It’s been almost six years since Agent 47 last donned his trademark black suit and dual .45s, and not much has filled the void he left behind. While game series like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell have given us plenty of stealthy, stabby action, they don’t deliver the same rush of excitement or sense of accomplishment gamers received when playing the Hitman titles. Next year, however, the bald assassin returns in Hitman: Absolution, the fifth game in the series cannon. Yesterday, IO Interactive and SquareEnix release a whopping 16 minutes of gameplay footage.
The demo introduces several new abilities, including improvised weapons (such as unplugging a power cable to use as a garotte) and ‘Instinct Mode.’ Instinct allowes players a glimpse into the mind of 47, showing weapon and item locations, enemy positions, even the path that the Hitman thinks they’ll patrol. Footage also showcased some impressive and dynamic enemy AI, dubbed by IO as the “comprehensive intelligence spectrum.” It not only allows NPCs to counter your tactics individually, but actually work together as a team to take you down.
In an interview with IGN, developer Martin Amor noted that, “In the earlier Hitman games when you started to shoot, the AI would take out their weapons and start shooting back … Now the AI is like – what exactly is going on? And the AI is always talking … Very complex AI is worthless if you don’t make it clear to the player what it’s doing and what it’s thinking.”
Check out the full 16-minute gameplay demo after the jump; while the official release date for Absolution has yet to be announced, but keep an eye out for it between Q2 and Q3 of 2012 on 360, PS3 and PC.
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Since the announcement that Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment over a year ago, we the fans have been waiting to see exactly how that would effect us, because really, it’s all about us. We haven’t seen any mega-crossovers like Daredevil the Pooh or Spider-Mouse, but it looks like Disney may just be pulling some weight by bringing a few Marvel titles to your TV screen.
After a presentation on the Disney lot, Marvel has put together a short list of properties that they are looking to bring to TV in the next few years. On the very top of that list is a live action Hulk series, helmed by comic veteran Jeph Loeb, who most know for his work on NBC’s Heroes.
Hulk could go into production over at ABC as early as mid-summer. Next in line, the plan is to work on a series based on the Cloak & Dagger franchise, which would go straight to ABC’s cable network, ABC Family. The story would follow the duo of Tyrone Johnson (aka Cloak, who has the ability to teleport) and Tandy Bowen (aka Dagger, who has the ability to heal and create daggers from light).
Both shows are in very early development, but that hasn’t stopped the studio from poking around a handful of other properties to adapt into the small screen. Heat Vision has the short list.
Executives presented ABC suits with a list of titles they identified as possible series:
• Heroes for Hire (focusing on ex-con Luke Cage offering to take on bad guys for a price);
• The Eternals (a race of superpowered beings live amid humanity in secret, inspiring legends);
• Agents of Atlas, Alter Ego (private investigator Jessica Jones takes on cases involving superhumans);
• Moon Knight, the Red Hood (a low-rent criminal discovers a cloak that gives him superpowers);
• Ka-Zar (a Tarzan-type and his saber-toothed tiger must journey to the concrete jungle to seek justice);
• Daughters of the Dragon (a dynamic female duo, one with a bionic arm and the other a granddaughter of a samurai, open a private-detective agency); and
• The Punisher (one man wages a war on crime; already adapted as two feature films).
Even given Hulk and Cloak & Dagger, this is an incredible list, and could only mean that Warner/DC and Disney/Marvel have decided that the silver screen wasn’t large enough for them to wage war, and they’re now taking over our living rooms. In any outcome, we all win.
Welcome to another edition of The Pull List Comic Reviews! The fall of the Hulks begins, Mogo dishes out his brand of justice and both Geo-Force and the Sentry lose their marbles. As always, WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
PULL OF THE WEEK:
Dark Avengers #13
Marvel Comics – $3.99 US
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
The Marvel Universe has seen better days. While the disassembling of Earth’s mightiest heroes led to the breakout of a civil war, a secret invasion became the catalyst to Norman Osborn’s dark reign, and with the siege of Asgard on the horizon, surely things couldn’t get worse (see what I did there?), could it? The Sentry’s true origin is revealed, answering once and for all that, yes, things can get worse…much worse.
