Last week, my friend and colleague Matt Cabral wrote up an excellent preview of Hitman: Absolution for Kotaku. I was given the same demonstration by IO Interactive and Square Enix this week at CES and couldn't agree with him more - the game is going to be bloody fantastic.
However, one small reason for this is because it happens to borrow one of your favorite game mechanics from one of your favorite games. Red Dead Redemption.
Toward the end of our guided demo of Absolution, Agent 47 walks into a room full of goons, activates his "instinct mode," slows down time, paints all the targets in the room with little red x's, then proceeds to blow them all away with a micro uzi.
Matt said he felt that this was similar to the "Mark and Execute" mechanic used by Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell Conviction but when I saw this happen, I just couldn't help myself. I screamed out, "Haha, he's got deadeye!"
IO wasn't amused. "Well, not exactly - you see we based this off a real world technique used by Special Forces operatives. You can look it up on Wikipedia!"
Ok, first off, don't ever tell me to go look anything up on Wikipedia. Second of all, I don't have to goto Wikipedia to know that there is no Special Forces technique that allows you to slow down time, then paint and gun down 14 targets in a 180 degree radius. Unless of course our Special Forces are now made up of clones of John Marston and Sam Fisher! At least admit that "maybe" Agent 47's "instinct mode" was inspired by these extremely similar gameplay mechanics? Speaking of which, did you know that Red Dead Redemption and Splinter Cell Conviction came out within a month of each other? The plot thickens!
Anyhow, I'm not trying to get down on the guys from IO, they make awesome games and gave me an awesome demo. Not to mention I've been a fan of theirs for years now. Hell, I'm the guy that liked Kane & Lynch 2! What I'm saying is, the deadeye mechanic in Red Dead Redemption was awesome. The fact that it has (damn well sure to some extent) inspired game mechanics in Hitman: Absolution is even more awesome. So much so that I just said awesome four times in the same paragraph.
I'm not quite sure that I understand some of Agent 47's other new abilities, like his Jensen-esque ability to see through walls, but I'll suspend my disbelief because Hitman: Absolution, much like its new "instinct mode," looks absolutely brilliant.
Headline image by Chad Lakkis