After watching a near 17-minute gameplay video of Hitman: Absolution, it's apparent that Agent 47 has undergone a transformation. He has a new voice actor (so does Diana), he's thinner than previous games, he's wearing a tie clip and he's adopted new stealth tactics. Although disguises will be plenty available, 47 seems to spend more time using shadows and ducking behind objects than hiding in plain sight.
In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, game director Tore Blystad discussed Absolution's gameplay. Many of the changes stem from the developer's goal of streamlining 47's actions so players aren't punished for the game's mechanics. For instance, in past versions it wasn't uncommon to miss your target with a fiberwire -- a failure that comes with steep consequences. Absolution aims to solve that quandary.
"We really wanted the feeling of playing him not to be about failing mechanically...it's more about failing to hide his body or contain the situation," explained Blystad, adding that previous control schemes demanded too much of the average player. "So all these people were feeling like pretty rubbish hitmen, walking around all the time being shot at and failing to perform things that should be very natural to him."
"I think, from a control point of view, everyone wants a unified system because it gives a better input; if you can pick up a game and instantly know how things are mapped out," Blystad continued. "We've been trying that a lot, but we still fail because we have so many extra mechanics that we're running out buttons really quickly." He didn't offer many examples of the refined controls, but there won't be as many menus.
When you interacted with a body in previous games, you received a list of possible actions -- perhaps to drag the corpse or take his clothes or weapon. Absolution will streamline those options without compromising fidelity or choice. Simultaneously, Blystad said the new system makes it easier to understand how the game should be played without making players feel like they're fulfilling a contrived role.