Hitman: Subtitle Boasts A “Living World”

In what must surely be the last-but-three trailer before Hitman: Absolution gets a launch trailer (the game appears on November 20th), Square are trying to show off the “living world” in which their game of death and baldness take place. As Adam noted as we watched this in the RPS virtual office, “That Chinatown sequence about 40 secs in is awesome.” It really, genuinely is awesome – but is it really game-representative? Is that crowd actually in game and not just a cutscenetrick? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough…

Yeah, it’s looking really handsome. And I am definitely in the mood for Hitman. It’ll be a refreshing difference after Dishonored overdose, even if it isn’t as good as Blood Money. (Which it might be: who knows!)


  1. DickSocrates says:

    Is the RPS virtual office hosted in SecondLife or Minecraft?

    • The Army of None says:

      I like to think it’s hosted in some virtual MUD, with John frantically typing away descriptions of the room.

  2. mcnostril says:

    I don’t see why the Chinatown sequence wouldn’t be possible.
    The carnival level in blood money was pretty close to that, and that was years ago.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      But years ago games companies actually tried difficult things. Nowadays its not whether it CAN be done, but whether someone pulls the money-trigger on actually doing it.

      This game is looking pretty interesting, so here’s hoping it really will be adventurous.

    • jezcentral says:

      And that was on the PS2 and original XBox. (And the XBox360 too).

      If they could cross Hitman with “One Block RPG”, then I would be a happy man.

    • E_FD says:

      Walking out onto the crowded street on the Mardi Gras level in Blood Money for the first time felt incredible.

      Then I spent most of the mission in a giant chicken suit, which toned down the awe quite a bit.

      • Citrus says:

        Yeah the first time when the level loaded I actually just stood in the middle of the crowd with :O expression in real life for a min or two. Then I spent rest of the time bumping into people for no reason.

        Then I open-fired on everyone for no reason.

        *re-installing Blood Money*

    • ALPHATT says:

      The crwod in that level was a bunch fo lifeless dummies, it was blatantly obvious they were salad dressing and had little to no impact. Here the actually feel like people, this is a big deal.

  3. kibble-n-bullets says:

    Show me really tight level design and a branching narrative. Show me savvy AI. What I saw was something expensive, pretty, and unfocused.

    Edit: Yes I sound negative, but I just think IO’s marketing department has been out to lunch for a while. What makes a Hitman game great? Show that.

    • valz says:

      Yeah, that trailer makes it look much less fun than a Hitman game.

    • scottb says:

      I think the marketing people are purposefully not aiming at the segment of the population that knows what makes a Hitman game good. The point of the marketing is to sell as many copies as possible. This means convincing new people to play the game.

      If you’ve already played and enjoyed Hitman games, they are betting that you will be sold on the less widely released gameplay trailers and other media that isn’t as tightly related to marketing.

      Disclaimer: I did not watch this specific trailer yet, just my 2 pennies on why the marketing for this game (and ACIII) seems to suck so bad from the gamer’s perspective.

  4. Crazy Horse says:

    This is all very well but scripted conversations and eye candy is not what makes a Hitman game. In short what defines a good Hitman game is replayabilty.

    I really hope they don’t go the route of the Splinter Cell series on this one and defecate on the core gameplay in order to turn it into an interactive action movie. That said I enjoyed Conviction a lot in the afternoon it took me to play it but it’s replay value was nil.

    I want to be challenged and forced to patiently wait and observe without the game throwing the way forward in my face. I want earning the Silent Assassin grade on levels to be a real achievement like in the first two games in the PS2 era.

    • KenTWOu says:

      but it’s replay value was nil

      Except it wasn’t, cause Conviction has Deniable Ops mode.

    • Citrus says:

      I still have Conviction installed and have replayed the Single Player almost as much as I have replayed DeusEx. Conviction was bloody awesome, these best Splinter Cell game for me (having played all since the series started) and I am disappointed in what they are working on now.

      Conviction, great story and sexy presentation, awesome visuals and beautiful action. Loved it. I wish there were more levels in SP..

  5. Iskariot says:

    This trailer hits the right buttons for me, but to be honest I do not trust it. It sounds to good to be true. If they can really pull off that living breathing world this game will be awesome, because that is exactly what I look for in a game.

