Hitman Beta: 4 Things It Gets Right (And 6 That Really Suck)

It's better than Absolution, but buggier than it should be at this stage...

It's not until you remember just how enjoyable the Hitman series is, that it hits home how long it's been since the last truly great instalment. Agent 47's fan-favourite and series' highpoint Blood Money was no less than 10 years ago, and since then, the only other release was 2012's Absolution; a game that aimed for a wider audience through tighter levels and scripted events - only to fracture the fanbase as a result. It inevitably tarnished the very idea of a Hitman game for the years to come, and although 47 has popped up in a handful of (actually brilliant) mobile apps, the now simply-named 'Hitman' is something of a total reboot for the character. To that end, IO Interactive released a beta across the Valentine's Day weekend, presumably to make sure the series' return would be a glorious one. Comprised of a guided tutorial sequence and two open-ended levels with a variety of ways to complete them, in theory, this is exactly what a Hitman sequel should be. However, not all is right with the world of costume-swapping killers and silent assassins, as sadly the reception has been a bit of a mixed bag. Hitman's 2016 return could be absolutely phenomenal, but IO Interactive deserve a few pats on the back just as much as they need to take into account the most worrying things that are emerging from the beta...

10. Gets Right - Fixing Absolution's Detection System

On paper, Absolution's detection system was solid; the idea being that say you grabbed a police officer's uniform, any other police officers would recognise their former-friend looked completely different, and would raise the alarm if you didn't hold a button to keep your head down. Sadly, this led to countless scenarios where these 'classes' of enemy (builders, security etc.) could spot you from across the map no matter what, and quite honestly, it broke the very idea of a disguise from the get-go. Now, that idea has been refined. You still have to deal with differing classes of NPCs, but once donning a disguise, only specific people will be able to spot anything amiss; marked out by floating white dots above their heads. Providing you stay away from these guys or break sight when they start becoming suspicious, all is well. This plays into your infiltration tactics a little more than before, as some high-profile and individual characters can be mimicked, thereby meaning that nobody could identify them otherwise. Case in point: the first scenario sees you taking out one half of a business meeting, where if you steal the clothes of attendee Terry Norfolk, the entire level's worth of NPCs then talk to you as that person. Such an idea has been in Hitman games for years, but knowing you're not going to raise the alarm by dashing or being close to other characters is a godsend.
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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.