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.