Streets Ahead: New Hitman Video Is Rather Good

By Adam Smith on July 12th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

People kept telling me this would happen. I first saw Hitman Absolution doing its thing at the Eurogamer Expo last year and expressed some concerns. It was just one level, I knew that, but it was the level chosen to represent the game to the public and the press. Then, nuns. Still, the man on the street (I think his name is Billy Crumpets) would chuckle as I passed: “I’m sure there are plenty of disguises and stealthy suffocations. Marketing is ever a fool’s game.” Whatever, Crumpets, just move away from my driveway. But perhaps he’s been right all along and here’s the evidence.

Incidentally, it is a seventeen and a half minute mission walkthrough with commentary, which is exactly what I needed at this point. A guided tour of something that looks to be connected to what I loved about the series in the past, while also being extremely attractive.

For the first time in ages, Hitman and its subtitle are something that I want to play again, even with all the button prompts and dog sex. This is all I wanted to see!

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76 Comments »

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  1. Luke says:

    If only those gangsters would sing the tunnel snakes song.

  2. Gearfried says:

    This was honestly all I could think of when I read the title. http://tinyurl.com/cqktjh6

    • Mr.Crack says:

      I was expecting a game about community paint ball battles. Now I’m slightly disappointed.

    • BrendanJB says:

      Please, no. No meme pictures.

  3. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    That is one nasty-ass UI. Looks good enough, but that UI and the x-ray vision really annoy me.

    EDIT: Oh, I see. Purist mode. All cool, then.

    By the way, is there any chance of modifying the comment system so that submitting one doesn’t force a page refresh, thereby wiping the cache of streaming videos? It seems possible, as you can edit comments and have them appear without a refresh.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh god, don’t encourage them. That edit feature is the most tempramental thing, and we’re only just to the point of vaguely appeasing the “put my reply in the right place” Gods.

    • Connor Magee says:

      I’d call it more prudent to just watch the whole video before you comment on it. Case in point: Having to go back and edit your comment.

    • hosndosn says:

      Did they replace the map completely with that x-ray thing? I can’t tell at all what’s going on with these glowing bodies floating in anywhere. You can’t even tell what’s between you and them, barely what floor they’re on, etc. I hope there’s an additional map.

      IO Interactive have always been horrible at doing UIs. I still cringe when I think of the three different use buttons in previous Hitmans. Have a remote bomb detonator in your hands and want to activate it? Is that a “use item” or “fire” event? Do you even have it equipped if he’s holding it in his left hand? Argh!

  4. Iskariot says:

    I think this looks quite good graphics and gameplay-wise.

    • Orija says:

      Graphics-wise? Dude, you are not watching this on a 16 bit screen. are you?

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I am watching it on a high quality display and the graphics look great, console low-res aside. On what are you watching it?

        • Orija says:

          A busted up, seven year old CRT monitor with a display that’s now trapezoidal in shape. I’m now waiting desperately for my 23″ Dell Ultrasharp to arrive.

          • HothMonster says:

            Probably best not to comment on the graphic quality of videos you watch on that then. Looks fine/good for a console version.

  5. povu says:

    Looks pretty good. Hopefully they outsource the PC port to Nixxes again, they did well with Blood Money and Deus Ex HR.

    • phelix says:

      True that. Blood Money on PC was a little clunky but still a very well done port.

  6. Xardas Kane says:

    For the first time in ages? Did you all just somehow sleep through the E3 demo? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR5nVY_KzfA

  7. Bharg says:

    The ending doesn’t make any sense… He wanted to kidnap him, right?

    • Ringwraith says:

      I’d say a razor to the throat is a pretty good incentive to comply.

  8. Refpeuk says:

    Interesting – trees, characters, and telephone poles all cast shadows, but parked cars don’t . . .

    • gripen40k says:

      Shadows are pre-rendered and applied to textures for static objects, the dynamic objects (stuff not part of the scenery) can cast shadows on-the-fly. I think they don’t have any fancy rendering stuff going on right now, like there was no reflection of Agent 47 in the mirror at the end. Hopefully when the game is released they put in all the ‘extra stuff’ :)

  9. Chandos says:

    Streets of hope indeed… it’s given me hope for this game. I don’t care that much for the graphics really, but I’m pleased to see a plethora of interactive items and props on the level. Exploring all of that will be fun.

  10. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I suppose it may be time to finally play the originals (well the second and third ones anyway).

  11. Malleus says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that these half-second slomo bits during kills or explosions are retarded?

  12. S Jay says:

    Looks much better than the one with nuns. Very well thought with the purist mode too. Thumbs up.

  13. gritz says:

    Sweet community reference.

  14. Kestrel says:

    What century can we expect a proper PC release?

    • AJ_Wings says:

      20th of November if we can trust Steam on this.

      OT: My only complaint is that M&E feature is way too powerful as it is. Oh and I hope that UI is a placeholder. Other than that, good on you IO.

      • Bharg says:

        I really liked it in Splinter Cell, but for me it doesn’t fit here at all for some reason.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Well, seeing as that use of it there used all up of his Instinct, it seems to be very limited per mission. Especially as Instinct is also the x-ray vision and hints and everything.

