Don't get me wrong. I love this game. It is one of my fondes memories of gaming history. But I hate it.
The concept of the game is good enough. You are a hitman. A professional, cold blooded, killer. And nothing makes this clearer than the first mission. You are sent to asassinate a croocked police chief, while he's negotiating with the local Triad. And you also have to frame said Triad while you do the dirty work.
Fine. All in a days work. Mission begins, and you have no clue as to where to go or what to do. You wander around, trying to get your bearings, when a message pops up. "police chief has entered the area". No mention of where he's going, so you follow him to a restaurant, and is quickly denied entrance by his guards. Another message. "Triad leader has entered the area". That's it. You check your map. He's on the other side of town, and before you get to him, he's entered the restaurant where your primary target waits.
Restart. Go to the corner where the Triad leader spawns. Kill him. Wear his clothes. Go to the restaurant. Lose all my weapons at the door.
Restart. Go to the restaurant before the police chief gets there. Leave gun at the toilet. Go to the corner where the Triad leader spawns. Enter restaurant. Talk to the chief. Excuse me, and go to the toilet. Kill chief and all guards. Escape.
Mission failed, did not frame Triad. Restart. Repeat. Put Triad badge next to chief. Escape. Mission accomplished.
And herein lies my grief with this game. None of the steps were presented to me, or even hinted to me, at mission start. It was all guesswork and a bit of trial and error. And it's the same for every single mission to follow. As much as I love this game, I just can't overlook such a grave example of game design. The second game of the series was far better at hinting at solutions, but didn't have as engaging a story.
So there you have it. My own personal reason to hating (and loving) this game. Do you agree?