Behind closed doors, members of the press were given a sneak peak into the return of Agent 47, the skilled assassin from the Hitman series. The last game came out in 2006, so there's a lot of time for the developers to learn what works for the series and what doesn't. The preview was of a tutorial stage, and in a fairly early stage of development, but it seems to be going in a good direction, albeit with a few strange choices here and there.
The level took place in an old library, where 47 has been pursued by a local police force. We saw the demonstrator take to cover (there's a cover system in place now), keep out of sight, and stay hidden by climbing around bookshelves. Most of the dialogue between the police members seemed scripted, but still played out well as Agent 47 started taking them down, one by one, to get to his objective. The 'instinct' system was shown, which allows you to see the world through the killer's eyes, lighting up patrol routes and figures through walls.
This instinct system was used for much more than that, however. Represented by a yellow bar in the bottom-right of the screen, Agent 47's instinct meter would go up as he performed hitman-like actions, presumably meaning taking down enemies, changing into a disguise, that sort of thing. In addition to showing patrol routes and guards, it also allowed him to impersonate the person whose disguise he was wearing. In the case of the demo, we were dressed up as a police officer, and whenever someone became a little suspicious, some instinct was used to pretend to speak into the walkie talkie on the uniform's shoulder, which got rid of suspicion.
In addition to impersonation, you'll also be able to hide in plain sight, so to speak. Again, as the cop, we were tasked with getting past an entire SWAT team without getting noticed, as they were walking by. To do this, Agent 47 walked over to a box of donuts and started perusing through them as the team walked right by. These hiding spots will allow 47 to get a look around his surroundings without raising suspicion, and also allow a bit of breathing space when you're surrounded by potential enemies.
There was a point in the demo where 47 was forced onto the library rooftop, and a helicopter was dispatched in a fairly scripted sequence. The developers have confirmed a little bit more of this, with some levels being a lot less open than previous titles, having a sort of gateway system to connect smaller parts of the levels. Whether or not this will be utilized well is still to be seen, but the demo level had a very smooth transition.
The developers have said that there will be multiple pathways through each level, though we were only shown one. Hopefully, they've been taking cues from their more popular titles in order to craft this new Hitman title, though what we've been shown certainly looks like the game has potential. Look for it to come out on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC next year.