The After-Action Report is a very distinct cutscene appearing at the end of every Mission.
The cutscene is supposed to help the player understand the structure of the Plot that was just attempted, understand why the enemy reacted to his actions the way they did, and realize the mistakes he made and what could've been done better.
Visual DescriptionEditThe After-Action Report displays the faces of all Participants in the plot, arranged side by side along the top half of the screen. Each face is marked with the Role of the Participant above it. The Mastermind also appears, but his face is hidden to avoid divulging his appearance to the player (since the same Mastermind will also appear in the next Mission).
The cutscene begins by showing the first action of the Plot, usually the message sent by an Organizer to another Participant to kick off the plot. The details of this action is shown at the bottom of the screen, including the date on which the message was sent, the identity of the sender and recipient (including their location and affiliation), and the entire contents of the message. Also, the involved participants' faces are highlighted so that you can see better who was involved in this action.
Each time the "ENTER" key (or any other key, except "ESC") is pressed, the game shows the next event in the plot. Here is a list of all Participant-driven events that will be displayed:
- Message Traffic between Participants.
- Meetings between Participants.
- Minor Crimes.
- Major Crimes.
- Item Delivery between Participants.
- Participants Going into Hiding, with an explanation of why they did so (completed their mission / were unable to complete their mission).
Note that these are displayed in chronological order.
Also, the cutscene is interspersed with the events triggered by Max himself. These include the following:
Items involved in the plot will appear in the lower-corner of the agent's portrait to show when the item is acquired. They are shown to move from portrait to portrait whenever a Handoff occurs, and will disappear when used in Crimes or Confiscated by Max.Agents' faces will be specially marked whenever their status changes: When Arrested, an agent has a "Prison Bars" overlay to indicate this. Turned Agents will have their background color set to Green. Agents who go into hiding will have their faces turned into a black silhouette.
Learning from the After-Action ReportEdit
There's a lot the After-Action report can teach you about the Plot that was just attempted, and also about how a Plot breaks apart thanks to Max's interference.
It's possible to learn which Participants are supposed to perform which actions, and also the general order in which these actions should take place - though there is some degree of randomization, so it can change a little each time the same Plot is played out.
Therefore, players can gain a lot of experience by watching this cutscene, and should not skip it unless they already know what went wrong with their investigation.
WARNING: The following section describes exploiting a weakness in the game design - basically cheating the game. Do not read this, or exercise it, if you want the game to remain challenging.
The fact that the entire plot and each participant are described in detail at the end of the mission can be exploited to make perfect execution of the mission possible.
To do this, save the game immediately once the Mission Briefing is concluded (I.E. the moment you can first get to a Hotel to save your game).
After saving, sleep through the case. When the mission is over and the After-Action Report begins, write down the names, locations and affiliations of each agent, as well as the best order in which to arrest them. Note which agent acquires each item, as well.
Once this is done, load the saved game. Everything described in the After-Action Report will occur at roughly the same order shown in the After-Action Report. Thus you can go to each Participant's hideout and arrest them without having to waste time investigating! You can use the "Repeated Confiscation" technique (explained in the Confiscation article) to delay the mission for as long as required to arrest everybody.
You can even get to the Mastermind using the same exploit - the Mastermind will always be in the same location when you load the game (just like every other participant), so you can spend time tracking him down, write down his location and affiliation, and then after loading the save game you can head there and arrest him.
Using this exploit properly, you can get over 100% completion (assuming you can Turn at least one Participant), which basically removes the challenge.
Remember, this is explained here only for completionism's sake; if you want the game to remain interesting, please do not do this!