After a long, long break between titles, the Hitman series is almost back. Hitman: Absolution is on display at E3, and it’s looking like it’s just about ready for release. Last week’s trailer stirred up a bit of controversy with its representation of the female assassins (which, admittedly was a bad move on Square/Enix’s part) and concerns that the gameplay would be ‘dumbed down’ to reflect more casual tastes. Based on current gameplay footage however, it appears as hardcore as ever.
This is the third level, “King of Chinatown”, and it is quite reminiscient of the Mardi Gras mission in Blood Money. At the time, that game was revolutionary for being able to render large crowds in a playable environment. There don’t seem to be a whole lot of changes to the core gameplay, but the series has traditionally been more about making small tweaks to refine the experience.
One of the hallmarks of the Hitman series is the huge variety of legitimate ways to complete objectives, each with its own set of benefits and challenges. This demonstration shows player choices ranging from stealthy to aggressive to insane…exactly what the Hitman experience should be.
Hitman: Blood Money was a high point in the series for its open-ended environments, tight controls, and fiendishly clever ways of causing ‘accidents’ for targets. Based on the gameplay seen thus far, Absolution looks like it might be raising the bar once again.