E3: Hitman: Absolution

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E3: Hitman: Absolution

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Time to put on the red tie one more time.

Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

So begins the demo for Hitman: Absolution, which showcased what Agent 47 can do with whatever happens to be at hand. Sneaking around the stacks of books, he performed several stealth takedowns by choking out police officers with his bare hands and a power cord that happened to be lying around. A cop standing too close to a hole in the floor fell prey to a statue to the face; a colleague on al edge above him followed after Agent 47 grabbed his ankle and pulled him over the edge.

As fun as it always is to watch Agent 47 do his thing, sneaking and quietly taking out enemies is a regular staple of the Hitman universe, so the demo moved on to pointing out something new: Agent 47's Instinct abilities. The Premonition skill traces a firey line on the floor, indicating where enemies are likely to move; it also highlights the location of items of interest, such as climbable ledges. He an also Act and Hide in order to better blend in with his environment once he's in disguise. Using any of these skills burns through Agent 47's Instinct meter, however, so the abilities have to be used sparingly and wisely.

"Freedom of choice" is a core philosophy at the heart of the game's design, and we did see Agent 47 pursue a number of different strategies while evading his police pursuers. He grabbed one and used him as a human shield, sabotaged a fuse box to create confusion, moved swiftly from cover to cover to avoid gunfire from a hovering helicopter, and hid in plain sight by grabbing a donut after donning a downed officer's uniform.

Absolution is a very good-looking game, with great detail, lighting, and animation. The demo we saw showed off what we love about Agent 47, but only scratched the surface of some of the improvements that are being promised, such as the "living, breathing world" populated by more nuanced AI. The developers were also very stingy with extra information about that game, preferring to stay tight-lipped about most aspects of the game. That said, what we saw certainly rang true as a Hitman game, and the new Instinct skills hint at strategies that can add a new layer of complexity to Agent 47's missions.

Hitman: Absolution will be out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC next year.

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See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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This sounds awesome. Although I've onlay played the demo of Blood Money, I can safely say that I am looking forward to Absolution.

Can't wait. Its been so long since Blood Money.

Hopefully, it won't take the Splinter Cell route.

internetzealot1:
Hopefully, it won't take the Splinter Cell route.

Hopefully.
This looks good, I really enjoyed blood money, enough to have replayed it a couple times.

I think most veteran Hitman players will most likely not use the premonition skill.

I always liked the way you figured everything out for yourself. Much more rewarding.

I hope you don't have to kill a lot of people in this game. I liked the earlier ones where it was more rewarding to kill as few people as possible than killing 8 cops to get to your target.

Word going around is that it's Hitman: Conviction and I pray to Allah, Buddha and The Almighty Sun God that its not true.

Premonition skill sounds like handholding, A.K.A. The Devil. Each to his own, but I'm not a fan, and probably won't use it.

The only way they could make that interesting for me, is if the Premonition skill lie, and more so on harder difficulties.

Anyway Hitman! I'm keen!

Captcha: Stalking of the tv, ffistia? What?

I really like the sound of this. I never got too far into Blood Money, because I can be a perfectionist, so on the first mission where I could not figure out how to get Silent Assassin right away (A Murder of Crows, I think), I sorta gave up.

Hopefully, I've left that pedantry behind me and will be able to enjoy this game, whether I do perfectly or not.

EDIT: Worth mentioning, I am not insane. I was playing through and getting SA on Easy, I wasn't going so far with my perfectionism as to start on Hard or some such.

Susan Arendt:
Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

From what I've seen, it's taken the right path.

And it looks surprisingly gorgeous.

(Played and finished all the Hitman games) and i thought he went to hide in China! or that was the impression of the ending of Blood Money LoL!

The Gentleman:

Susan Arendt:
Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

Hitman Contracts was about remembering some past missions while the protagonist was having a fever... that's why there was such a dark and gloomy ambiance. And if i remember correctly, he woke up in a small hotel in PARIS (remember that french rapper in the radio... I still wonder if it was in between Blood Money with the embassador at the opera...).

internetzealot1:
Hopefully, it won't take the Splinter Cell route.

This was the first thing I thought of when I read about stuff being highlighted for you.

I felt like crying when I saw that splinter cell turned into a linear shooter. "Climb this", "Go here", etc... It was much more fun when you had to figure out a plan, even if you had to try a lot of times.

But, nowadays since gaming is more mainstream stuff like "dying" and "thinking" are being taken out of games. I seriously never thought of this outcome when I used to wish games would be more mainstream.

