Violent Night: Hitman Absolution

By Adam Smith on May 1st, 2012 at 7:30 pm.

I doubt and pout a great deal whenever Hitman: Absolution is mentioned. Until I play it I’ll hold out hope that I can be a silent assassin, or at least a low-pitched liquidator, rather than the boisterous chap blasting his way through the majority of the footage I’ve seen. Let me play dress-up and put bodies in cupboards. Let me scope out an area and plan my path to the target rather than being constantly on the run or up against furious armies of gangsters, cops or soldiers. The new video made me smile when 47 placed a man in a closet but I frowned mightily every time an explosion occurred.

Choice! It’s the word that keeps coming up. Kill painlessly or sadistically, from afar or up close and personal. Find your target by blowing up entire communities or by infiltrating, becoming as one of them by wearing an appropriate hat and trousers.

The doubt won’t evaporate until I play the game for myself, but it can be assuaged. The fact that the only full mission I’ve seen a playthrough of doesn’t even have an assassination target doesn’t help, so maybe I’ll be a great deal happier the first time I see the name of a victim and the reason for a kill. Maybe I’ll need to hear about two people playing a level and having their own experiences, making their own mistakes.

Less of this:

More of this:

And I’m not wholly adverse to a little bit of this:

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54 Comments »

  1. WoundedBum says:

    I watched this earlier and thought this:

    The worry about this is (I’ve been following this closely) is there are no manual saves and the levels are checkpointed which suggests a more linear, narrower way of doing things. That and the new instinct mode which lets you see enemy paths is discouraging too, along with the fact that they changed his voice actor(fairly minor I know). I think it’ll still be a good game, but they seem to have discarded the sandboxy-ness from the previous games, which were always their strong point.

    I hoped you liked my thoughts.

    • Wreckdum says:

      Good thing I put on a condom before I viewed this article.

    • Miltrivd says:

      Instinct mode is a HUGE turn off. Voice actor change is a let down, but happens. I think this is gonna be a let down, honestly, I remember replaying Blood Money a year ago in “multiplayer”, with a friend, we would start at missions at the same time and see who could get Silent Assassin faster then comment on paths, who used what on who and stuff, was great fun. Checkpoints and Instinct mode, sigh…

      • Vorthar says:

        Euhm, no. It kind of does everything you could always do in the other hitmans. What it does now is you don’t have to constantly hit start to go to the map. In other hitman you could always see where everyone is, what instinct basically does is just putting this into a easier function, instead of going to the map all the damn time.

        • Internet says:

          The map didn’t let you see into the future by displaying the paths enemies were going to take.

          • Humanabyss says:

            But pre determined paths that rarely changed until you forced them to made it easy work.

          • Jesus H. Christ says:

            yeah, it’s a gamebreaking ‘feature’ imo. but we’ll see, maybe the devs had to put it in to please the investors who want [i]everybody[/i] to be able to win frustration free. & hopefully it will not be available on the harder than normal modes. But whatever, no way in hell I’m pre-ordering this.

      • Sweedums says:

        Well, usually I would say, just don’t use the instinct mode if you don’t like it, but what worries me is if they design specific parts of levels where they have that feature in mind as the only way to really complete it stealthy. Also, as others have said, the map was more or less the same thing, and while it didn’t show future routes, everyone in the level, as far as i can remember, moved in a simple patrol pattern so after seeing it once you effectively knew where they would be in the future anyway… it just took longer to figure it out.

  2. Godwhacker says:

    Has anyone made the obvious joke about the special advisor to Jeremy Hunt finding a new job very quickly yet?

  3. S Jay says:

    Hitman: Subtitle, Dishonored without freaking super powers

  4. seanblah12 says:

    is that bottom guy a traffic warden?

  5. woodsey says:

    They have not released a single thing which makes me think they have a clue about what they’re doing, or that they know what the strengths of Blood Money where. Choosing whether you shoot someone quietly or shoot the explode-y canister next to them was hardly the core of Blood Money.

    And the Instinct thing makes me want to cry (even if it is apparently optional). Lines on the floor to show you where enemies will walk and stop? Really?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Hitman 1 has a magic map screen that shows the location of every guard and which way they are facing.

      (Or maybe it was 2. One of them, anyway.)

      But, yeah. This trailer…does not install confidence.

      • SiHy_ says:

        All of them had that. That was one of the core parts of the game so you could observe the people and plan out your route. The higher difficulties removed that luxury, though (in Blood Monet at least). I can see why they would change it for a system like ‘intuition’ – it’s more instant and means the levels will be less trial-and-error-y as there will no doubt be one or two obvious routes you can take to assure you don’t fuck up.
        Much like a lot of modern games there seems to be this fear of letting players fail. Maybe it’s the view that dying and having to restart a level is an archaic leftover from arcades or maybe it’s to do with attempting to make games more ‘cinematic’ meaning you’re always advancing, never retreating.
        I really hope this isn’t going to be the first Hitman game I don’t want to buy.

