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Hitman 3’s Developers Share What Makes Its Berlin Level Special

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 17:11

Publisher: IO Interactive Developer: IO Interactive Release: January 20, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC

Agent 47 may be the playable avatar and box-art star of the Hitman series, but I’d argue that he’s not the main draw. That distinction has to go to the meticulously crafted levels that IO Interactive has delivered for years. They’re sandboxes in the best sense of the term, providing interesting, beautiful, and varied backdrops for players to ply their grim trade. Each level is purposely built for replayability, rewarding players who fully explore each setting with not only unlocks but a greater vision of the myriad little stories that populate each place. One of Hitman 3’s standout locations is its Berlin mission, which severs Agent 47 from the resources that he’s relied on up until this point in the trilogy. It’s a disconcerting change of pace, and there are some interesting stories behind its development.

We spoke to several members of the development team during our Hitman 3 cover story, and we were able to play our way through the game’s first three missions. We wrote at length about the Dubai and Dartmoor levels, but much about Berlin was off-limits for our pre-launch coverage. Now that the game is out, we’re ready to share some of the behind-the-scenes insights about the mission.

First a quick spoiler warning: If you’re planning on playing Hitman 3, I’d recommend coming back to this after you’ve played through this particular mission. There are some surprising things about it, and much of its impact could be lost if you read too much beforehand. I went into it without any knowledge about what was coming, and I think the experience was stronger for it. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I wanted to bring it up sooner than later.

By the time you begin the game’s third mission, Apex Predator, you’ve probably already developed a sense that IO Interactive is moving out of its comfort zone with these levels. The first mission features a lot of verticality and a pair of targets who can be drawn close together for a memorable double kill. The second mission, Dartmoor, lets players try their hand at being a detective instead of their usual role as a freelance executioner. The optional murder mystery is a complete change of pace, with optional interrogations and investigations that can occur right out in the open.

At IO Interactive, every mission begins with the team nailing down some key thematic words and phrases. For Dubai, game director Mattias Engstrom gave the level designers and artists a few short terms including “on top of the world,” “open and airy,” and “an inviting beginning.” Dartmoor’s thematic direction included the phrase “a house filled with secrets” and the words “ominous” and “vulnerable.” By the time the third mission rolls around, players are dropped into a place where the words “loneliness” and “isolation” were used as creative springboards. Once you’ve played through it, the significance is clear.

Midway through Hitman 3’s narrative arc, Agent 47 finds himself alone. His former colleagues are dead or working against him. What was supposed to be a meeting has transformed into a slaughter. There’s no friend on the other side of an earpiece. Players don’t even know who their targets are as they emerge from a wooded area to find a sprawling club built within a decommissioned power plant. “It was always supposed to be a cold open and a bit surreal with what’s going on,” Engstrom says. “You don’t really have anything or anyone here, and 47 is defining his own mission for the first time.”

Even though Agent 47 doesn’t have any tactical support, he’s far from alone. As you work your way into the facility, you start to appreciate just how many people have packed themselves into the place. “This is our event location,” Engstrom says. “Like, Paris has a fashion show, this is the rave event.” Music can be heard upon approach, with bass reverberating off the concrete. When you descend into the actual club, it’s a nearly overwhelming sensation. The music is loud, and it’s accompanied by a syncopated light show.

“We put a lot of effort into making it an authentic rave in Berlin, and a lot of effort into the music, and we spent a lot of effort into making that crowd,” Engstrom says. Players have to observe NPCs to determine who the targets are, which can be tricky considering the overall density. Of course, Agent 47 can use that to his advantage as well, slipping amid the crowd to conceal himself if a guard notices the suspicious-acting bald guy.

Executive producer Forest Swartout Large says that seeing the content-complete version of the rave for the first time was a career highlight. “I feel like it’s so much, that experience up to that reveal. And then you get inside and you’re like, ‘Oh my god! Mind blown!’” She adds that she felt like seeing it all working together was something special. “I cried when I saw the rave, and when I had the ‘I have arrived’ moment. It was totally emotional. It hit me like a ton of bricks.”