*minute of silence in memory of split-screen*

Man I've been playing the Hitman games since the first one back on PC and it was my absolute favorite game at the time. Hitman 2 was ok, contracts was good but Blood Money was incredible.
(Spoilers)
The ending with the funeral was awesome, some of my friends never got to pay the funeral level because they didn't realize they had to randomly start trying to move around during the credits to wake up hahaha.

Orcus The Ultimate:
(Played and finished all the Hitman games) and i thought he went to hide in China! or that was the impression of the ending of Blood Money LoL!

The Gentleman:

Susan Arendt:
Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

Hitman Contracts was about remembering some past missions while the protagonist was having a fever... that's why there was such a dark and gloomy ambiance. And if i remember correctly, he woke up in a small hotel in PARIS (remember that french rapper in the radio... I still wonder if it was in between Blood Money with the embassador at the opera...).

I thought that we was shot, which would explain why the doctor was called...

I really hope they nail the gameplay this time, and the AI. Its been too long a wait for another Hitman game and im hopeing for greatness.

Oh yes, do want so much.

I really hope this game is a success.

Oh my god, this is going to be a preorder.

I just pray to Zombie Jesus that they don't take the Conviction route. I know some people quite liked it, but it wasn't Splinter Cell. It was fun at first, but it got dull so quick.

I know it was just a cinematic trailer, but if some of the CQC moves are in the game (you know, instead of Agent 47 just headbutting people) it could work really well.

I first tried Hitman with Blood Money and found it surprisingly enjoyable, a game I wound up returning to more often than I anticipated, and more often than a lot of other games. This is the first title I'm seeing from E3 who's press actually has me excited. Hope it's good.

I think the reason they killed so many in the demo was for buzz lets be honest taking your time to scope out enemy patrols and put a perfect SA plan together is fun to due not so much fun to watch. The premis sounds intriguing with the agency all but eliminated I 47's going to have a tough timewithout any allies, the new mechanics sound cool should lead to more options which I think we can all agree is good, the assassins sense sounds like it'll have to be used very sparingly which is a good thing probably a very useful tool to those new to the franchise but I don't see it being that helpful to us veterans, the

The Gentleman:

Susan Arendt:
Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

3 was flash backs to previous missions after the botched opera house hit from blood money but yeah blood money was pretty much the agency getting dismantled, at the end it appeared 47 had gone freelance maybe awaiting the agency's return but he's pretty much on his own as of the end of blood money.

There's sure to be a lot of knee-jerk reactions to the new mechanics, cries of dumbing it down and what not, but I don't think it's bad at all. In the previous games you already had a ridiculous advantage over the enemies with the support from the agency. You could open the map and magically see every single person on the map and observe their routes until you can decide the perfect course of action. Once they take that away game could easily turn into a quick-save frenzy because you're constantly walking in blindly into situations you have no control over so this new Premonition ability might make the game-play more fluent. Of course they can expect an outcry from "true" fans but I'll reserve my judgement until I actually see all this in action. One thing's for certain though, I'm looking forward to playing it.

This game will be extremely fun :)

The Gentleman:

Susan Arendt:
Agent 47 is in a bad situation. He's the object of a city-wide manhunt in Chicago, and a small army of cops has cornered him in a derelict library. He's on the run, and doesn't have any of his usual tools or weapons with him. He'll have to draw on his experience and his killer instinct if he's going to survive.

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

He had a contract in Paris that went bad. After executing two of three targets (which you do in Blood Money), he was shot and had to flee. He patches himself up in a small hotel or apartment and has visions of past missions which you then play out in Contracts. That's why at the end of the opera mission in Blood Money, there's a short video where someone we only see from the waist down spots 47 and starts following him while pulling out a pistol. Also, if you look at your objectives during the last mission in Contracts (the only one not a flashback), you can see he has objectives already completed.

commodore96:
I hope you don't have to kill a lot of people in this game. I liked the earlier ones where it was more rewarding to kill as few people as possible than killing 8 cops to get to your target.

I'm fairly sure I've completed Hitman 2 without killing anyone other than the targets. The same goes for Blood Money and possibly Contracts. If Absolutions force me to kill anyone that is not the target I will forever curse the game. And I mean that in all seriousness. I will curse the game if it forces my hand. Like I curse that black memory that is the new Splinter Cell game.

So I'm rather worried that Absolutions will be a terrible game. Cover mechanics and guidance systems certainly makes it seem very very bad.

seydaman:

internetzealot1:
Hopefully, it won't take the Splinter Cell route.

Hopefully.
This looks good, I really enjoyed blood money, enough to have replayed it a couple times.

Judging from the trailer, don't worry, it's Splinter Cell: Conviction with a hand holding meter and the ability to change clothes.

teh_gunslinger:

commodore96:
I hope you don't have to kill a lot of people in this game. I liked the earlier ones where it was more rewarding to kill as few people as possible than killing 8 cops to get to your target.

