IO Interactive gives us a first look at Hitman: Absolution

io interactive gives us a first look at hitman absolution the developers talk about 625

As the Hitman franchise celebrates a dozen years of existence, a new game in the series will be released sometime this year. Using the stealth mechanics crossed with a healthy dose of gameplay options, Hitman: Absolution should satisfy longtime fans, and attract new ones as well. But other than a few screenshots and some impressive looking trailers, we haven’t really had much of a chance to see what the game would be all about until now. 

This week at CES, Square Enix showed off a bit of the game, which is due out later this year. The story will probably strike a chord with fans of the series, as it begins with the hitman known as Agent 47 embarking on his most emotionally demanding mission yet: to kill his longtime handler, Diana.

In the demo being shown, 47 honors a request from Diana and heads to an orphanage to speak with a mysterious young girl named Victoria, but he is not the only one after her. A new antagonist named Blake Dexter (voiced by Keith Carradine) also wants the girl, so he sends a squad of thugs into the orphanage. When 47 arrives (dressed as a priest), the place is a blood bath, but the girl hasn’t been found yet.

The demo showed off what Hitman: Absolution is all about. It should feel familiar to fans of both the series as well as stealth games in general, but it does have a few new tricks too.

io interactive gives us a first look at hitman absolution 007Common everyday items litter the environment, and 47 can use them as weapons—broken glass can become a makeshift knife, fire extinguishers can be used to beat on people, and (in a slightly blasphemous vein) things like crucifixes can bludgeon enemies to death. This game was probably going to offend someone somewhere anyway, so the developers might as well go all in.

As with previous Hitman games, the method of completing missions is up to you. If you want to turn it into a third-person shooter, you have that option, or you can take enemies down quietly. Where the game really shines though is in stealth–you could complete most of the game without confronting a single enemy. It won’t be easy, but you have options that can help.

Disguises return, and after taking out an enemy, 47 can then take their clothes and wear them. He can then join a group and hide in plain sight to gain information or quietly walk past enemies. Alternatively, there may be other ways to progress like air ducts, or he can sneak past enemies using cover. Making this easier is one of the biggest new mechanics is the “instinct” ability, an element somewhat similar to Batman: Arkham City‘s detective ability.

When 47 uses the instinct ability, he can see the path people are going to take, then move to avoid it or set up an ambush. It can also be used to get a look behind walls and around corners. But rather than keeping it on all the time, the instinct ability is powered by a gage that can only be filled by doing certain things like a headshot or a stealth kill.

The demo also highlighted the tiers of NPC enemy awareness. Some will be keenly aware of their surroundings, while others be less attentive. In one section, 47 (wearing the clothing of the thugs) snuck up behind an enemy while another enemy was talking on the phone. The first enemy wasn’t paying attention and was easily dealt with, but the sound tipped off the other thug. On a reply though, the first enemy was quietly dealt with, and the second enemy turned around and spoke to 47, thinking he was the now dead thug. Walking into a group still dressed as that enemy barely raised the eyebrows of most, but a few were a bit suspicious. You also have to be careful with leaving bodies, as some NPCs will make more thorough searches than others.

Once the combat kicked up, the game plays like a somewhat standard third-person shooter with a cover system. In certain instances there is a bullet time-like effect that can be especially useful when you have environmental targets like a tank of pressurized gas that will explode when shot.

Above all, the game emphasizes choice. You can attack, sneak, or be a ghost depending on your preference. The graphics also look great on the game’s proprietary engine, Glacier 2. The lighting effects are solid, but more importantly, the audio has been upgraded. As you enter certain situations, the sound—beyond just giving you hints as to the surroundings—will also change based on the level of tension. If someone suspects you, the music will change slightly. If they are looking for you, it will change completely. It is a mechanic that has been used before, but it is integrated incredibly well.

Check out the video below of the developers discussing their creation, and look for Hitman: Absolution later this year.

Gaming

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for January 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Gaming

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Gaming

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.
Gaming

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.
Gaming

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Deals

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.