In a first for the series, Hitman 3’s composer, Niels Bye Nielsen, also wrote all of the other music for the game instead of incorporating tracks from other sources. One of the easy-to-miss details about the rave is how the NPCs react to his work. As the music builds and explodes, the crowd will adjust their moves to simulate, well, dancing. Their moves are fairly convincing, though Swartout Large recalls that it wasn’t always quite that way. “We have this very tall Viking/Norwegian animator named Morten [Helgeland], and he did the initial blocking-animation mocap – and it was hilarious.”

That placeholder animation – which, to be clear, was never intended to be included in the game – made it look as though the dance floor was populated by “f---ing dads,” Engstrom says, laughing, as he mimes some decidedly uncool maneuvers.

Dancing dads notwithstanding, the rave sequence is impressive on traditional displays, but the team says it shines even brighter in PlayStation VR. “Without a doubt, that rave level is something where we grab people and say, ‘Can you please come over and just go down on the dance floor?’” says senior game designer Eksil Mohl. “Because you can [make a fist], everybody has just been standing there [mimes pumping a fist to the music]. And they’re saying ‘This is insane. This is insane.’”

Lead game designer Sidsel Hermansen adds that being able to experience the club in VR is a nice reminder of how things used to be before the Covid-19 pandemic. “I haven’t been to a rave for a long time, I haven’t been to a party, I haven’t been to a concert, and I usually do that a lot,” she says. “It’s actually been kind of a reminder. It’s been a beautiful thing to be able to go there.”

Categories: Games

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Is Providing Key Crisis Communication Lessons

Forbes News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 17:03
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s televised briefings for reporters are a continuing education class for business leaders on how to communicate clearly and effectively with the media and the public during a crisis — or any other time.
Categories: Business

2021 Buick Envision previewed, 2021 Durango Hellcat sold out, 2021 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV review: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:41
2021 Buick Envision preview The redesigned 2021 Buick Envision crossover SUV seats five, rides on a new platform with a 2.0-liter turbo engine, and comes with a sharper look, and top Avenir trim. Refreshed 2022 Buick Enclave to launch later this year Buick teased images of the refreshed 2022 Buick Enclave three-row crossover SUV. 2021 Mini Cooper...
Categories: Property

Covid R rate: What is the R number and why does it matter?

BBC Health News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:11
Health experts keep discussing the value of R, but what is it and why does it matter?
Categories: Health

Another GOP Lawmaker Attempted To Bring A Gun Into House Chamber, Capitol Police Investigating

Forbes News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:03
Harris reportedly asked a fellow Republican representative to hold his gun so he could go vote.
Categories: Business

Bow Wow Accused of Disrespecting Keyshia Cole With Comment During 'Verzuz' Battle

Aces Show Biz News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:00
While some viewers are upset that the 'Rain on Me' songstress and Keyshia Cole show up late for the long-awaited episode, Bow Wow leaves a 'corny' joke during the live event.
Categories: Celebrity

Green light for Manchester Debenhams regeneration

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:31
Developer AM Alpha has been given the go ahead to transform the Debenhams in central Manchester into a mixed-use scheme.
Categories: Property

Latest James Bond Film, “No Time to Die”, Postponed to October 2021

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:20

Update: This post, which was originally published on December 5, 2019, has been updated to reflect the latest release date for “No Time to Die”. The film is now due to hit theaters on October 8, 2021.

James Bond is the quintessential spy. The orphan turned assassin likes to work alone, but frequently shares the silver screen with some pretty hot sheet metal. The second trailer for the latest Bond film, No Time to Die, gives us a more thorough look at the 25th Bond film that’s been postponed (again) and is now due to hit the big screen on October 8, 2021.

Like the first one, the newest trailer is packed with action. Once again, we see Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 with miniguns in its headlamps, as well as a number of Land Rover Defenders racing about off-road. This is the fifth and likely final James Bond film Daniel Craig will headline, and we decided to put together a list of the cars that have starred alongside the most recent incarnation of the legendary British spy. Check out the latest trailer below and read on for a look at almost all the James Bond cars Craig has piloted through the years.

