Disco Demolition – Killing With Style In Hitman: Absolution

By Nathan Grayson on October 4th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Honestly, I want a Hitman-style game in which everything really *did* slip. You play as a well-meaning but fatally bumbling bald man who accidentally murders a number of tremendously important people. He's very, very sorry about it, though.

We’ve seen quite a lot of Hitman: Absolution in the run up to its November launch. Some of it has been downright brilliant. As for other bits, well, the less said the better. But ultimately, the core of Agent 47′s exceedingly snazzy murdertimes (or exceedingly murdery snazzytimes, depending on your point of view) remains: you kill people, but in clever, conspicuously inconspicuous ways. That’s what today’s reel of footage is about, and it also includes a very important lesson: Disco’s not dead. In actuality, it was the killer all along.

Quiet, loud, electrocution, inferno, disco inferno – it seems like your assassination options in Absolution run a pretty full gamut. There will, of course, also be a bit of shooty shooty bang bang for those who want it, but – early promo materials aside – it doesn’t look like Absolution is in much danger of abandoning its series’ roots.

So then, between this, Dishonored, and Mark of the Ninja, I’m actually pretty excited about a bunch of stealth-heavy games this fall. For a while, I was worried that Splinter Cell: Conviction-style “mark and execute and don’t return Michael Ironside’s calls” killfests were taking up the mantle, but those three seem much more restrained – at least, on that front. I can feel my Encouragement Glands swelling already. How about you?

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35 Comments »

  1. Discopanda says:

    It’s so great that at least one company (apparently) knows how to make a franchise more accessible while also improving on its core tenets. Capcom, take notes!

  2. Ian says:

    With the first load of Absolution promo stuff I was all “Eeeuurggh. EEEEUUUUUUUUURRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH.” Now I’m all, “Ooooooooh.”

    • povu says:

      Reminds me of the early marketing of Deus Ex HR. Cover based stealth? Switch to third person? No skill system? Aiming shots is almost entirely player skill based? No melee weapons? EEEEUUUUUUUUURRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH.

      Then later, it all turned to Ooooooooh’s.

      Now hopefully this doesn’t have some really annoying feature or section of the game that we won’t hear about until the reviews.

  3. HadToLogin says:

    Splinter Cell: Conviction-style “(…) don’t return Michael Ironside’s calls” – he was in SCC, he works with new SC (just not as voice), so what that was supposed to mean? Because I know they took whole year to give 47 his voice back, but never heard about that in case of SC…

    • AJ_Wings says:

      He’s involved in Blacklist? I know he’s not the new Sam Fisher but didn’t he quit the franchise for good?

      • Suits says:

        He will probably end up in the ‘Special thanks’…

      • woodsey says:

        He’s “involved” with Blacklist. Seemed pretty obvious that they’d just stuck him in a dev diary to give the impression he was handing some sort of mantle over to whoever the next guy is and give the impression of him being some sort of spirit guide.

    • HadToLogin says:

      He was in devdiaries, so he was in-the-loop about SC, unlike Bateson, who – at least, how officially story goes – tried to contact Hitman-team (IO, SE, etc) and couldn’t get a single info what will happen with 47′s voice. Of course, it could be a marketing trick to make some fuzz, and he was on-board all along.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if first level would end with Sam getting into some dark room, poof, all lights turn on, main bad dude says “hello, Fisher”, snap his fingers and tons of rifles start shooting, he says “good bye, Fisher”, and then new agent comes into picture.
      Great twist, total surprise, and fans already preordered, so money will already be in pockets.
      And you can always learn he wasn’t shoot to death, but with tranquillizers, and you’ll have to rescue him first, then kill bad guy…

      • zontax says:

        >and fans already preordered,

        I don’t think they will get much pre-orders from fans.
        Splintercell as we know it is already dead.

  4. mispelledyouth says:

    Cool guys don’t look at explosions.

    Much awesomeness.

  5. Didero says:

    I was glancing over the rating thingy at the start, and for a moment I thought it listed ‘Intense Nudity’.

    Now I’m slightly disappointed.

  6. Lekker Pain says:

    Waiting is killing me.. with style.

  7. AJ_Wings says:

    I absolutely love the idea of the new fake surrender mechanic. No more trigger happy cops shooting at me for standing at the wrong spot.

    • Geen says:

      MGS3 and 4 had a similar mechanic. You could play dead, and enemies wouldn’t expect a thing until you popped up and took them hostage.

  8. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    But this “hitman” looks nothing like Timothy Olyphant!

  9. Guiscard says:

    This is the Hitman I remember, enhanced. I’m starting to look forward to this. The only question in my head is who will be voicing 47? Like Sam Fisher, the character voice actor gives so much to the role that changing it is very risky business.

  10. phelix says:

    So being detected by a guard dragging corpses around doesn’t always make the guard in question aggro on you? Neat .

    • scottb says:

      Hey, maybe the guard fainted when finding out his wife was pregnant and you are just a snappy dressing good samaritan helping him over to the body-sized crate you keep pillows in.

  11. woodsey says:

    And so it’s clawing it’s way back into the Excitement books. Why the hell they couldn’t have made their whole campaign this instead of all the shootery crap is somewhat mystifying.

    Still nervous about the levels being a lot more linear than before.

    • scottb says:

      Well, the shooty bits got everyone talking about it, then they bring in the real stuff to make us all happy. No such thing as bad publicity?

  12. Iskariot says:

    Better, much better. This is more the Hitman I like.

  13. Kestrel says:

    INCEPTION BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
    BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
    BAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  14. RegisteredUser says:

    Sure, but can I do a Michael Hutchence on the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – for a tuppence?

  15. Shooop says:

    Oh that is hundreds times better than the previous games already. You can actually get out of a situation when someone has a gun on you without killing the guy.

    The only other thing that put me off Hitman games was how everyone could identify you if you just walked too close to them. If that’s not a problem anymore, then I’m probably in.

    Mostly because you can drop a disco ball on a man’s head.

    • brau says:

      You have the sense meter, that helps you go by AI… doesn’t mean they will not recognize you… you just have to keep moving and it will kinda rouse some suspicion. I think its great from what they have shown in the last set of videos.

      This game will be awesome!

  16. vivlo says:

    turn off the sound and WAAH ! it instantly becomes incredibly boring.

  17. The Snee says:

    One thing I noticed when I played it was the music. It’s like the game knows your intentions, and the operatic, orchestral score wells up in anticipation of your deed. Walking in, eliminating your target, then leaving with minimum fuss feels pretty good. I usually go for efficiency with the first run, and save finding out how to do silent assassin for later. This means usually a few bullets are used, quietly, in a back alley.

    A note for some PC purists. The version I played was highly optimized for controller, down to some of the combat mechanisms (quicktime like brawling, better than it sounds) and tagging/executing techniques to get the quickdraw. It works well where I saw it, and there’s a good chance I may end up using a controller for it, depending on how good the PC controls are.

    Either way, looks damn good. And I got a little 47 bobblehead thing.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Quicktime events are like a zero. You can’t multiply it with anything to make it any bigger or better than it was before. There is no “not as bad as it sounds” with QTEs. They are idiotic “mash you monkey, mash! mwahahaha” reductions of player agency to mashy-smashy.

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