        • Sinkytown says:

          I think it’s a great fit. Agent 47 was long established as ‘the best’, and accurately shooting a few targets before they can react is a well-trodden assassin trope.

        • grundus says:

          I liked it in Splinter Cell because you could only shoot a few targets at once, not an entire room full of guys. Granted, the game was designed to work around that (you’d get one solitary, easy to melee kill guy and then some guys to M&E) but I can’t help but think in real life you’d struggle a LOT to kill seven guys before even one manages to pull his gun, especially when you include the time it takes for you to draw your own (silenced, i.e. bulkier than normal) pistol from your less than practical clothes (actually, a police uniform is the most practical of all the clothing he wore in that demo) after throwing an axe into someone.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Has IOI ever disappointed the PC community in any way when it comes to the Pc versions of Hitman games? I find your remark very uncalled for.

  15. Xardas Kane says:

    A few stray observations – the instinct bar was almost entirely refilled by kiling one of the targets. Considering how many people he took out by using only 1 bar, I think it’s a bit too powerful as it is.

    Shooting the barber though took away a bit of his instinct. I guess you lose it when you kill civilians and gain it by taking out guards.

    We still haven’t actually heard Agent 47 utter a single word since the very first demo (and that voice was probably a placeholder). One has to wonder what they are hiding there. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2071475/fullcredits#cast At this point we know half the cast, including who’s playing Goon#2, but the voice actor for 47 is still a mystery. What the hell, IOI?

    Oh, and gotta love the bandage he put to conceal the bar-code. I guess this takes place after the nun… brawl.

    • Ringwraith says:

      It was probably on the most generous setting for Instinct, knowing how these demos go, so I bet it’ll be much less plentiful if you alter it so.

  16. serioussgtstu says:

    That small American town has a massive police force!

    • HothMonster says:

      You don’t get to be number one in % of population incarcerated without a little manpower.

  17. Kestrel says:

    As much as I love a couple entries in the series, I still can’t get over the whole “subtle assassin/huge bald guy with a barcode on the back of his head” contradiction. He should really let his hair grow out or at least pick up some hats… Or something. Looked like he had a bandaid over his barcode in this playthrough, so that’s a start.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      There is an actualy reason to why he blends in so well but im too lazy to type it out.

      Look it up.

  18. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    That point shooting seems like overkill. Why not just use a max payne-ish bullet time? It seems more fun and gives you a chance to actually play while you’re shooting.

    • Sinkytown says:

      I contend that Hitman is about planning hits. I have no problem watching the events that I contrived play out. To point and shoot would be to go through the motions. After all, why would the ‘world’s deadliest assassin’ miss?

      • shizamon says:

        Sorry but it’s just lame. If you suck at the game then your 47 sucks, that’s how it should be, actually take some time to get better. Otherwise make it a RTS/turn-based game.

        • Sinkytown says:

          In reality, people have reflexes that allow them to aim quickly and accurately. Why then must I use a mouse to tweak an abstract crosshair that represents where Agent 47 will fire?

          Remember the scene in Leon in which Jean Reno painted a figure of eight with his gun-sight before settling on someone’s head?

          Hitman isn’t a game about shooting, so 47 shooting accurately isn’t any less appropriate of an abstraction than Niko Bellic’s four second hotwire in GTAIV.

  19. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    purist mode it is, then ! I don’t want my upcoming accident highlighted in glowing yellow, thank you.

    this looks quite good indeed!

  20. Unrein says:

    What? No breaking latex-clad women’s noses in slow motion? Fucking shit trailer.

  21. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    A few things:

    I absolutely loathe the instinct feature. It’s such bullshit. And as an extension: the execute shit is even worse. It was crap in SC Conviction and it’s crap here.

    And the UI was crap and I really don’t like the score that pops up. What is this, Pacman?

    Other than that, it looks decentish I guess.

    • Ringwraith says:

      This is why you can turn all of these things off! Just like they mentioned!
      They’ve already got you covered.

    • Sinkytown says:

      It was an excellent mechanic in Conviction and it looks to be smartly implemented here.

  22. woodsey says:

    An improvement, but I still absolutely hate the x-ray vision and the score-tracking – and I’m still put off by the fact that there are other levels which have been described as quite linear.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The scoring seems quite incomplete—that explosion was messy as heck and had a lot of non-target police casualties, but didn’t drive the score down that far. The one policeman he bottled next to the dogs drove it negative.

      • grundus says:

        Yeah but if you see how high his score goes after the car ramp thing, I think ‘accidents’ gives you a huge score so it was probably balancing out the collateral from the explosion a lot. What I don’t get is how it looked like an ‘accident’ when he threw some explosives at a gas pump, someone saw the object as it was flying and then he or someone else identified it as explosives before it blew up, and yet the explosion didn’t kill all of the witnesses… Surely the survivors would think ‘Hang on a sec, that guy said ‘who threw that?’ then ‘run! get away!’ then there was a huge explosion… This may not have been an accident!’

