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E3 2011: Absolution's Instinct Mode won't dumb down Hitman - IO

New vision ability "gives you more improvisation than you might think"

One of Hitman: Absolution's new features is Instinct Mode, which allows Agent 47 to spot enemies through solid objects heat-map style. When we first saw the mode in action we were a little concerned, fearing that the concession to less observant players would make the new Hitman a cakewalk, but Io Interactive's Tore Blystad had a few welcome words of reassurance.

Instinct won't be available in unlimited quantities, and will be reined in on harder difficulties for an experience closer to Blood Money and its predecessors.

"The whole Instincts system has a lot of things we want to do with it," Blystad told us at an E3 presentation. "One of the first things we want to do is get the trial and error from previous games a little bit out of the way, so you're not rounding a corner and bumping into somebody.

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"Also we had a map in the previous games, and Instinct replaces that map, so we want you to look at the game world and not a 2D map. So that was also kind of the intention behind Instinct."

"The thing is that it does a lot of stuff, it allows you to sense people through walls and see their pathway, and we like that on a lot of levels," he explained. It gives you more improvisation than you might think initially.

"But it's also tied to an economy, so you don't have unlimited Instinct, where if you do something that fits with the Hitman fantasy, like disposing of a body, killing somebody silently, all that stuff, you get Instinct. And then you can burn it off again by putting on a disguise as we showed in our E3 presentation.

"And this is easily scalable by difficulty, so you have quite a lot of Instinct on the easy difficulties, but if you go for the ultra-expert gameplay then you don't have Instinct at all."

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