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Hitman 2 demo hits the beach for moonlit murder

Hit the beach

A wee free demo for Hitman 2 is out now, inviting all would-be slapheads to sneak around the game's first campaign mission and try murder. This 'Starter Pack' demo contains Hawke's Bay, a beach house level serving as the game's prologue and tutorial, with all its challenges and unlocks and such.

Today also brings an update which, most importantly, reduces the amazing psychic ability of guards to instantly know where a gunshot was fired from. The update spruces up the levels carried over the previous game with tweaked lighting too.

Hitman 2's Starter Pack demo doodad is free to download on Steam. If you take a shine to it and pick up the full game, your progress will carry over. And you may well like it, if our glowing Hitman 2 review is any indication.

This accompanies the launch of Hitman 2's February update, version 2.14. It fixes and fiddles with a lot of things but what's most immediately appealing to me is lightning improvements for the levels carried over from 2016's Hitman with the 'Legacy Pack'. These include HDR, more contrast ("providing a more detailed and dramatic image," they say), changes to bloo and flare and the sun and the sky and... here's an example of how different it can look.

Ah yeah, Ian's holiday snaps were using an oddly gloomy Instagram filter before, as if he wanted everyone to know that Sapienza's sun and sea did nothing to warm his black heart.

As for psychic NPCs, IO say that they've changed how folks react to shots when they didn't see Ian Hitman shoot, making them need to perform amateur CSI to guess where he is.

"Previously, guards would (sometimes immediately) approach the location that the shot was taken from and search. They might also suppress that location with gunfire too," IO explain.

"Now, they will start by searching at the place that the bullet landed and will start to figure out where the shot came from. They will only look at where the shot was fired from if they have line of sight to it. Depending on the circumstances, they may also suppress the location and begin to move towards it. It's important to note that 47 can only be compromised according to the normal game rules: one of the NPCs should get close and spot him near the location where the shot originated from and then they can link him to the crime."

See the version 2.14 patch notes for more on today's update.

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