Hitman: Absolution Interview Excerpts
The Hitman series has always been known as one of the more demanding stealth experiences to be found in games. As such, it has been a premier option for lovers of the genre. It was because of this reputation that many fans have reservations about the latest in the series, Hitman: Absolution, which offers, for the first time, a very functional combat system that will allow players to fully utilise both third person shooting and melee attacks as they progress through the game. Despite this, the developers at IO Interactive are constantly emphasising that the option for stealth is very much present and this, among a number of other interesting topics are canvassed by their latest interview, conducted by the Playstation Blog with the Lead Producer of the game, Hakan Abrak:
On The Different Experiences Available To Players:
“There are many more options for different emotional states and approaches to the gameplay. Some players do prefer a more violent approach; in earlier Hitman games, you were punished for that. If you screwed up, the entire level would come down on your head. But now, action is a more compelling option. But to our veteran fans, rest assured, the stealth is fully intact and better than ever!
“Voyeurism has always been a key storytelling focus in Hitman, and we still have a lot of these small stories peppered throughout the game. It’s where a lot of the replayability comes in, actually. If you go into the game guns blazing, you’ll get a unique experience…but if you’re stealthy and explore more thoroughly, you’ll learn a lot more about the world and characters by overhearing conversations and the like.“
On Technology Enhancements:
“We’ve been developing this game for a long time, and it’s very much linked to the technology, especially creating more complex, more believable artificial intelligence. Early on, we knew we couldn’t achieve our ambitions with the older Glacier 1 engine, so we decided to create Glacier 2. It’s a huge challenge to create new game technology, but it brought a lot of benefits.“
“We wanted to bring more fidelity to everything, to expand this concept of a living, breathing world. The characters are less binary and react in a lot of new ways. But we also wanted to enhance Agent 47’s skills and abilities, so we’ve introduced this concept of Instinct — an umbrella feature that conveys his keen senses. Agent 47 was genetically engineered to be the ultimate assassin, and in the past we’ve had a hard time communicating that through game mechanics. But with Absolution, I think we’ve succeeded in integrating his keen senses into the moment-to-moment gameplay.“
On The Setting And Story:
“It’s not set in a specific Hitman timeline. The setting is a bit different and we’re taking the story somewhere else — you start the game by killing Diana, the only truly human connection Agent 47 has ever had. And that changes the stakes immensely. In earlier games, Diana’s contracts set the tone and direction of the story. This time, Agent 47 is on his own. He must choose his next steps on his own.”
“Diana has been Agent 47’s connection for a long, long time, so when she makes a dying wish for him to seek out a girl named Victoria, he takes it on as a personal mission. There’s a strong connection to the the title of the game, Absolution.”
“… We are exploring different aspects of Agent 47. The story is darker, more personal. You get to experience Agent 47 being placed in an unusual situation. He’s not just taking on contracts; he’s being hunted and he’s hunting for personal reasons. If you’re a longtime series fan, you know that’s very unusual for the cold, calculating Agent 47.“
The full interview contains a few more morsels of information, such as how the stealth gameplay has been improved and alterations made to the way that disguises will be integrated into the game. All I can say is that Absolution looks and sounds utterly amazing, and I can’t wait to take it for a spin when it releases later this year.