Hitman 2 Interview – Designing an opportunity, more dynamic AI and the new tools of the trade

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It’s easy to get away with murder. All you need is the mind of a well-oiled killing machine, the ability to divorce yourself from the emotion of doing the deed and and an eye for spotting an opportunity that can make even the most outlandish murder look like a complete accident. 2016’s Hitman was a masterclass in using Agent 47 to move through crowds to pull off a kill that nobody saw coming.

Whether it was a fatal cocktail, dropping a moose on an unsuspecting victim or even using Yoga itself to bump off a victim, Agent 47’s streak of creative killing was unrivalled. In Hitman 2, players will need to once again step into the mindset of an assassin, utilising all of the tools at their disposal to get the job done. At Comic Con Africa, we had a chance to grill IO Interactive marketing coordinator Theuns Smit on the character of the new Colombia stage, how much story players would have to engage in and new Elusive Targets.

That wasn’t the end of our chat, as we still had a few more questions for the fella. Which he was only too happy to answer for us:

When a level is designed for Hitman 2, is it crafted to allow for certain opportunity kills or do these assassinations come from examining the stage itself? Or even perhaps, a bit of both?

The locations themselves, they’re what make the game shine. We thought of it before as this kind of Swiss cheese approach with multiple little holes and ways and routes in that you can go through and that you can move around. So when it comes to different opportunity kills or organic opportunity kills, you can manage by using the environment like with accident kills.

For example in Hitman 2, you might have noticed that as you make your way up to the party area there are these silver disco balls hanging from the ceiling and one of the guys was like ‘wouldn’t that be deadly if it fell on your head?’. First it was kind of like a scene prop right, and everyone was like ‘yes let’s make it happen!’and boom now it’s a deadly weapon in the hands of 47.

It’s kind of like this back and forth where as we create we discover new ways where we want to highlight this or this could be really cool. This, the way it is positioned could create this opportunity. It’s really discovery and opportunity flowing together.

The crowd and enemy AI seems to be a lot smarter in Hitman 2. How does this impact on the gameplay?

The combat AI, they’re a lot more dynamic now, they’re smarter. Dynamic in the way that not all of them are just copy-paste security guards of each other. Some of them are going to be a good shot and be able to hit you, some of them are going to be bad and under stress and adrenaline. They’ll shoot all around you and you’ll see things pop and explode , bullets miss. They’re going to work together more as a team. There’s almost like a central guy who is going to call out some things, they’re going to try and flank you.

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If the gunplay is something that you really enjoy, which we’ve also taken to a whole new level [with]new sounds, new guns, everything that we could just one-up, we did, it’s going to give a lot more dynamic combat with the AI.

What can you tell us about some of the deadly new tools of the trade in Hitman 2?

Some of the things that we’ve shown so far that we are bringing into Hitman 2 for example, we’re bringing in a dart gun, we’re bringing in a flash grenade as well as a stun grenade. And then one of the biggest things that we’re very happy about that our community has been asking for a lot, is the briefcase. So the briefcase is back, and that is like an extra puzzle piece that you get to play with.

You get to hide your sniper rifle in the suitcase and walk right past the guards and have that awesome Agent 47 experience to be ‘I’m here to do a job and they don’t even know that I’ve got this gun on me’. But not only sniper rifles, you can put any other weapon or item or bomb in there and you can for example throw it over a wall somewhere or leave it somewhere and other NPCs and guards will pick it up because you know what happens to unattended luggage.

They will actually carry it in for you, you can get the AI to smuggle things for you as you plan your way. So it opens up so many more ways for you to play, so many more deadly items that he can take advantage of with his mind, of Agent 47 being the ultimate assassin.

Hitman 2 is out on November 13 for Xbox One, PC and PS4.

Last Updated: September 19, 2018

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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