Agent 47 is back! Just don't expect more of the same-ol'-same. IO Interactive has rebuilt Hitman: Absolution from the ground up to deliver the most immersive Hitman experience to date. We caught up with Agent 47 in an old public library in rainy Chicago, being hunted by the local authorities.
With close to 30 police officers filling up the library searching for Agent 47, the level seemed nearly impossible from the start. However, we soon found out that nothing is impossible with the new "Instinct" feature. Allowing the player to "see the world through the eyes of Agent 47", Instinct highlights what the players can expect the enemy AI to do next, allowing you to hide in the open without being seen by anticipating the enemy's next moves. Think of it as infrared night vision that lets you glimpse into the immediate future.
Quickly making his way through the library, Agent 47 cut through nearly a dozen cops before taking one hostage and creating panic. Seeing as how the cops weren't anxious to shoot one of their own by accident, our anti-hero was able to slowly back out of the room to escape to the rooftops. Once outside we get an excellent feel for the new Glacier 2 engine, as the sequence shifted over to a rooftop chase where Agent 47 had to continue his escape while dodging helicopter fire.
The water effects from the rain made for some excellent eye (and ear) candy, pounding the ground the entire way until the Hitman cut into another building. This time we found him inside of a pot den, with dozens of plants and a few panicked characters, worrying over the local cops busting them too. The dialog and actions of the frightened "citizens" were not only funny, but realistic as well.
From there Agent 47 made his way back to the rooftops, secured a disguise, and headed down through another building loaded with more police. As it turns out, players actually have quite a wide variety of choices to make that would dramatically influence the entire experience. From taking more hostages, to grabbing an assault rifle and going to town on the enemies, you'll find plenty of freedom in Hitman, letting you play as you prefer. Whether it's stealthily weaving through a crowd or running-and-gunning your way to freedom, Hitman: Absolution promises to deliver an experience full of choices -- and consequences.
Releasing in 2012, Square Enix is publishing IO's Hitman: Absolution for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Keep an eye out for further details to be released later this year.