Preview by @MonkeyManPhil

Hello 47, we have a job for you.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to play the upcoming Hitman Beta from Square Enix, IO Interactive have been developing the agent through the years and this title now has a very nice and more lit look for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

The Beta seems to sit as a prologue for the new game, during this you land in a cold mountainous area where you are greeted by Diana who takes you inside, from this point you have a tutorial upon a yacht which takes you through to the basics of the game and guides you in your first assassination (after that you go to an military complex) but during this first stage you get to see how everyone interacts with you, when you attempt to board the ship you‘re told that it’s restricted access and you’re not welcome, prompting you to hunt out first disguise also when you walk in-between people having a conversation they’ll respond in the way that would be expected from pushing past people in real life, but I did experience a few occasions where this didn't happen, which will hopefully be refined for the upcoming launch.

By the standards of the original games the amount of NPCs on screen have been given a sharp rise as well as IO Interactive now claim to have the ability to produce over 300 fully functioning AI in a level at one time, this is noticeable when you get onto the opening training yacht to prove yourself. You’ll notice a fair amount of AI's chatting about different things from women talking about trying to see your first target’s Villa to ship guards talking about how devious the target is, each of them seeming to have a personality, this really gives the stages a life to them and also seeing some people walking around doing their own things but not every AI seemed to do this.

The sound effects from a silent snap of the neck to an ejector seat going off during a flight check were all suitably meaty, the only effect that I personally found a little lack lustre was the sound of a remote mine exploding, it just didn't seem to give off enough wallop for what you would hope for and the crowd didn’t seem to react to it in the way you would from an explosive going off on a large sinkable object.

If and when use a weapon or do something suspicious everyone reacts, saying it was a tall bald man though obviously this is completely dependent upon your outfit, otherwise they will all say it’s a solider or a waiter or mechanic that has done something curious if you’re spotted, apart from when you subtly touch a drink and pop some rat poison in front of everyone, even other staff

As ever you designated hit is easily noticeable and never takes very long to track down on both levels and make the kill however you intend to do it, what really makes things longer is the game tells you different ways in which you can assassinate your target which gives great amounts of re-playability onto this title from what I experienced so far I like to see.

One thing I did notice whilst walking around the ship the frame rate did seem to struggle a little with the visuals falling a little bit behind the controls, they say they can have a substantial amount of AI but if it does lower the Frame rate it might take some of the fun out of the game, but this is the reason we have beta tests and hopefully the finished product will have ironed out these issues.

The way Agent 47 moves around the screen and aptly takes cover avoiding detection is fantastic and this works very well on the Playstation 4 controller, with a very simplistic button layout which makes it easy to pick up and go. Selecting 47's weapons of either mass violence or sinister silence is quick and easy with even hiding or drawing the weapon at a simple push of up on the pad, Aiming the gun has a very trouble free system (when I used it one time) but most of the time I kept to quiet terminations of individuals.

With the release date not too far away could the issues be smoothed out for the 11th of March?

The PC beta is due to start on the 19th of Feb so we’ll have to see how it compares to the PS4 version but hopefully IO interactive will have found any major issues and have it adjusted for a finished title at launch without the need for a chunky day one patch, though we are slowly getting into the habit of receiving these on brand new titles lately. But hey only time will tell, from what I have played thus far I would say keep your eyes open for this title as I have high expectations after playing that beta.