Casino Royale

The first installment of the Craig-led Bond film era features a 2006 Aston Martin DBS that is eventually rolled at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford, England. Toward the end of the film, Bond is thrown into the back of a Jaguar XJ8 of the same vintage. The bad guys always drive Jags.

Quantum of Solace

The second Bond film to feature Craig has the most “eclectic” assortment of cars on its roster. After Bond almost completely destroys his black DBS in the opening minutes of the film, the cars take a turn for the less exciting. Bond ends up driving a retro Land Rover and a black Ford Edge—powered by hydrogen—throughout the film. Quantum of Solace does feature a 1970s Volkswagen Beetle, though!


Skyfall doesn’t feature many vehicles, but M (Judy Dench) and Bond take a long road trip to the orphanage where Bond was raised in an Aston Martin DB5. In their last stand against Silva (Javier Bardem), the DB5 is sadly destroyed. But I guess that’s Q’s problem, not ours.


Spectre featured a host of sweet sheet metal. Bond pilots an Aston Martin DB10 concept—into the Tiber River in Rome—while being pursued by Hinx (Dave Bautista) in a Jaguar CX-75 supercar. Sadly, neither of the two cars ever made it to production, but it’s a chase we’re happy to have seen played out on the big screen. The previous generation Land Rover Defender also makes an appearance in a snowy action sequence in which Bond chases a de-winged propeller plane down a mountain.

No Time to Die

The newest installment in the Bond franchise isn’t set to be released until October, but a few sweet cars have already been revealed in the initial teaser trailer. The new Land Rover Defender, which made an appearance at the L.A. Auto Show, an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and an ’80s Aston Martin V-8 Vantage that Bond will be piloting through London can be seen in the trailer.


The post Latest James Bond Film, “No Time to Die”, Postponed to October 2021 appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Pubs for Sale: Centrally Located Period Coaching Inn And Hotel For Sale

Business Now Mag - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:12
The White Hart Hotel is a former Coaching Inn and comprises an impressive period building, standing in a prime location in the town of Wiveliscombe. Situated at the gateway to the Exmoor National Park, 'Wi
Categories: Business

Entrepreneur: Elon Musk Was Hanging Out Backstage and Maskless With Dave Chappelle 1 Day Before Chappelle Announced Testing Positive for Covid-19

Business Now Mag - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:09
Joe Rogan was there too. As was Musk's partner, Grimes, who shared her own Covid-positive diagnosis on January 9, following Musk's recent inconclusive test results. But nothing to see here.
Categories: Business

Refreshed 2022 Buick Enclave to launch later this year

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:05
The refreshed 2022 Buick Enclave three-row crossover SUV will debut later this year, Buick announced during a brand overview on Thursday. GM's premium automaker was mum on details about its largest vehicle, but in twin teaser images the family hauler sports revised front and rear ends with a new lighting signature. The top Avenir trim starring in...
Categories: Property

Entrepreneur: Conor McGregor Says There Is No Such Thing as a Self-Made Success. Here's Why.

Business Now Mag - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:03
The combat sports superstar says his mindset is always to be number one in anything he does.
Categories: Business

Entrepreneur: The power of mental health in the face of the pandemic

Business Now Mag - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:01
Uncertainty, bad news, the losses of a loved one or close people can overwhelm and stress you. In order to face the situation and be resilient, you need to work on yourself, love yourself, protect your mind and be healthy.
Categories: Business

Summer Walker Goes on Date Night After London On Da Track Split

Aces Show Biz News Feed - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:00
In an Instagram post, the 'Playing Games' singer, who is currently pregnant with her ex London's baby, pokes fun at how her baby bump seemingly doesn't let her dress to impress that night.
Categories: Celebrity

Entrepreneur: The Winning E.D.G.E. of Entrepreneurs

Business Now Mag - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 15:00
When entrepreneurs are aligned in body, beliefs and business they experience life at a higher level.
Categories: Business