        • Squire says:

          This is what I was gonna say, adding that although really silly, heat visiony “instinct” is better than checking the map every two seconds. Although the footsteps indicating there destination is shite and removes the fear of “Is he coming in here?”, “Oh god he is!” “No wait he isn’t, hes talking to that guy” “No wait, they are both coming in here!?!!”. Tell me that isn’t exciting.

          I love looking at the map to plan out what I’m gonna do and see the layout but when I just wanna know if the guy on the other side of the door is facing the other way, heat visiony crap is better in my horniest opinion.

        • LionsPhil says:

          And the higher difficulties will presumably remove Instinct Vision(TM).

          Although Squire does bring up a good point about the tension of “oh god that blip’s approaching a junction is it going to turn in my direction”.

          • utzel says:

            Didn’t they say you can use the instinct power less often on higher difficulties (or it doesn’t load up as fast)? I don’t think it will ever be deactivated, because they use it in some instances to not blow cover. For example when walking past a few of the cops when leaving the building in the first long video, prior or just after the donuts? Or did I just make that up?

            Edit: Well, after this slow connection finally loaded the video: It’s also in there at 1:11

            I just hope we still got a normal map and I fear the game might be designed to use instincts x-ray/future predicition feature and be near impossible when not using it.

  6. Grinnbarr says:

    Wow look at that lens flare on his shirt in the crowd scene.

    Also I love the ‘found weapons’ and that bit where he disarms the bloke at the start. So badass.

    • lijenstina says:

      A Fruit of the Bloom shirt.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Perhaps they’ve decided to bring all the visual quality of Kane & Lynch 2 into the Hitman world.

      Which is to say, work really, really hard on making it look awful.

      Edit: Oh god, they actually have, haven’t they. Idiots.

      • Terragot says:

        yeah the lens camera thing was really confusing. Why would the artists work hard at making something as good looking as kane & lynch 2 to let the designers pick their nose while they think up a gimmick that destroy’s everyone’s work. Lens flare is bad, low quality videos on youtube are dreadful, why would I want to look at that for (being generous to the length) 6 hours?

        It wasn’t just Kane & Lynch either, creatively bankrupt designers across the land started to borrow this “Idea” ; Flashpoint’s bastard child, Red River, tried to play off this idea as their own. It was like having acid thrown in your eyes while someone on fire takes a cheese grater to your iris.

        But the main stream media lauded it.

  7. povu says:

    I really missed the option to put guys in closets in Blood Money, it would’ve come in handy so many times and I’m surprised we couldn’t do it. It’s so obvious.

    Maybe it was for balance reasons? Containers to hide people in are fairly rare in the game.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      I think everyone needs to realise that 47′s trademark gameplay doesn’t become a real player choice until the alternative is present. Like virtually every gamer who’s played (all) the Hitman games I rejoice in the stealthy, sneaky infiltrator that hides in plain sight kind of play, but it’s like people are forgetting the possibilities for absolute mayhem all previous games had almost everywhere, as well as the less inconspicuous tools at 47′s disposal, which were like there in the background, remaining untriggered, providing the alternative to what most stealthy players would do. Granted, it obviously didn’t play as well as an action game as it did in the “intended” style of play, but then if it was made with only stealthy moves in mind then it sort of loses some element of player agency because the player is just choosing one of several intended methods of progressing through the game world obstacles.

      It’s a bit early in the morning to be discussing this at length, but if my point still isn’t coming across, then just ask yourself why the Thief games bothered to have mines, fire arrows, swordplay etc. when most players would not even use these (or perhaps only once) and the game is so obviously designed with stealth in mind. It’s a bit different with an assassin game, but I think the analogy works.

      edit: oops replied to a comment accidentally

  8. S Jay says:

    In the end, it looked like a nod to The Professional.

    • kastanok says:

      Without looking, I’m expecting a pot plant.

      Or, more likely, a shot of the kicking feet of 47′s feet when he lifts them into the air with his garotting wire. If so, that homage has been in since the first Hitman game.

      EDIT: Guess I was still wrong xD Reminded me more of Equilibrium’s first raid, tbh.

  9. brau says:

    I’m excited for this. I do agree that i hope you can be really creative with the way you can make a hit on a target. Blood money was great, but you could tell that there were very orchestrated instances for what to do that really took out the creative aspect of the game.

    Either way, its nice to see 47 back.

  10. Maldomel says:

    I really hope they are showing explosive bits and brutal massacres with big guns just because a bald dude standing in the darkness would be boring to watch.