        • LionsPhil says:

          There’s also a policeman who watches him calmly walk away from the scene of an explosion and seems to think nothing of it.

          The NPCs seem a bit thick, really. I don’t know if that’s because it’s on Easy Mode For Babies, they haven’t finished plumbing their brains, or the AI is just going to be baaad.

        • Koozer says:

          It was worse with the ramp death. So there was only two of you in the garage, with only one way in and out, and you were standing next to the ramp controls? Seems like an accident to me! Let’s huddle around the corpse and let the totally innocent-looking mechanic nonchalantly walk away.

          Having said that, the previous games weren’t much better, but an improvement would be nice.

  23. R0ll3rG says:

    What a bag of shite … the bloke at the beginning says this is “an expert play through … u have to know the streets to pull it of to this level accuracy and efficiency”

    I have never seen such a brain numbingly simplistic demo … kill this person, go here, x-ray vision, “hint” this could be used to kill, use to kill, need a uniform, oh there is a person on his own, kill, get uniform, put body in handy shed …

    What is wrong with game dev`s ? why does everything have to be dumbed down ? Is it a console thang ?

    Purist mode should be standard, not an option.

    • Ringwraith says:

      If purist mode was standard, the game probably would have never been made.
      At least it would narrow the appeal a fair bit.
      But if you think how often you had to go and find and plan out the timings on previous Hitman games? You can’t really go directly from target to target on a first run-through. Besides, you’re going to get lost anyway I bet.

      • shizamon says:

        Why wouldn’t it have been made? They could just cut back on unnecessary tech, like the features that make the game a cakewalk, probably would’ve saved them a load of time. Also, with this stuff in a lot of people (console market) will beat the game in 6 hours and sell it back, it’s a detriment to the experience in my eyes, but whatever, every publisher thinks they can sell 6 million copies nowadays, so they do this.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Yeah, it likely wouldn’t have gotten the go-ahead in the first place, and seeing as something as big as this will be expected to launch with shiny graphics it’s not like they could’ve cut back on it.
          Anyone who blitzes through it is probably missing most of the fun anyway, so their loss.

  24. LionsPhil says:

    47’s head looks different. Odd.

  25. wodin says:

    Not a hint of blood after using wire around someones neck, very clever assassin technique that.

    A fair few haters here, however if it’s a good story and fun to play I’m happy. Having fun is what gamings about and if your having it then great.

    Watched it all and I liked it. Though he has a hammer on his belt but picks up a glass bottle to hit someone with, surely the hammer would have been quieter.

    Still looks pleasing enough.

    • Hilden2000 says:

      Fiber wire has NEVER drawn blood in the entire series, and neither should it do so, it’s designed to crush the windpipe.

      You want blood that’s what knives are for.

  26. Zyrxil says:

    WHAT? No red tie in as part of 47’s default clothes? This is obviously not a real Hitman game. Pass.

  27. Zern says:

    OK, how does the dead guy remain standing in the closet? Why doesn’t he instantly slump to the floor?

  28. The Dark One says:

    Does it just mean cool, or is it supposed to be like, “miles ahead“?

  29. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I like the ending clip. Very Equilibrium, where Christian Bale’s Tetragrammaton Cleric goes in and cleans out a room. Here let me show you :)

    • RegisteredUser says:

      No need to show me, I remember the epic gun kata movie very well.

  30. Chiller says:

    Looks lovely. I know it’s trendy to hate sequels for attempting to improve things (omfg), but I really like the new UI features.

  31. Bitrayahl says:

    I like the gameplay, but I have to say that that yellowish filter when 47 is in sunlight(or maybe its just the lighting itself) is really hard for me to look at for some reason. Just…ugly I guess.

  32. RPSRSVP says:

    That city is very advanced for it’s era, they even have cellphones.

  33. Jupiah says:

    I have to say that those npcs are dumb as bricks, why do the police keep letting the massive, bald, highly suspicious looking guy nonchalantly walk away from scenes of gruesome death? And when he was walking into the gas station in full view of everyone and suddenly crouched down and started sneaking away, yeah that’s not suspicious at all.

    That said, it’s still probably the most realistic and complex stealth game I’ve ever seen and I desperately want to play it. Each level has so many things going on and people interacting with each other and unique items and props for you to manipulate, it’s like a really awesome puzzle for you to solve.

    Do you think this is a game that a newbie to the franchise could just jump into, or should I pick up a few of the older games from steam’s summer sale and play through those first?

    • cuchufluru says:

      You should definitelly try Hitman(4): Blood Money. Most of us agree that it’s the best Hitman in the series and -for what i’ve seen until now- will remain the best for quite some time.
      If only there was a mission editor…

  34. RegisteredUser says:

    I was kinda hoping for more nude nuns with big guns.

    Won’t someone think of all the unfunded antisextivists! :(

  35. Daerdor says:

    The nuns trailer was total nonsense, but this one is actually good! It starts to bring back the stealthy parts of the series. It has definitely brought back my interest in the game!