Not Entirely Silent Assassin: The Sound Of Hitman

By Nathan Grayson on October 30th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Amidst the eardrum-bursting din of day-to-day existence, it’s easy to lose track of the little things. The important things. For instance, when was the last time you tossed your schedule in the wastebasket, picked up the phone, and called Agent 47 voice actor David Bateson to tell him how much you appreciate the tremendous role he’s played in your life? His vocal stylings are the perfect mixture of gruff, foreboding, and silky smooth – a beautifully layered sandwich of sound that often goes under-appreciated. But Hitman: Subtitle has many noises. Let them enter your sound-intake orifice after the break.

So the soundtrack seems fairly typical – though I do hope it’s able to accentuate smaller, slower moments in addition to those of Hollywood horn blast grandiosity. Also, it’s a shame they didn’t really focus on environmental sounds and things of that nature. I mean, we know for a fact that things blow up in an acceptable fashion, but what about the mundane chaos of a loud crowd and how that affects gameplay?

Oh well. Regardless, it’s all looking quite nice. IO and Square Enix had me pretty worried for a while there, but Agent 47 still seems to mostly be doing his thing – not some gung-ho soldier man’s. Color me cautiously optimistic. How about you?

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27 Comments »

  1. Koozer says:

    Paraphrasing mr. producer in the video: “Dialogue is the most important piece of audio.”

    Sorry chum, but I disagree. I’d take better environmental sounds – creaky floorboards, shuffling feet in a crowd and wind whistling over hilly vantage point – over less-cheesy-than-average dialogue any day.

    Of course, I am still looking forward to trying to sneak through a level on the hardest difficulty fifty times before giving up and going gung-ho, every single time.

    • Askeladd says:

      I can’t really remember, but I really like Hitman games have no quicksave.

    • WinTurkey says:

      To be fair, Absolution seems to have a very in-depth NPC conversation system. If you look at the gameplay videos of that library escape you’ll see quite a complex AI decision network, with each point appearing to be voiced. I was very impressed in that bit where 47 takes a cop hostage and the guy begs his comrades not to shoot and one of the other cops promises that they’ll save him.

    • felisc says:

      yeah that quote didn’t resonate well with me. I guess he meant that in a particuliar situation, like knowing where your ennemies are because they can’t refrain to mutter their thoughts, but … sound effects and music are the real deal !

    • Dr_Krieg says:

      I see what you mean but in my experience of creating audio for visuals in various formats, bad audio stands out like a sore thumb and good audio goes unnoticed.

      Bad vocals will stand out more than music as you start to comprehend speech even if you don’t actively try to. Because of this I’d say he’s got a good point, poor vocal recordings, poor casting and bad lip sync will break immersion faster than other audio sources in my opinion (save for de-synchronized audio following direct player input).

      Though I understand the logic behind your hypothetical substitution.

  2. Shezo says:

    So, no Jasper Kyd then ?
    What a pity.

  3. phelix says:

    Love how the guy turned around at 1:25. Reminds me of Morrowind.

  4. Clavus says:

    I still listen to the Blood Money soundtrack on occasion. Great atmospheric, dark and moody music for rainy days.

  5. Kohlrabi says:

    The screenshot reminds me of Timothy Oliphant in Justified, for some reason.

  6. pupsikaso says:

    What was the last Hitman before this one like? Between the disappointment of Dishonored and replaying Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory I’ve got that stealth itch I can’t seem to scratch…

    Although I never liked the Hitman games because of a lack of non-lethal options (at least for the main target, anyway), maybe this new one will be alright?

    • Unrein says:

      Hitman: Blood Money is the best Hitman game there is. And probably will be.

    • kament says:

      Now, Hitman is and always was mostly about killing people for money. There is no way around that. What non-lethal options are you talking about?

    • deadsexy says:

      Have you tried Mark of the Ninja yet or playing Dishonored without the supernatural stuff? (Yeah, even without using Blink) If the game being too easy caused your disappointment, that is.

      • wodin says:

        after all the hype as per usual with many big release games that come out in the winter that are raved about DXHR etc etc I became bored with Dis by the time I killed the twins..never went back.

        Mark of the Ninja was a far more pleasing experience than Dis. XCom again bored creeped in, haven’t been back for awhile and never completed it.

    • Nordom says:

      So, let me get this straight…you don’t like that in a game that is completely about being a Hitman you’ve to kill the person that you’ve been contracted to kill?

      • pupsikaso says:

        Yeah. I never liked the games, and only ever played 2 of them precisely because of the killings. I don’t like hurting people, whether it be in games or not. But due to a lack of stealth games (I’ll have to try Mark of the Ninja…) I’m willing to give Hitman another try, and so I’m enquiring about it and how it stands as a stealth game.

        • Nordom says:

          Well, as a fellow non-lethal player I can tell you that you should be able to complete Blood Money without having to kill anyone…apart from the main target, of course. In any case, and although the game share many of the standard stealh elements (the analysis and planing of enemy routes, the waiting, sound “management” …) I’ve always thought that due to the importance of the disguises the games are almost a subgenre of the standard stealh games.

          • kament says:

            Yeah, except you would be staging perfectly lethal “accidents”. Oh, and then there’s the final bloodbath.

        • lordfrikk says:

          Well, without the assassinations it wouldn’t be “hitman”, now would it? It also is a different type of stealth-based gameplay than, let’s say, Splinter Cell. In SC you cannot be seen and the gameplay and your options are suited towards that. In Hitman, as Nordom said, it’s more about being covert by using different disguises and generally not letting yourself be seen for more than a few seconds.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      I can’t fully remember how heavy it is or is not on the killing, but IIRC Thief: Deadly Shadows had a lot of sneaking about and more often it was best to avoid combat. I may be off on this, but I recall the game mostly being about gaining info via listening in on targets and stealing stuff rather than going on a murdering rampage. And the asylum/orphanage level… oh lord, the asylum….

      • pupsikaso says:

        Yeah, Deadly Shadows was amazingly good. I almost wish it had … (whisper it) DLC.

      • edwardoka says:

        All 3 Thief games actively discouraged violence, at least on the harder levels, where killing someone was insta-fail.

        If you have Doom 3, get the Dark Mod; it’s basically Thief style-gameplay in the Doom 3 engine, and it’s very good. I’ve only recently started playing it myself as it’s just had a massive update, but it nails the feel of Thief very well indeed.

  7. Mccloud says:

    “Also, it’s a shame they didn’t really focus on environmental sounds and things of that nature.”
    Ugh, disgusting. I’m sure a hollywoodian score will compliment my brutal gameplay, but it seems like some ersatz element – for the lack of environmental audio.

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