces, and some of their problems are still present in the demo. If you’re still interested, $15 gets you the game until the Early Birds run out, $20 thereafter. Release plan is to get the first two missions on Early Access in December, followed by monthly updates of new levels and other content.

21 Comments

  1. schlusenbach says:

    Offtopic, but: Does anybody else have problems with the kickstarter videos in firefox? Only sound, no picture? Started perhaps three days ago?

  2. Stardog says:

    Much better series than Hitman these days.

    • Supernaiivi says:

      The first thing I thought of when I watched the KS video was that this looks very similar to Hitman: Blood Money which is a good thing in my opinion.

      I’ve avoided the first too simply because the animations just look fairly clunky to me. It seems like they’ve put more effort into the animations this time and hopefully this will turn out to be really good.

  3. TheLordHimself says:

    I’m really hoping this game turns out to be good. I almost bought bought the predecessor in a recent sale, but bailed at the last minute cause of reports of dodgy AI.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      The AI is fine. They are difficult games, but that’s the point.

    • Yglorba says:

      You should play them. The AI, as far as I recall, is fine; the main issue in the first one was that most levels were a bit sprawling and empty. The second one tightened them up considerably, though, and added a lot more to do.

      The series is a pretty decent Hitman clone overall. Not quite as good as Blood Money, but significantly better than Absolution.

  4. jezcentral says:

    I backed this. I’ve been after Hitman: Blood Money 2 ever since 2006. This won’t be it, but it will help tide me over until Io Interactive get it out the door. They really seem to have got the message after Absolution’s reception.

    There were actually some very cool systems in Absolution, that went unnoticed in the disappointment over the uncool stuff. They chucked in stuff like area-last-seen without even mentioning it, while a game like Splinter Cell: Conviction made it one of their central marketing bullet-points.

  5. manny says:

    Hitman series peaked at 2, every game since has been a big disappointment. Great to hear there’s an alternative.

  6. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    The original two games were really good, if you want old style hitman set in WW2.

    I would say the first game was a bit rough around the edges (and hard!!!), the second game really improved on it. Sneaking around nazi and allied bases (you’re soviet after all) was great fun.

    Definitely worth a shot if it’s on sale, you can pick up the gold version (includes both games) for a tenner on amazon.

  7. subactuality says:

    They had me at “Cold War”…

  8. Dances to Podcasts says:

    “quick saves are the greatest invention in games”

    Amen!

    • Megakoresh says:

      One of the few things I didn’t like in Absolution, is it’s awful saving system. Yeah, every stealth game ever would always benefit from quicksaves. There are no exceptions. No reason not to have them.

      • Yglorba says:

        One reason not to have them:

        They do tend to turn some situations into “repeatedly try the same thing over and over again with slight differences until it works.” That isn’t very fun.

        One thing I like about Hitman’s save system (on the hardest levels, anyway, when you can’t save in-level) is that it forces you to put together a reliable, safe strategy rather than just hammering a risky one until it works; to me, this is more fun and feels more engrossing. Additionally, it works well with Hitman’s open levels — there’s many ways to approach each level, so you can experiment each time you start the level from the beginning, instead of doing the same thing over and over. (The fact that most Hitman levels are fairly short when you have a plan also helps a great deal — they’re designed with its lack of in-level saves in mind.)

        Absolution screwed this up in a few ways (less open levels, so restarting meant more repetition), but I absolutely liked starting levels over in Silent Assassin and Blood Money; to me, the best Hitman levels are kind of like puzzles which you explore by playing them repeatedly from different angles until you hit on a solution, so your final attempt feels like you’re actually a competent Hitman with a plan rather than just some bloke who gets lucky because you can rewind time a few seconds whenever anything goes wrong.

        (I like quicksaves in other games, don’t get me wrong. But in Hitman specifically, I prefer the idea of taking the entire level as one big puzzle, designed to be solved quickly once you have a proper plan, rather than as a series of disconnected challenges you get past by saving and reloading. Again, this is another place where Absolution dropped the ball — its levels tended to feel more like disconnected challenges.)

        One of the few things I disliked about Death to Spies was that its sprawling level design made it unreasonable to start levels over, so I found myself just brute-forcing problems with save-reload rather than making the more elegant plans I’d use in a Hitman game.

  9. Haggard says:

    Hey folks! Thank you all for supporting us!

  10. HadToLogin says:

    Is it this game where you play Russian equivalent of German SS/Gestapo/Whatever-the-worst-were-called?

    • default_name says:

      Rather a game where you play a Russian equivalent of Tom Clancy’s heroes.

  11. Pemptus says:

    DtS: Moment of Truth is excellent and you should all try it. Still a bit clunky, but less so than its predecessor, and the missions have many interactive elements and ways to go about the objectives, a la Blood Money.