Many console gamers won't have played the pc original. How easy will it be to get involved in the storyline?




Дата канвертавання19.04.2016
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The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is one hectic affair. Witness all the new game announcements that are still cropping up. Look at any videogame journalist that actually made it to all three days (plus parties and press conferences) and you'll understand the bloodshot eyes.

While (far too many) game announcements may be grabbing the majority of the headlines, other items of import still happen. Eidos is still working on getting Hitman 2 out the door working closely with IO Interactive (the people developing the title in case you haven't been paying attention. We had the opportunity to pose a few questions to Thor Frolic -Ninja Extraordinaire (and Graphic Designer at IO Interactive) about the upcoming game

Hitman II is the thinking man's action game. It relies heavily on pre-meditation and knowledge of your surroundings - mostly knowledge the player must gather him/herself. It's a 3rd person game and though the first game, Hitman: Codename 47 was only released for the PC, it always had a big console potential - something we're able to utilize now.

In the game you take on the role as a socially inept genetically enhanced bald assassin. He's retired from his predestined life but evil forces won't have any of that. Our intrepid "hero" is to be reinstated pronto, by all means

Hitman II is the thinking man's action game. It relies heavily on pre-meditation and knowledge of your surroundings - mostly knowledge the player must gather him/herself. It's a 3rd person game and though the first game, Hitman: Codename 47 was only released for the PC, it always had a big console potential - something we're able to utilize now.



In the game you take on the role as a socially inept genetically enhanced bald assassin. He's retired from his predestined life but evil forces won't have any of that. Our intrepid "hero" is to be reinstated pronto, by all means

Many console gamers won't have played the PC original. How easy will it be to get involved in the storyline?

We're quite aware that a large portion of our audience will be newcomers, so the storyline won't require any previous knowledge of the game. The background information necessary to explain Hitman's background will of course be provided via cut sequences. However, people who did play the first game will be able to recognize a cameo or two.

Hitman was a PC game, where the gaming audience is older. Console audiences tend to be a bit younger, and more susceptible to scrutiny by interest groups. How difficult is it in translating what many would consider a "bad guy" to consoles?

No doubt, ours is a somewhat controversial subject. And I wouldn't deem the Hitman series suitable for too young an audience. Therefore, the contracts you get throughout the game will be on the people most likely to have a hitman come knocking at their door - bad guys. If a hitman shows up, chances are you did something to deserve it. Still, the theme is rather grim and parents should always screen games and films before a child is subjected to it.

I guess it ultimately depends on your moral disposition how you react to computer games, films, what you see on the street - everything. I'm having a hard time figuring out how violent outbursts could possibly be blamed on computer games or other media. If anything, I would say they enable you live out some adventurous fantasies, violent or otherwise, in a perfectly harmless way. The problem arises when individuals fail to discern between reality and fiction - but this applies to everything, not just computer games. This is always dangerous.

But it's so convenient and easy to blame games and films for the recent tragedies - instead of revising the way we treat each other. That is an issue that does keep coming up. How will you reach a balance of stealth vs. outright action?

That's the beauty of it. We're not forcing the player to use stealth OR action in a given situation. Of course many situations will benefit from a clandestine approach, but a connoisseur of the gung-ho style of play might also prevail. In other words, we'll leave the player to dose the mix of stealth and action. So whatever your preference might be you'll be able to find a way to complete the missions.
media/xbox/hitman2/hit05.jpgWhat are the major changes we'll see in this sequel from the original?

Hitman II will be a significantly more polished and no-nonsense game. We've learned some valuable lessons from the first game, no doubt. We've been hard at work making the game easier to play. Not from a difficulty perspective but in terms of how the player interface with the game. This means that the character is easier to control, the interface is much more intuitive, so that the effort will be in completing the mission and not in figuring out how to select certain items or how navigate the level.



What other differences can we expect?

We've all but rewritten the engine to make it more suitable for multiplatform development. This also means that the engine is brand new. We are pushing far more geometric (o.a.) detail than before. Our limit for background graphics rendered per screen is 40.000 fully processed triangles, compared to no more than 2-3000 triangles in Hitman I, including characters. So that certainly is a tremendous leap. Also the AI has been given an overhaul. We've added several layers to the way it perceives the "world", so the AI now has the capability to behave in more subtle ways - all adding to the suspension of disbelief. This is just some of things that have changed since the first gamPlaying the game on computer will obviously have differences, most notably the interface. How difficult is the transition from keyboard to controller?

We decided quite early in the development that the entire interface and control system had to be reworked, due to the fact that we were going to do console versions. Also we got a lot of feedback on the interface from the first game, which in all honesty sometimes left something to be desired. Due to the fact the game has always had a console feel to it, I'd say the transition have been really pleasant and it has worked out very satisfactory - and I think the gamers will agree

e. The list goes on.

What will we see on Xbox that won't be on the PC version?

Mostly graphics specific programming. Since the Xbox has such a powerful graphics setup, of course we couldn't resist doing some nice effects. I'm not going to go into specifics, for I am but a mere graphics monkey and have no idea what pixel shaders and words like that mean.

How easy has it been to translate the game to Xbox (and PS2)?

Since we are doing both PC, Xbox and Playstation2 versions, I'd say the Xbox combines the pc (in terms of innards) and the console aspect in terms of interface and controls. Of course the Xbox version will receive some special programming in order to utilize the unique features of the platform. Thankfully our new engine is very modular and allows for easy implementation of special features for the different platforms.

The Xbox is a very pleasant platform to develop for and we had a basic version of Hitman II running on the Xbox within a week from when we received the first development kit.

And with that the Ninja disappeared into the night. The screenshots presented here are all from the Xbox build of the game. Other versions will see screens posted shortly.



HYPERLINK "http://www.gamerweb.com/staff.asp"Daniel "monk" Pelfrey
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How easy has it been to translate the game to Xbox (and PS2)?

Since we are doing both PC, Xbox and Playstation2 versions, I'd say the Xbox combines the pc (in terms of innards) and the console aspect in terms of interface and controls. Of course the Xbox version will receive some special programming in order to utilize the unique features of the platform. Thankfully our new engine is very modular and allows for easy implementation of special features for the different platforms.

The Xbox is a very pleasant platform to develop for and we had a basic version of Hitman II running on the Xbox within a week from when we received the first development kit.

And with that the Ninja disappeared into the night. The screenshots presented here are all from the Xbox build of the game. Other versions will see screens posted shortly.



HYPERLINK "http://www.gamerweb.com/staff.asp"Daniel "monk" Pelfrey
"Hey, that star thingy is sharp!"







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