I'm fairly sure I've completed Hitman 2 without killing anyone other than the targets. The same goes for Blood Money and possibly Contracts. If Absolutions force me to kill anyone that is not the target I will forever curse the game. And I mean that in all seriousness. I will curse the game if it forces my hand. Like I curse that black memory that is the new Splinter Cell game.

So I'm rather worried that Absolutions will be a terrible game. Cover mechanics and guidance systems certainly makes it seem very very bad.

Well... yes and no - it's possible what they were demonstrating was the tutorial section of the game. Remember the beginning of Blood Money? No matter how methodical and precise you were in the rest of the game, that 'first mission' is always a blood bath of some variety, because the whole thing was an essentially linear introduction to the various things you can do as Agent 47, presented in a far more engrossing format than a straight up "this is a tutorial now do some stuff" segment would have been, and it made the beginnings of the previous Hitman games look like crap in comparison.

And then of course the game turned you loose and expected you to fend for yourself in complex environments, and it was awesome. So if I'm right and what they were showing off is just the introduction before you get to the real meat of the "figure out how to assassinate these dudes and then get away" bits that Hitman has always been about, then I'd say it's a good thing if the fact that it's just a tutorial isn't immediately obvious - the best tutorials are the ones you don't necessarily realize were tutorials until you've finished them, and Blood Money did that beautifully. Color me distinctly not worried about that aspect of the game, not yet at any rate.

Not so sure about this Premonition business on the other hand, but if that's something they're implementing in place of just constantly having an overhead satellite map that tracks everyone's positions at all times (on the lower difficulties anyways, I'm recalling that certain things were left off the map on higher difficulty) then I could maybe see that being appropriate. The way it's described in this article though makes it sound like it's going to break immersion over its knee with an audible crack; glowing trails of light and indicators of "use this!" don't sound very much like Hitman at all.

The Gentleman:

Orcus The Ultimate:
(Played and finished all the Hitman games) and i thought he went to hide in China! or that was the impression of the ending of Blood Money LoL!

The Gentleman:

Wasn't that the overarching set-up for Hitman 3? Or was that New York?

Hitman Contracts was about remembering some past missions while the protagonist was having a fever... that's why there was such a dark and gloomy ambiance. And if i remember correctly, he woke up in a small hotel in PARIS (remember that french rapper in the radio... I still wonder if it was in between Blood Money with the embassador at the opera...).

I thought that we was shot, which would explain why the doctor was called...

you're right, the fever is what resulted of the bullet.

Blood Money was the first game I bought for my 360, because I knew it was a sure fire game with incredible value.

The mysterious nature of this presentation just makes me want Absolution more :)

ChromeAlchemist:
Premonition skill sounds like handholding, A.K.A. The Devil. Each to his own, but I'm not a fan, and probably won't use it.

The only way they could make that interesting for me, is if the Premonition skill lie, and more so on harder difficulties.

Anyway Hitman! I'm keen!

Captcha: Stalking of the tv, ffistia? What?

I hope it only maps out their probable patrol route and not where they will go when they know you're around and are looking for you.

Avatar Roku:
I really like the sound of this. I never got too far into Blood Money, because I can be a perfectionist, so on the first mission where I could not figure out how to get Silent Assassin right away (A Murder of Crows, I think), I sorta gave up.

Hopefully, I've left that pedantry behind me and will be able to enjoy this game, whether I do perfectly or not.

EDIT: Worth mentioning, I am not insane. I was playing through and getting SA on Easy, I wasn't going so far with my perfectionism as to start on Hard or some such.

The first level is the tutorial. It is possible to get silent assassin, but very hard since the tutorial expects you to do things that'll blow your rating.

After that is the level in the winery.

I loved Blood Money, I just hope my laptop can run this next year.

Best of the 3:

Oh yes, do want so much.

I really hope this game is a success.

FUCK YES. FUCKING A. AWESOME.
first time i have seen this video, sir i salute you for providing this invaluable service to me

John Burton:

Best of the 3:
snip

Oh yes, do want so much.

I really hope this game is a success.

FUCK YES. FUCKING A. AWESOME.
first time i have seen this video, sir i salute you for providing this invaluable service to me

Hehe, no problem. Surprised it wasn't posted here.

If this is as good as Blood Money, you can sign me up.

Please be Blood Money 2.0

Some of those missions were basolutely amazing. Sneaking a real gun into a play and then dropping the light fixtures while watching from a scaffolding hidden in darkness before walking straight out the front door in a black suit...

Few games capture that sense of awesome.

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