  6. AJ_Wings says:

    I think it’s going to do a lot of things better than Blood Money, mechanically speaking. Features like fake surrender, the improvement on non-lethal takedowns(it’s more time consuming to knock someone out instead of straight up killing them) and of course much improved controls. Although I didn’t have much problem with Blood Money’s control as opposed to a lot of the complainers.

    The level design is going to suffer most likely but I’m still pretty optimistic on this one.

    • tomeoftom says:

      Yeah, I think it would be hard for any game to top Blood Money’s level design. I’m kind of suprised BM doesn’t get talked about more often during the big immersive sim discussions here. I mean, obviously Jim loved it but to me it seems hugely under-represented. It’s one of the most perfect games there is, in terms of realising the potential of the “one city block” idea. The amount of interlocking pieces that comprise each stage is just huge, and every interaction was at least valid, and usually surprising too. Maybe it just gets ignored because everything happened in one level, rather than having your choices carry over through the whole game a la Deus Ex.

  7. db1331 says:

    All these games promise living worlds. Instead you get, “DO YOU GET TO THE CLOUD DISTRICT OFTEN!?”

    • TimMc says:



    • Naum says:

      It’s “very often”, isn’t it? (My even asking this question proves your point, of course.)

    • Bhazor says:

      I saw an Assassin the other day.

      • The white guar says:

        Nasty creatures ):<

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          What did you see the ass ass in? Hotpants? I prefer jeans myself.
          Also no need to repeat yourself, I heard you the first time. Twice is just vulgar.

  8. Saarlaender39 says:

    2:12 – 2:14
    Party on, Dude! ;)

  9. KevinLew says:

    There’s something really wrong when Agent 47 now uses toilet plungers to strangle enemies. Why would he do that when his garrote was more effective?

  10. Bhazor says:

    1:25 really confused me for a second. I kind of assumed it was Agent 47 doing a slut strut.

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  12. Yglorba says:

    Hitman is one of the few series that I’d say has genuinely improved with every single installment to date (maybe Silent Assassin was better, but that’s partially nostalgia — when it came out, we hadn’t seen anything quite like it before, while the later games were more following in its footsteps. Still, I think they found ways to improve.)

    I suspect this one will be the same way; the trailers for Hitman games have always been a little bit unrepresentative of how the game really plays, anyway.

  13. ALPHATT says:

    Jim you may be a little misguided there with all the Blood Money praise that you throw around under every Hitman video. I’m a huge hitman player and while blood Money was very good it was also incredibly flawed in so many ways, i don’t see any reasons why Absolution would be worse.

    • Yglorba says:

      What were your problems with Blood Money?

      I did have a few issues with the last two levels (there were forced “boss battles”, which were ridiculous and utterly unlike Hitman — one was skippable, but two others weren’t, as far as I could tell. And the white house just didn’t feel like the white house — probably deliberately, since they didn’t want to be accused of making too accurate in a game like that.) But those are ultimately minor quibbles when compared to the rest of the game, which was excellent.

      Every Hitman game has had a few bad levels (remember the Japan levels in Silent Assassin?) It’s inevitable when so much of the game depends on its level design. But they’re still all good games overall.

  14. 1Life0Continues says:

    I still say Codename 47 was better in every way. /troll.

    Although I liked the mission in the chinese restaurant, and still remember the moment I got through that clusterf*ck with a Silent Assassin rating, after something like 5 hours of trying.

    The games after that just felt too polished to me. That’s probably an odd concept, but still, I always found the first game much more enjoyable than the sequels. Oh well.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      nah, blood money was pretty spot on. Though I missed the one button slowmo.

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  16. LionsPhil says:

    Yeah, it’s looking really handsome.

    Really? For an AAA game going “look at me, I’m pretty”, the animations were distractingly floaty to me, and the facial animation below the standard Valve set about eight years ago.

    • Kadayi says:

      True. But then Valve don’t exactly do the packed with lots of AI thing either.

      • Citrus says:

        Valve fans also think that huge open spaces with 2 bins lying randomly while the grass and trees never sway, is good level design.


  17. WinTurkey says:

    Guys, Oblivion will have Radiant AI, every single NPC will live his own life in the-

    Oh wait, wrong game, sorry.

    I’ll take this trailer with a grain of salt. Luckily the AI in the Hitman games was always silly so I doubt they’ll make it outright worse. My biggest concern was that they blew too much of the budget on voicework.

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