“To go along with the great visuals is great sound work. The strip club level, as tawdry as this will sound, is the best example of the two in action. The entertainment does it’s thing on stage as hordes of horny business men stand around cat calling. Bassy stripper tunes bang out of the clubs sound system as 47 works his way through the crowd, following his target. As you move from room to room the volume drops and rises according to where you are located compared to the speakers in the main room, and voices rise and fall too, struggling to be heard over the din. It’s all very well put together.”
“The larger, more open stages will feel familiar to fans of the series. Some of these are impressively sizable in scope, and even more impressively populated by teeming crowds of Joe and Jane Q. Public, and the presentation, performance and – especially – sound design in these busy areas are all excellent.
Subsequent to a relatively quiet build-up, the first time the game sets 47 strolling through a gate and into a surging and noisy Chinatown market packed with hundreds of people is a thrilling moment. Street vendors hawk wares, fry cooks bellow out orders, and 47 can even eavesdrop on unique one-sided cellphone conversations as he picks his way through the crowd. Pinching an idea from Assassin’s Creed, Absolution also allows 47 to blend into the crowd to avoid unwanted attention. All in, the crowd scenes are probably the games’ crowning achievement, which is why it’s only a shame there aren’t more of them.”
“Many of the levels are jammed with shoulder-to-shoulder civilians, and Hitman: Absolution sports some of the most convincing, enjoyable crowds I’ve encountered in a game. Those crowds are greatly enhanced by some wonderfully written ambient dialogue—these writers know exactly how to capture the rhythm of a one-sided cell-phone conversation, to the point that I stopped evading the cops in a crowded Chicago train station just to sit back and listen. Playing Absolution so soon after Assassin’s Creed III is a lesson in how crowd-stealth should feel, and how to believably render the chaos of a dense urban scene.”
Damian & Anton are back from London. Kicking Back in the most beautiful part of the Netherlands. A small picturesque village called Giethoorn. Talking about how the last day went down. Discussions about procedural, mixing, volumetric sound sources and all the jazz you are used to.
At 16:00 they do a nice review of our own IO talk looking at our new proprietary engine Glacier
See link below
Metacritic on day one… 87!
IGN 9 out of 10 “Amazing”
“It sounds great too. The dynamic score which picks up as the action mounts is well implemented, and there are quite a few moments where the audio design really pops. Approaching and opening a closed door to a loud, bustling bar, for instance, sees the sound launch from a subtle hum of chatter and muffled music to a roar of raised voices and bass. It’s well crafted. Hitman games are all about atmosphere, and Absolution gets it right.”
Officialplaystationmagazine 9 out of 10
“Some places are packed with NPCs, and I mean hundreds, in dense crowds that create a real sense of urban bustle. It’s alive with dialogue. There are phone chats, guards talking, incidental bit of side story and character exposition. IO obviously realized that if you are going to spend five minutes hiding behind a wall it might as well be interesting and have peppered locations with conversations worth hearing because they bring colour and life to world”
“What it does do is deliver about as good a story and rewarding experience as you’re likely to get this year.”
CVG 9 out of 10
Feels like ‘proper’ Hitman, mixed with new ideas of varying quality. Crucially, it’s great fun, and you’ll want to play Absolution through more than once
- Brilliant ideas, densely packed
- Brutal kills married to IO’s trademark humour
- One of this generation’s finest stealth games
- The premise of Contracts mode…
PCGamesN visit the Vixen Club and outline seven brilliant things about Hitman: Absolution. Read the article here -http://bit.ly/Rc3w3I
1. It’s got the best crowds
“The first time you encounter Absolution’s people-packs will be in Chicago’s busy Chinatown square. Push through some ornate doors separating the quiet alleyway in which your mission begins and the heaving square beyond, and the sense of noise and bustle hits you like a sonic sledgehammer. Hundreds upon hundreds of individuals clamour around food stalls, shouting their orders and mingling realistically, while street vendors toss flaming teriyaki and gaggle impatiently with their punters. And rather than the usual repetitive aural hubbub of “rhubarb rhubarb”, your ears are bullied by half a dozen individually recorded lines of dialogue: a frustrated woman giving directions on her mobile phone, a security guard talking shop with a colleague, a cook asking a customer for something smaller than a twenty. It sounds convincingly lively, and amongst it all exists your target, a unassuming suit in an ocean of human shields.”
“The moment you push through the club’s double doors however, the bass track lifts and fills your ears with seedy treble and “pumping techno”. The atmosphere becomes heavy, drenched with noise and sweat. Men wave and bawl rudeness at dancing women, bar staff with trained voices shout clearly above the din – “pass me those glasses”, “keep your hands to yourself”, all stuff I assume is said in real strip clubs. It’s a seamless, stark shift from outdoors to in. Again, it feels like a real, cloying, sticky location.”
“The area is small – a central square surround by a small ring of roads – but it’s teaming with life. The bustle of people, noise and colour is impressively atmospheric, as is moving 47 through solid crowds, twisting and turning to slot between the throng.”
“The scene is breathtaking, even on six-year old console hardware less and less capable of impressing. Five hundred shoppers pack a market square, chatting and shopping and ordering from steamy food stalls. There’s a chef flipping noodles in a hot pan, and a man on a mobile in a hurry. We’ve seen large crowds in games before – hell, even Xbox 360 launch game Kameo packed in the NPC’s – but this is different. There are almost no repeating models, for one, and they’ve all got routines”
“Also worth mentioning is that, had time permitted, we would happily have spent more time replaying the same level both to improve upon our score (which will be shown to friends when they start the same level) and to experiment with different approaches. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we have an opportunity to do just that, because second attempts aside, Hitman: Absolution is shaping up to be something pretty special.”
“While Agent 47′s deadly instincts and puzzle design were enjoyable to experiment with, the unassuming star of the hands-on demo were the crowds. What must have been a few hundred people were densely packed into the Chinese quarter, mingling and going about their business in a very natural manner.
It’s a sight to behold, and important for gameplay too; visible and dangerous actions can send ripples of panic through the crowd, emptying the square and exposing you to armed assailants with nowhere to hide.”
“He throws them open, and before him is a vast crowd of people. Vendors line the alley, as 47 walks slowly towards the pagoda where his target lingers. The first thing to note is the living breathing world that surrounds 47. You can see that each person has their own story in this massive crowd, and it really is incredible.”
Sound experience: The crowd system
For the crowd system we are relying on two key features in our engine Glacier 2. The template and blend features.
Our crowd system supports up to 1200 characters and that requires a unique sound approach and setup in order to create an overall authentic and believable crowd, ready to interact and adapt to all movements and behaviour patterns that you as the gamer choose to carry out.
The sound system supports blend sounds which opens up for a dynamic and runtime based interactive mixing of sound assets. Here we can pitch, attenuate, change, EQ, etc. single sound assets based upon the unique crowd ratio numbers. And each parameter can independently be affected by the subset of conditions or crowd information numbers. These pieces of information are the cornerstones in setting up the crowd soundscape.
Our vocal sounds differ between intelligible and unintelligible assets as a part of the overall sound experience and make it possible to create the illusion of crowd scaling from 1200 to a few characters when you as a gamer blend in and out, in the hope that your movements will pass by unnoticed.
Using the conditions originated from the crowd, we are able to be very precise about the current state of the crowd and, based on that analysis, play the context relevant assets.