Hitman: Absolution Glacier 2 Technology Screenshot; Crowd Control

IO Interactive’s Hitman: Absolution will employ a new proprietary Glacier 2 engine. To show gamers what the engine is capable of, Square Enix have released a new screenshot of the latest technology in use. The G2-Crowd example shows a bustling city street filled with pedestrians.

Built from the ground up by the team at IO, Glacier 2 was tailored to meet the demands of the development team and enable them to realize their vision for Hitman: Absolution. A key requirement for this vision is to have very dense crowds which allow players to both interact with and influence the behavior of each individual character.

IO Interactives lead physics programmer Kasper Fauerby will introduce the technology behind this amazing achievement at this years Game Developers Conference in San Francsico. The presentation describes the techniques and optimizations used to achieve the 1200 character crowds present in Hitman: Absolution while still running at 30fps on current-gen consoles.

He will provide an overview of the crowd implementation and discuss both the algorithms used as well as how gameplay considerations affected the design decisions.

Pretty impressive visuals at work. You’ll be able to experience Glacier 2 on Hitman: Absolution on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC sometime in 2012.