The Hitman series has always remotely held something resembling a plot, but the main focus has been that of perfecting tough missions through trial and error.
All that is about to change with the latest in the series, Hitman Absolution. With Square Enix’s backing, IO Interactive has more access than ever to modern day motion capturing technology and Hollywood acting talent to bring a new sense of realism not yet seen in the series.
Using the mo-cap technology, this development diary shows off Interactive’s motion capture process. IO cuts right to the chase, strapping Hollywood actors into the bulbs and gadget, filming cutscenes just like any Hollywood director would film a scene. This approach allows them to get motion, voice overs, and camera angles all in one go rather than doing it all separately with different teams and motion cap actors.
Actors Vivica A. Fox and Powers Booth also give their impressions of the technology and how it relates to film acting. Vivica A. Fox is popular from several big action movies from the 1990’s and early 2000’s including Independence Day, Eraser and the Kill Bill movies. Powers Booth is a tough guy character actor you’ve most likely seen in movies and television shows, most notably playing Vice President Daniels from 24.
They will not use this process with Agent 47 though as his motion capture and voice actors will be different people. David Bateson will continue providing the voice of Agent 47 as he has done with every other entry in the series.
I was a film major in college, so it’s interesting to see AAA video games following the language of cinema . It’s an interesting evolution that has a definite future in the market, but I hope that this doesn’t completely overtake every major series out there. As I said before, Hitman was always more about trial-and-error and experimentation within the missions. A deep and engaging narrative could possibly get in the way of that.
Realism and cinema has its place, but games with a more classic attitude like Super Meat Boy and XCOM also need to thrive and satisfy gamers who don’t need that immersion. The balance we have now seems to be holding steady, and I hope it stays that way.
Hitman: Absolution will be released on November 20th for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.