    • Squire says:

      I think this too, a trailer of a guy walking around slowly, observing his surroundings would be boring, the publishers pushed for this, probably. You can kill everyone person in every level of blood money too, hopefully this will be the same and we can just NOT do that if we want to.

      Blood Money also had ridiculous weapon customisation which I suspect was partially put in to please the publishers too since you could kill every target in the game with the fiber wire and I’m not sure why a silent assassin would need a giant barrel clip for an M4, or an M4 for that matter.

  11. Paul says:

    Since Hitman seems fucked, I hope Dishonored will take up its mantle now, at least.

  12. Brun says:

    The screenshot visuals look terrible – did someone hold a camera up to a TV screen for those, or does the game actually look that bad?

  13. yhalothar says:

    I’m lukewarm about this; I always make a point of killing the target and the target only…

  14. PickyBugger says:

    I don’t mind the explosions etc as long as you can’t rocket your way around every map, Hitman should be about choice and some of the best times I’ve had were whilst using those mines in Blood Money. As long as I can poison a cake or push an old man into a lake of crocodiles I’ll be happy.

    Except…

    The thing that I found so fun about the Hitman games was the challenge of putting it on the hardest difficulty, learning the levels and completing a hit in one smooth run. The check points completely stop this and with it stops my interest.

  15. Syra says:

    This wasn’t on my radar at all but now I’ve seen some gameplay it somehow reminds me very heavily of splinter cell conviction, which to me is a great thing.

    Colour me interested.

  16. Cerebulon says:

    Heh, a little reference within 1 second of the new level. Dexter Industries. In a familiar font…

    Additionally the trailers to previous games were equally explosions and murder and they all turned out fine, excellent even.

  17. Tokamak says:

    As if the instinct bullshit wasn’t enough, they even felt like they needed to bring a new voice actor with gruff Batman voice as well. Add to that the nods to K&L 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, and all I see is game that’s very confused about it’s identity. It certainly isn’t trying to be like the Hitman of old, that’s for sure.

  18. CaptainHairy says:

    I’m torn between hating what Hitman seems to have become, and intensely desiring to sneak up behind someone and brain them with a housebrick, as seems to be shown in the trailer.

  19. Donjo says:

    BRAAMMMM… BRAAMMMM. ………….BRAAAMMMM.

    If the choice is there to use the traditional method it’ll probably be fine. Woe betide them if they make a balls out of it though.

  20. Shooop says:

    This could work.

    But only if they offer you much more interesting rewards if the player takes the “I was never even there!” play route rather than the “shoot everything and then shoot it again” one they have to show because marketing says so.

  21. UltimateBrent says:

    I feel like what’s happening is a marketing disconnect. You could always go balls out and kill everyone in Hitman, it just wasn’t the point. I’m not seeing anything here that says you can’t play like you always did. The marketing just seems to be more focused on flashy trailers than the methodical murder that we’ve all come to love about the series. I’m cautiously optimistic, they haven’t let me down yet.

  22. Secundus says:

    when did “sneak past everybody without being noticed” become “an action game where you kill everyone , but stealthily”

  23. Yglorba says:

    The trailers for Hitman games have always focused more on action than the game itself. I wouldn’t worry too much until we see more; so far, the Hitman series has consistently improved with every iteration.

  24. Asuron says:

    This looks nothing like Hitman.
    Hitman Blood Money was pretty much perfect and all they had to do was refine it.
    Instead they turn it into Splinter Cell or Batman.
    I mean everything they’ve shown so far, looks nothing like any of the Hitman games, like they don’t even know what made Hitman good.
    All they had to do was make maps, give a target and tell the player go, to figure out the best course of action. Instead they’re turning into crap.

  25. Brahms says:

    Why does everyone act like a game where you stealthily kill people must be better than a game where you noisily kill people?

    Honestly I’d like Hitman to be a bit of both. I always felt super punished in Blood Money when I’d have to finish the level using nothing but fibre wire and anaesthesia and be rewarded with… guns.. which I could never use.

  26. grundus says:

    Meh, Blood Money let you have two fully automatic ballers amongst many, many other ridiculous things, Contracts had a minigun in it, Silent Assassin had a shed full of guns… But if you were playing it properly, you’d never use any of them. At most all you needed was chloroform, poison, maybe some explosives and the fibre wire, and quite often you didn’t need those either because you could make some assassinations look like accidents or someone else’s fault. I do seem to recall a mission in Silent Assassin where you had to snipe a guy who was travelling in a motorcade, though, which was awesome because then everyone was on alert afterwards and you had to make it to the end without being spotted, whereas in some missions you could do the whole thing without ever rousing suspicion, the first mission in Blood Money being a good example of that. As long as this game lets you play either way like all the rest have, I’m totally cool with them advertising it as an action shooter.

  27. impish says:

    I demand the ability to give my target diarrhea.

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