There was this moment during a hands-on session with upcoming Hitman: Absolution that made me realise the game world was going to be something special. The mission saw Agent 47 starting off in an alley just off a public square in Chinatown. In order to leave the alley to reach the target area, you need to open these large, ornate doors that linked to the square. The scene was striking because of the polar opposites: you began in the quiet seclusion of the alley, only to be greeted by this explosion of NPC life as you open the doors to the square. If you want to see what I’m talking about, then give this hands-on video a watch. It was the NPC’s frying pan erupting into flames that kicked off that “oh wow” feeling. As a gamer, you know what feeling I’m talking about.
The volume of on-screen activity and crowd hubbub was amazing, and that’s when I realised that Absolution has a lot going for it in terms of game world immersion. Obviously this is one of the cornerstones of the game, because Square Enix has released a trailer that highlights the “living breathing world”. I must admit, I loathe that phrase when it comes to describing game worlds – it’s become such a clichéd one-liner. Don’t let that detract from the trailer however, as this new footage does a good job of conveying just how immersive the world of Hitman has become.