The level that you play on the demo at Eurogamer Expo 2012 is a China town map which after playing you realise is a small map. This map was probably chosen to try and keep the demo short and sweet so more players were able to have a go.
The first impression you get when you get into the game is that the environment in Hitman is quite vibrant, the city streets are crawling with people and there is a lot of noise, the sorts of things you would expect of a busy market area in a densely populated town/city. Your task in this level is to take out a drug deal of sorts and like the classic games the way you kill him is up to you (to an extent). If you wanted to go up to him in public and shoot him in the face, by all means but expect the worst.
The first thing you do notice is that he is located at the centre of the map in a rotunda which is surrounded by police. For me this felt a little too obvious, making it too easy to find him. Once you have found him you then have to wait and see your choices be revealed to you as you follow him round or explore your surroundings.
One of your choices you can take is by poising the drug dealers drugs…obvious?. To do that however you have to make sure you do not draw attention to yourself. Like the good old Hitman dressing up is something of his specialty. Dress up and take no time finding a way to slip something into targets fancy cocaine, after that wait for him to take it back to the den and sit back and enjoy your kill.
Some kill choices in the game are quite unique while other seem a little bland and sometimes bluntly easy and out there. Another choice you are given is to go up to a room grab a sniper and shoot the target in the rotunda, little to clean and prepared for my liking but might be perfect for someone else. Blowing up the targets car while he is near it and grabbing him into a dumpster to take him out while he has a leak is much more up my street for what a Hitman game should be like.
One thing that made me laugh was getting caught by a chef stealing the food and a S.W.A.T team out of nowhere taking me out…. never knew S.W.A.T was paid to do that kind of thing. It broke the immersion of the game at that point but was still funny to see “STEP AWAY FROM THE FISH” moment.
The China town level is beautifully crafted with such an ambient feel to it, in the back of my mind however, the level seemed to feel like a starting level. Not a tutorial level but a level which is near the beginning of the game and is making it easier and more obvious for the player until they get used to all the controls, actions and choices. Hopefully later in the game there are more variables and more things you have to take into account to get that perfect silent kill, or on the other hand that fancy, over the top, heart stopping, breathtaking… obvious S.W.AT team calling assassination.
Hitman Absolution is shaping up to be a nice game to the series and from what I saw Sqaure Enix have done okay and I hope as the story and game progresses it gets to its roots like the previuos games. Hitman: Absolution comes out in the UK November 20th. Keep tuned for a full review then.