Preview: Hitman Absolution

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Eurogamer Expo 2012 has closed its doors for the year, boasting over 50,000 attendees, a brand new home console showing and almost every major upcoming release being playable. Over the next 2 weeks expect to see Previews and coverage of the latest and greatest titles from the Parable team!

In the weeks prior to Eurogamer I had been playing the previous Hitman and it brought back many fond memories of the series as a whole and, having been 6 years since the developers IO interactive had released the last Hitman, I couldn’t wait to play test the new addition to the series. I wanted to know what they had changed, what had been kept from the previous title and most importantly if  the developers had kept, but improved, the old game mechanics.

As I sat down to play test Absolution, I saw agent 47 with his suit, red tie and copper wire, and it seemed just as I was hoping for. The demo started off in china town and, like the previous title,  you have a target which you had to kill and there were many different ways to do it. The booths even had a sheet which showed players 8 stealthy ways to complete the demo without being caught, yet me being me I had to be different and find my own way. Being set in china town meant that the area was packed with people going about their daily duties. The way the public reacted to agent 47 when walking past changed to however he was acting, just like the previous title, however it felt so much smoother and more respondent without them randomly cowering from one sharp nudge received .

Items agent 47 has are on a wheel like previous titles which meant it was nice and easy for me to get to grips with readying my equipment, even though  I was playing on the Xbox  the layout wasn’t much different. Many other things seemed to have stayed but just improved such as, the use of using a briefcase to hide weapons, dumping bodies in the rubbish and even changing clothes.

As I made my way through from the start I was tasked with the assassination of chinatowns kingpin and I immediately saw him standing up on the bandstand., however he was surrounded by members of the public and police so it wasn’t going to be as simple as I thought. There were so many ways which had been laid out for me, blow him up when he got near the car or even dress as his drug dealer and leader him away,but no it had to be different. Whilst I watched him I couldn’t help but notice how well the characters engage between each other and talk, rather than simply walk around like the last title in the series.

After I acknowledged his route, I had a walk around the map in order to see how open it was and to see how much the developers had changed the mechanics compared to the much loved previous game in the series, and the developers really had kept the same mechanics as before but improved on them. Police still stopped you from going in certain areas in the same way but in a much smoother way amongst other things too. After my exploration, I waited for the Kingpin to go into, what I thought was the quietest, area and when he did I took him out with my silenced handguns whilst making sure I killed the cook too as he was a witness, and yes I know it was not the stealthiest way but it was certainly fun.

Again like the previous title, in order to escape you can’t be alerted, and in the demo being alerted meant that instead of police coming it was SWAT, however I’m not sure whether police come before SWAT in the full game or not. Once the swat had arrived I took two out in quick succession, changed into a police uniform, dumped the bodies in rubbish bins and simply escaped by walking through a door guarded by police. The police seemed to be a lot more responsive and clever which made for a much more faster flowing game when they arrived.

As I mentioned earlier, on the weeks prior to Eurogamer I had been playing the previous game in the Hitman series, and one thing I noticed that had drastically improved were the graphics. Obviously this is to be expected as the last game was on the previous generation of  consoles and the new instalment will be on current gen consoles, but it really adds a lot more to the game and helps you focus a lot more on the game in hand. The drastic improvement with the graphics honestly added to the play style of the game and drastically improved it.

Overall Hitman was the best game I played at Eurogamer and I loved everything about it and the developers, IO interactive, had improved on every aspect that was loved in the previous title in the series and as well as improving the game mechanics, which in turn led to a more thrilling yet smoother gameplay. IO interactive worked with how open the previous title was and how many choices it gave players to complete each level and they again improved it. What was great about Absolution, from what I saw in the demo,  is that the developers knew they had a great game, so they didn’t bother trying to drastically change Hitman into something different, instead they just improved everything great that they had. I didn’t have a single bad point to make about the title from what I played at the event,

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Author: Rhys Barnes-Miller View all posts by
Hi I'm Rhys, I enjoy playing video games and am not scared to try something new. I play most of my games on the 360, however I'll play a few games on the PC, if my laptop will run it.