However, it’s not just the bloom, there are several issues with H2’s lighting:
It was fine in Season 1, now seems like it has a delay and is too weak.
Dark areas are too dark, and bright areas are too bright.
The following two images have no color correction or mods being used:
Sapienza Lab - HITMAN 2016 (Patch 1.9.0, gamma set to 1.00)
You can see the surrounding area quite clearly, some detail lost in the shadows but not a lot.
Sapienza Lab - HITMAN 2 (Patch 2.72.0, gamma set to 1.00)
Most of the surrounding rock formations are almost impossible to tell apart, you can barely separate 47 from the environment.
The AO is way too dark in H2, causing everything to almost look like a comic book.
It was perfect in old Season 1, but then was made a bit too weak in GOTY.
To compensate it seems like this effect was amplified in H2 but it makes surfaces look “dirty” rather than occluded.
Sapienza Church - HITMAN 2016
Sapienza Church - HITMAN 2 (bloom/lighting effects disabled)
Also has an ugly green haze, probably a leftover from before the Februrary update.
Lens Flares and Light Decals
I think this is caused because IO had experimented with Ray Tracing, and even had advertised it (even if perhaps only as DLSS, because confusing marketing) with “RTX” before launch before later removing it from the game, and wanted to create the effect of Ray Tracing without implementing it.
Thus, “Lighting Decals” were added that create colored blobs on the screen that match the current area’s lighting and colors to create an illusion of “Ray Tracing” without it being there.
Lens Flares and Light Decals disabled
Looks quite nice actually.
Lens Flares and Light Decals enabled
Definitely going for a “faux” ray-tracing effect.
Just the lens flares on their own are also quite distracting.
Lens Flares disabled
Lens Flares enabled
I’m really hoping IO takes this criticism to heart.
The last two games have had extremely beautiful environments and art.
It’s an absolute pity that these horrible lighting/visual decisions ruin the look of those environments and hinder gameplay.