Edge Magazine has gotten a hold of new details on Hitman Absolution, which I’ve detailed below.
The latest Hitman game is set in Chicago, with Agent 47 wanted by the local police. 47 is often avoiding people who want him dead due to being one of the best assassins in the world, so this isn’t surprising.
What is different from the earlier games is that there is more focus on staying hidden from enemies, rather than sneaking in, wiring a guy, and wearing his clothes as a disguise. Though Hitman is primarily a stealth game, it’s more about an elaborate plan to kill a single target without having to burn an entire mansion to the ground.
A big issue with the games is that for the most part, Agent 47s disguises were largely infallible, and only a few people (usually the targets) would see through them. Often too late for their own good as 47 splatters their brains over the wall. Disguises will not be able to fool everybody. The elaborateness of the disguise system will be a very major change to how the game is played.
The AI has also been changed. I’ve noticed a few times in Contracts where the AI was just… well, strange. Like walking into a target’s room and making too quick a step would wake him up. Yet him being smothered by a pillow or collapsing on the floor wouldn’t wake up the maid sleeping three feet away. The AI can act as a group with actual tactics instead of relying purely on extreme amounts of gunfire, which honestly is about as effective against Agent 47 as punching him.
A big change which may be tricky in a game that is traditionally non-linear, the levels of the game will have checkpoints. Whether these will save when reaching a certain area or killing your target isn’t known yet.
The Instinct mode is your new toy to predict enemy movements. The large map that showed the entire area is no-longer available to you, but instinct mode allows Agent 47 to see enemies through walls and accurately predict where they will come from. The mode is powered by stealthy kills, and also improves the effectiveness of his disguises.
While I’m on the HUD, the threat meter is now a grey circle that hints to directions that enemies can spot Agent 47 from, a very welcome change considering the removal of an incredibly useful map.
The changes are all ones that I’m really liking. Having to switch to the map all the time was a dangerous tactic, though effective. However the fact that it blatantly showed the NPC locations and directions made it borderline cheating. Absolution is going to be a huge step in the right direction, making very nice improvements to an excellent game.