You’re getting a very healthy slice of Hitman Absolution in this walkthrough video with the game’s developers and there are too many fresh and important details to list here. Just watch the thing.
Of all the assassination gameplay mechanics showcased here –being able to scan a building for occupants, environmental hints at assassination opportunities– the one that excited me the most was the very simple “fake surrender” option. For years in video games we’ve had realistic looking characters who were always very limited in what they could do in response to certain challenges by other characters and environments. We still see special operations troops who are unable to get through a locked door or climb over a burned out car but who can still let off seven headshots in a row at 900 yards. And so the fact that Agent 47 can now pretend to give up when a cop or guard asks him what he’s doing there and then move in for a quick kill against that guard or cop is a huge step forward.
It’s not just the move itself that’s appealing, it’s all of the stuff that goes with it. This is an assassination game so you’re only supposed to be killing your target and, in fact, you get better scores with “cleaner” hits. Not all guards or cops are going to be out to kill you necessarily. In fact, controlling the enemies’ level of alertness and aggression toward you really is the essence of the Hitman series. In the “Streets of Hope” clip above, watch as the cop stumbles on Agent 47 and, even though he draws his gun, the cop isn’t shooting on sight. The cop is agitated and asking Agent 47 questions but to the player this has to be seen as a window of opportunity to do something helpful. The appearance of the “Fake Surrender” option is a welcome sight. Surely the cop has to be dealt with, but dealing with him quickly, silently and before he calls his buddies is in keeping with what we expect from a stealth-assassination game. Compare this to a stealth-action game like Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid where pretty much everybody has to die at your hands and you’ll see where Hitman stands.