The Human Shield feature is a game-play tactic in Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution. It was introduced in the former. To use someone as a human shield, Agent 47 must approach an NPC (or target) from behind, and press the bound action key to use them as a shield to protect 47 from enemies to deal with armed confrontations. Agent 47 can also knock shields out.
Hitman: Blood Money
When Agent 47 is behind a victim with a one handed weapon, he has the option to take that person as human shield. Note that if an NPC is taken as a human shield while 47 poses a threat, enemies will engage him even if a human shield is being used, or if 47 faces the human shield away from the enemies. Also note that an NPC grabbed by 47 will make noise, alerting additional NPCs that are nearby.
You can also use human shield to create accidents, drag your victim to the ledge, select drop body to throw away your victim.
This feature can be used to knock an NPC out if the player is out of Sedative Syringes and the NPC is somewhere secluded enough.
Weapons can be reloaded while maintaining a human shield.
Unlike human shields in Hitman: Blood Money, the human shield will only provide a temporary means of cover, as the "shield's" cohorts will eventually open fire even if they're still being used as a shield. Also unlike in Hitman: Blood Money, the human shield counts as a witness and will penalize the player.
When taking an NPC hostage, the NPCs armor value is still taken into account. That is, bulkier, heavily-protected NPCs will withstand more gunfire than a civilian without any armor (making an Agency Heavy Trooper outfits some of the best human shields).
Weapons cannot be reloaded while maintaining a human shield. When 47s weapon is empty, it is wise he finds a place to knock out his human shield and disengage from enemies.
The human shield functionality doesn't return in the game, although it's disappearance has been met negatively by parts of the fanbase. However, the ability was mentioned on one of the first surveys sent after release. As many fans wish to see it return, it's disappearance from the following surveys might mean it will be added sometime on the future.
- In Hitman: Blood Money, Silverballers are the only weapon that even in its dual form allow you to take human shield. If 47 does so, the guns will turn single until they are holstered and brought out again.
- While a great way to take out different NPCs, this feature is quite buggy and unrealistic in the game. For instance, sometimes you may human shield a NPC who is sitting on a couch, and it will randomly "pass" through the couch, appearing directly as a shield.
- On higher levels of difficulty (except Rookie), if you touch the NPC before pressing the "E" button behind him/her, will cause the character to quickly return at you and blow your cover.
- If other NPCs spot 47 while being shielded by an innocent or a guard, they will automatically head towards you and ask 47 to surrender. If you are quick enough, you can head-shot each single facing enemy, but if you leave open spaces (such as like reloading in front of them) will make them instantly open fire.
- The human shield feature can be used to knock out NPCs in the game, and make them faint through all the rest of the mission, unless another character spots them laid on the floor and wakes them up. In Hitman: Blood Money, it works as an economic alternative to the Sedative Syringe.
- Taking a human shield in front of a mirror in Hitman: Blood Money will result in a blown cover, as the victim can see Agent 47 from the reflection.