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Operation Sledgehammer is the sixteenth mission in Hitman: Absolution. It begins with 47 tied to a chair in a cell in Hope County Jail, after being tortured by sheriff Clive Skurky.

County Jail

Escape the Jail

Related Challenge: Vigilante

After the mission begins, break free from your bonds. Walk straight to the opposite wall and activate the fire alarm. Go back to the chair and hide (pretend to be tied up) and wait for the police officer to come. Once he turns his back to you, you can either subdue him and hide his body or sneak past him unnoticed. (For the "Vigilante" challenge, you need to subdue all the cops in the section) Get out of the cell. There is a metal pipe to your right, you may pick it up. Then head to the left, up the stairs and go all the way and hide behind the desk and pick up the power cord if you want (substitute for your fiber wire). There will be a police officer talking on his phone. He mentions that your Silverballers are on the front desk. Subdue/sneak past him and go into the vent up ahead. In the room on the other end of the vent, a police officer often stands near the vent, so wait for him to turn away before exiting the vent.

Get your Silverballers

Once in the room, hide behind the desk and pick up the STG 58 if you want to. Again, subduing the police officer or sneaking past him is your choice. If you are playing for the "Vigilante" challenge, hide behind the desk and keep throwing the metal pipe near the doors repeatedly. Subdue every cop who comes to investigate and temporarily hide their bodies behind the desk. When no more cops come even when you throw the pipe, move out through the door furthest from the vent. On your left are the Silverballers. Pick them up. If you do not want to subdue all the cops, then move out to the front desk only when no cops are standing in front of your Silverballers. Pick them up and take cover behind the desk.

Wait till the cop moves to the desk where your Silverballers were. (Strangely, he doesn't notice that the guns are missing) Now move to the opposite cubicle without making any sound. If you have a cop disguise, instinct to the desk with the evidence and take cover. Pick up the evidence (and an optional Z&M Model 60) and wait for the cops to finish talking and move away before you go to the front door. If you do not have a cop disguise, take cover at the entrance of the opposite cubicle and wait for the cops to finish talking before you pick up the evidence. However, this method is risky and it is safer to take a cop disguise from the beginning. Now go to the front door and open it to trigger a cutscene.

Outgunned

Outside the Hope County Jail

Related Challenges: Surgical Precision - Parts 1, 2 and 3

This is the easiest place to finish the "Surgical Precision" challenges. Equip your Silverballers and enter point shooting from a point where you can see all 3 or 5 or 7 of your targets. Mark all targets with headshots and execute them before your instinct runs out. As this can cause trouble later, a checkpoint restart is recommended after completing the challenge.

After the section begins, move to your left and take cover behind the boxes on the ramp. Wait for the Agency Grunt straight ahead to turn around before taking cover behind the car on your left. Change cover to the dumpster. Now get out of cover and run towards the dumpster (effectively, turning around with making a noise) and take cover again. An Agency Grunt guarding a ladder will come to investigate. Attack and subdue him, dump his body and take his disguise. Pick up his Agency ARZ 160 if you want to. Now take cover behind the side of the car. Wait for the Agency Grunt to pass you before getting out of cover and moving straight (between the cars and the van, away from the ladder). Go to the evidence, pick it up and take cover again to let the Agency Grunt pass. Now climb the ladder, cross the roof and climb down from the ledge.

On the street

Cross the road and take cover behind the boxes without getting noticed by the patrolling Agency Grunt. Now quickly scale cover and move forward to an Agency Grunt with his back to you (to avoid the Agency Grunt that patrols the area in front of the boxes). Pick up the bottle or the brick and toss it into the middle of the road when no other Agency Grunt is nearby. The Agency Grunt in front of you will go to investigate. Move ahead and take cover behind a car while 4 Agency Grunts turn around and walk towards the County Jail. If this fails, you can still sneak past a little way and then use Instinct. Once the 4 grunts pass, follow the blood trail to the end of the section.

Burn

The initial path is straightforward. There is only one path you can follow, with no guards anywhere. Once you cross the door and there is smoke everywhere, go to your right and hide behind the rightmost rack and wait for the Agency Heavy Troopers to pass.

Related Challenge: Heavy Armor

Once you are hiding, follow the heavy trooper closest to you. At one point, he crouches with his back to you. Equip a pistol (preferably unsilenced) and take him as a human shield. Shoot the troopers one by one as they approach till you complete the challenge. Then do a checkpoint restart if you want a high score.

Related Challenge: Misty Eyes

Pick up a screwdriver (there are many in the section). Throw it repeatedly and garrote every trooper who comes to investigate. Put the bodies in a secluded spot (e.g. near the entrance) so that they aren't noticed. When the coast is clear, dump the bodies to gain points.

The easiest way to complete the section is to move ahead once the heavy trooper passes you. In the next room, go and climb the ladder. Cross over to the other side, climb down and take cover. Once the heavy trooper passes you, move ahead. There will be another trooper ahead. Repeat. Climb the ladder and drop down into the corner. Turn towards the side door. Staying in cover behind the row of boxes, move towards it, avoiding all troopers. You may have to move to the other side of the boxes once to avoid a trooper. Wait till the coast is clear before going through the side door. There will be a trooper guarding the exit (On higher difficulties only). Sneak up behind him, subdue him, take his disguise (useful for next section) and dump his body. Now double back to the main doors of the previous room. Take cover behind the left door when the patrolling trooper is to your right. Move ahead, pick up the evidence and move back. Now follow the exit signs and go out. Climb the staircase into the next building. There is only one path that leads into the next section.

Hope Fair

The Sniper's Nest

The section begins in an Agency sniper's nest. In case you don't have an Agency Heavy Trooper disguise, subdue the sniper and take his disguise. Move ahead through the narrow passageway. You can pick up a Black Kazo TRG, remote explosives and proximity mines from the place. Move ahead through the passage that leads to the left and take the staircase down to the street.

The Street

Move to the left and take cover and wait for the heavy trooper to turn around after the civilians go. Change cover and go up to the stage where the farmers' market was taking place. Move behind the table and wait for the heavy trooper on the other side to turn towards the street. Move down the stairs, take cover behind the barrels and using cover, keep moving towards the exit. Once you are behind the two Agency Grunts talking about how you could "give them the drop just like that", use cover to cross the street and move as far ahead as you can along the right side. There will be an Agency Heavy Trooper and an Agency Grunt between you and the evidence. When they are both facing your way, get out of cover, instinct past them and take cover behind the box with the evidence and rifles on it. Pick up the evidence and again instinct your way to the parked car and take cover behind the stall closest to it. Wait till both heavy troopers near the exit are facing away (one heavy trooper on lower difficulties) before sneaking past them and going to the exit. Break the door open to trigger a cutscene (47 magically changes back into his suit. Wow!)

Outskirts

Hope Creek Church

In the cutscene, a wounded Skurky enters the church on seeing 47 approaching him. This section is pretty straightforward. Near the house to your left from the point where you start, there is a plunger - the only one in the level. You may pick it up if you are aiming to get all items in the level. Then go straight to the church and walk in through the doors. After a cutscene, the game enters point shooting mode. Keep Skurky's head at the approximate center of your screen. The moment you see your crosshairs, mark and execute Skurky. You have to be fast, or you will fail the mission. Then a cutscene plays where Skurky is forced to tell 47 Victoria's location before dying, and 47 walks out of the burning town with 'Ave Maria' playing in the background.

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