E3 Hitman: Absolution Rules
One day down at this year’s E3, two to go. By far the highlight today was “Hitman: Absolution,” for which I was able to get a private show and talk a little to the good folks at Io Interactive. I love the “Hitman” franchise, I’ve always felt it was the true spiritual successor to “Thief,” and so far “Absolution” looks to be the best in the series.
The graphics have been overhauled, and while it’s recognizably “Hitman” style, there’s a whole new coat of paint here, full of rich colors and great lighting. “Absolution” shows off this new look with a lot of scripted events, like helicopter attacks and free-falls out of tall windows. The score is also stunning, even the “Deus Ex” reps were commenting on how good it was during their demo.
But the real surprises are the gameplay additions. Hit the jump for a quick once-over on what’s new.
The gameplay is very classic “Hitman,” but with a few noticeable upgrades. For one, the A.I. is super-sharp, and notices not only weird noises and dead bodies, but even inexplicable absences from nearby comrades. If you kill a guy after he says he’s going to go over and take a leak, no one notices he’s gone, but if he just disappears it’s a different story.
Also, they’ve introduced “Instinct,” which, when activated, highlights the trajectories of nearby enemies if they’re getting close to you. This minimizes the “trial and error” aspect of stealth, and helps the player avoid petty deaths caused by bad luck. 47 can also take human shields, and use a variety of contextual weapons; at one point, he beat a cop to death with a bong. Priceless.
Io’s keeping a tight lid on the game right now, but so far it’s shaping up to be one of my most anticipated titles. I can’t wait to slip back into the tailored suit of Agent 47 and take out some contracts.
and that’s how we learned our lesson