Just when I thought all the pieces were on the table, Brian Michael Bendis takes the much-maligned Sentry and turns him loose. With this latest revelation of how the Sentry came to be – not to mention how he’s more unstable than anyone thought – Bendis has taken a tragic figure and made him the definitive x-factor for the Siege event. Whether or not the character winds up saving the day or becoming the most dangerous player is still up in the air, and that’s just a tad frightening.
This issue is all about the eyes. Artist Mike Deodato nailed every beat of this issue by letting the eyes of the characters tell the story, which really focused on the horror of what resides within the Sentry’s mind. From the Sentry, the Sentry’s wife, Lindy and even Osborn himself, the eyes served notice that something wicked this way comes. For even more justification, take a gander at that last page.
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Welcome to The Pull List Comic Reviews! First off, a huge thanks to John Carle for covering the column last week, he did a fantastic job. Make sure you check out The Flickcast’s podcast this week where he was also a guest-host! The dude’s everywhere. Okay, on with the comics. As always, WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
PULL OF THE WEEK:
Lobo: Highway to Hell #1 (of 2) – DC Comics – $6.99 US
Writer: Scott Ian Artist: Sam Keith
You’re sitting there, asking yourself “How in all that is holy is Lobo: Highway to Hell the Pull of the Week?” Believe me, I’m asking myself that very same question. You see I’ve never dug Lobo. I’ve read a good chunk of his various issues over the years and I’ve never seen the attraction to the character, but seeing as variety is the spice of life, I figured I’d give this a shot. The premise sounded interesting enough…
Lobo’s chillin’ at home when he receives a message – in the form of slain dolphins – from the big bad himself: the Devil. Even though the Main Man has been banished from Hell for quite awhile now, he figures it’s time to go on a road trip and pay a not-so-friendly visit to his old pal, Beelzebub. Along the way everyone’s favorite Czarnian runs into more violence, mayhem, booze and floozy “women” than he can shake a stick at, but what happens when he finally comes face to face with the cutest evil… waitaminute… CUTE?!?
He hasn’t had a starring role since 2007’s Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious, so when DC Comics dusted the mothballs off of the character, they decided to get a fresh take on him. Enter Scott Ian, the guitarist for the band Anthrax. Ian’s first foray into comic writing is pretty decent, but it’s how he handles the title character that blew me away. There was just enough here to add weight to the usual aloofness that the character normally projects, which clicked beautifully. While the big payoff will be next issue’s finale, so far this has been a very enjoyable ride.
The Maxx creator Sam Keith, who had both writing and artistic duties on the aforementioned 2007 mini-series, makes his return to the character. Bringing his distinctive style that is every bit as manic as Lobo is, the art looks great, even while juggling different levels of detail throughout the issue. From what I could tell, the creative team looked like they catered to each other’s strengths, culminating in a fun romp that became our Pull of the Week.
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In a world where very little, if anything, is free, Marvel is trying to do something about that problem. How? Read on from the official Marvel press release:
“Marvel is proud to announce the debut of Agents of Atlas #0 today, available free to all fans courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Collecting three new-reader friendly short stories from Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust, Dark Reign: New Nation and Agents of Atlas #7, all written by critically-acclaimed scribe Jeff Parker, you’ll get the answers to your questions!
Who are the Agents of Atlas? What role did they play in Secret Invasion? What’s their new mission during Dark Reign? And just what’s it like to take a peek inside the mind of the enigmatic Mr. Lao?”
And as if that weren’t enough, Marvel has also made Agents of Atlas #1 live on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and its free to check out as well. Who says nothing in life is free? Now if I could just find out where they put that free beer.