Before we watched the gameplay, we were given lots of information about the game and the story so let’s run down that first. This game continues the story right from the last game, however, Agent 47′s handler, Diana has been removed from the equation. Any Hitman fan knows, that without her help, Agent 47 would have lost his way. Now with complete freedom from the Agency, Agent 47 now does his own dirty work. This will be the first time in the franchise history where you can make your own objectives. With no one around to tell you what to do, you decide what Agent 47 does.
This game is running on the Glacier 2 Engine which was designed by IO Interactive and made exclusively for this title. The graphics look great and suit the series well. In addition to a new engine, the way you play the game has also been updated. Every mission can be approached in a different way. As we mentioned earlier, we saw the same level being completed in two distinctive ways. Whether you prefer stealth, aggression or both, you can do it in this game. Most levels include lots of places to hide and duck under, so there will be a fair amount of cover to cover movement. Disguises also make a return to the series, so fans of Hitman will feel right at home. Just like any other Hitman game you will be ranked on how you complete each mission, but you will have to play the game in a stealthful way to gain the Silent Assassin rank, which is the highest achievable rank. This may sound like a difficult task, but there are many benefits to playing the game this way. The developers said that there are lots of story details that will come to light when you are hiding from your killers. As long as they don’t suspect you, you will learn a lot about the world you are playing in, and this is a very interesting way to progress a story. Also, there are a number of Easter Eggs thrown in as a nod to longtime fans of the series. This may serve as motivation to get into the previous games.
From first glance, Hitman: Absolution looked and played a lot like any other Hitman game. The new game engine certainly made this game the best looking Hitman game in the series. The game is still a stealth based action game at its core. The developers did tweak the formula a bit to encourage a more aggressive style of play. However, if you want the Silent Assassin rank, you have to play the game silently. This game is still going to appeal to its fans, and though I am not convinced that I’ve seen enough to be able to say that people who didn’t love the series already are going to convert, the game still looked like a lot of fun. However, there was one improvement to the game that added some spice to the series, and that was their tweaks for people that want to play aggressively. They added a slow motion mode to the game where you can storm into a room full of bad guys and slow down the game. You can then select exactly where you want each bullet in your clip to go. Then when you are satisfied, you can speed time back up and watch the chaos ensue. For our demonstration, we saw them shoot 3 guys in the head, one in the chest, explode two gas cans and shoot one guy in both knee caps and the groin. It was definitely exciting to watch, and we can only hope that there are plenty of opportunities to use this new ability.
All in all, Hitman looked like an impressive game. I think fans of the series are going to love it, hands down. If you played a Hitman game and didn’t love it, I can’t say if there is anything this game can offer you beyond what we’ve already seen. The “slow-mode” is definitely a fun addition, and I hope they give you plenty of opportunities to use it, but you should wait for more information to come out before you make this a must buy. Either way, there was a lot of polish on this game, and it was definitely one of Square Enix’s strongest offerings. Look for Hitman: Absolution to come out on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 later this year.