Hitman Lighting Discussion

With the latest installment in the Hitman franchise, IOI decided to bring back the bloom effect that was introduced in Hitman Absolution. What is bloom you ask?

“Bloom (sometimes referred to as light bloom or glow) is a computer graphics effect used in video games, demos, and high dynamic range rendering (HDRR) to reproduce an imaging artifact of real-world cameras. The effect produces fringes (or feathers) of light extending from the borders of bright areas in an image, contributing to the illusion of an extremely bright light overwhelming the camera or eye capturing the scene.”

In this thread I wanted to go a little deeper into the bloom/lens flare effect we have now in Hitman 2 (and Legacy pack), and want you guys to discuss about it.

With Hitman 2, IO Interactive brought back the bloom effect from Absolution to create a more realistic lighting experience. But was it really something the game needed? You might say: we never asked about it, but even IOI wants to try new things sometimes. They don’t have to fullfill everyone’s wishes. However, did this addition to the game make the experience with, for example, the Legacy levels, better than they were within Hitman Season One? Me personally, I’d say no.

The Hitman lighting has gotten a critical downgrade with the introduction of bloom and lens flares. Maps like Sapienza & Miami are stunning looking maps when it comes to lighting, but bloom effect throws a spanner in the works. This not only causes awful lighting, but also a bad gameplay experience. Moments could occur where the player is blinded by lens flares and doesn’t see where to go. In my opinion, this is a serious problem. To give you guys some examples:

Like shown in the pictures above, the Hitman experience doesn’t feel as joyfull and smooth anymore when the player needs sunglasses to properly navigate. Many people mocked IOI by saying “If it’s good, make it worse - IO Interactive”, which is mostly unfair. But in this case, I have my doubts about that. IO Interactive does a very great job making the Hitman games as perfect as they are, so lots of love for them, but people can’t deny they make mistakes too, and I want to respectfully point them out. IOI’s most obvious blunders with the latest Hitman games are the lighting/skyboxes. Sapienza had 4 different looks in the past 3 years, and imo the original was still the best. Why change it if it’s already good? They did make some maps better, but was it necessary?

If you’d ask me on how to fix this problem, I would say remove the feature completely. There are more complaints than positive comments about the bloom effect, and the game really didn’t need it to look stunning. It has a negative effect on gameplay, and adds nothing of value. As much as I love IOI’s work, I gotta say (with all due respect) they missed the mark on this one.


They should tone it down a bit, but not Remove it completely.


I really don’t understand how effect like bloom is not tweakable for the player in the options. You can’t even edit it through .ini file here, like with some other games. It should be right there with the head bobbing, chromatic aberration and other trendy effects in games, that can be headache, eyestrain and nausea inducing for some ppl.

Maybe it is just me, bc i do have sensory issues, but Miami is straight up painful for me in lot of places, needles in your eyes kinda painful. Kronstadt building especially, bc it goes from bright to dark to bright to dark like a goddamn swing and it takes so much time to adjust between the areas.

Right now, when i just want to relax and mess around, i return to night-time maps only. I go into sunny ones only when some challenge forces me to, bc the darker ones are simply more comfortable to be in, since the bloom problem there is only in some spots and not that pervasive and omnipresent.

Just…let there be a toggle for it, pls, don’t care if it’s going to look not as effective and shouty, when off, i just want to be more comfortable when playing.


They should just tone it down.

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It is truly out of control. Bloom makes many areas impossible to see, such as Marrakesh or Mumbai, where split-second decisions on where to hide can be severely inhibited by lens flares or a nearly completely white screen.

One of the biggest problems with game design happens when an aesthetic choice makes a direct negative impact on fundamental gameplay. The lighting in Season 1 GOTY wasn’t the greatest, but everything was playable and at the very least you could see NPCs in front of you.

As many on this forum have suggested, a toggle to turn off bloom in the graphics settings would be a god send. It seems like there have been over 100 posts here about the bloom in H2 since November, but all we got was a minor change to skyboxes, making some of the bloom even worse in brighter areas.

Please, IO, Hitman 2 is a fantastic game that I think is hampered by a bad artistic choice. At least give us a toggle switch.




  • HITMAN™ 2

0 voters

For me, I have the same opinion as @Danger_dog_guy_7 , the light of Hitman 2016 goty is more convincing.


Ooh, they harvested the lemons! :open_mouth:

(That hard shadow around the planters… the more i look at it, the worse it gets. So weird…)

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Yeah I saw that, but in game it doesn’t look like this, maybe a weird Ansel behavior with super resolution…

Btw, RIP the lemons.


Yeah the hard shadows are the only reason I voted for option A. Otherwise there really wasn’t a nagging difference.

As for the lemons well it should be the perfect period for harvesting lemons.

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I’m going to do another picture without ansel because these shadows do not represent those in game.

EDIT: Fixed.


The bloom looks even worse now. :laughing:

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So yeah my vote still counts.

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That the real ingame rendering without Ansel :laughing:


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Never liked any post-processing effects in games like depth of field,blur,film grain,color changes,lens flares,sharpen,vignettes etc etc, you can add bloom to that list as well, have as many graphics option as possible in your games, but do allow the user to disable them and lessen the effect.

Yeah they really need to tone down the bloom. They don’t have to get rid of it but it really needs to be toned down.

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The lighting can be unrealistic at times, and doesn’t automatically tone down or tone up based on time variables.

Hey guys, I put this in the bug report thread but to no avail, but does anyone’s game play out like this?

There seems to be a lot of fog, bloom is upped to infinity while some areas are hardly visible because of being so dark.

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That’s weird. Doesn’t seem happen to me.


Tone down the bloom and H2 would look better. H1 had a natural over saturation problem, H2 has some cool effects like the streets reflecting sunlight but the bloom leads to it giving off a similar effect to the GOTY lighting

Damn is this Silent Assassin or Silently Hill? It honestly kinda looks cool in a trippy sort of way but would be difficult to play on

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