IO Changed Hitman: Absolution Following Nun Controversy

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A lot of people don't seem to be grasping the issue of tone. It's not just that it includes violence against absurdly fetishized women, it's that it does so within the kind dark, dour, gritty, serious tone that, in the modern era, carries a connotation of realism. The content of it is absolutely absurd, as it is with a lot of games that do the same things, but other games at least carry a distinct tone of fantasy that acknowledges the absurdity to some degree.

Let's see...the video that offended everyone came out on May 30th. The video showing the backstory of the nuns (and that there was more than one group of them commissioned so, yes folks, they were always part of the game) arrived on July 5th. That means, if what we are told is true, that in the space of five weeks, IO Interactive saw the error of its mysogynistic ways, corralled its arists, and created a two-minute video of identical quality to other backstory videos it had previously released as part of its PR campaign in the hopes of appeasing the public.

Forgive me, Mr. Blystad, but I call bullshit. You already had the backstory written, the video made, and the game finished. You're using the public outrage as a springboard for your own advertising. Don't get me wrong, I think that's quite clever, but could you at least try not to be quite so transparent about it?

Irridium:

DugMachine:
I really don't get the fuss. Trailer was absolute shite (hehe) but this isn't the first time we've seen overly sexified women in games. Where was all the fuss then?

Simple. Because back them most gamers were younger and didn't care. Sometime between then and now quite a few gamers seem to have gotten fed up with all the sexualized women getting the shit beaten out of them. And now they want something that's not that.

Took a while, but at least it's an issue. Shows the gaming audience is growing and evolving. Now it seems like it's time for games to do the same.

Scuse me, could you tell me which game I need to play to beat up scantily clad women getting the shit beaten out of?
And please, none that fight back, since then it's not "beating the shit out of" anymore.

matrix3509:
Goddamnit IO, we're are not offended just because the women are scantily clad, we (that is, we the fans of Hitman, and therefore the only people whose opinions on the trailer matter in the slightest) are offended because the trailer didn't look like Hitman, it just looked like shitty action schlock with ironic nuns. That is NOT Hitman.

Also: Insert "artistic integrity" here.

Actually a lot of those who are offended are. I am not offended by the trailer. I just find it incredibly retarded.

Step 1: hire people to assassinate someone.
Step 2: Make them disguise themselves in order to avoid raising suspicion.
Step 3: Make them travel to the place in a big group in a suspicious van so it can't possibly go unnoticed.
Step 4: Have the disguised assassins remove their disguises, abandon stealth and fire at random using explosives.

Xid Satled:

EvilMaggot:
Its because IO interactive is from Denmark where we dont get shocked by such tiny things!.. sigh!

I hope you're serious.

does a smith work with metals?! yeah im freaking serious! Denmark - first country in the WORLD! to legalize porn.. we are not easily shocked.. Fack yeah!

Azuaron:

BlindWorg:
*insert generic rant about game and fictions not having an effect on the real world expect through very unhinged individuals who were crazy even before buying the game*

Seriously? I'd actually go the other way. Unhinged individuals may focus on certain fictions, but, being unhinged, they're just as likely to use one fiction (The Dark Knight) as another (Modern Warfare), so the results would likely be the same whether one fiction existed or not.

Stable individuals, on the other hand, are much more susceptible to the influences of fiction, and fiction is often an indicator of current societal moors. Not in a, "You played Hitman so now you're an assassin," or, "Violent videogames cause real world violence," or even the whole idea that rape jokes cause real world rape.

I'm talking about a much more subtle, "Most things you've ever read, played, or watched treat women as disposable, helpless sex toys that need men to save them and keep them in line," and the cumulative effect that has on a male's ability to relate to and respect women, and a female's ability to respect and empower herself.

For example. Other examples include, "War is awesome if you're white and male," "Fat people are lazy, disgusting, and evil," and, "It's impossible for a woman to rape a man" (with the corollary of, "Male-on-male rape in prison is hilarious.")

Fortunately, im not stupid enough to let fiction dictate my moralities or my views on treatmen on women. Though im all in favor of equal rights and treatment between genders, the portrayal you described shouldnt be censored out of fiction. That is a part of human history and behaviour and any mention of it shouldnt be censored from fiction.

If they were, the ''publicity'' or whatever the right concept-that-im-thinking-of-but-cant-remember-its-exact-word of this behaviour could be lowered in the common people. They forget that that kind of treatment is wrong and unmoral. Stable and healthy in mind individuals will not forget the countless atrocities and make an effort to be better.

/end idealistic bullcrud

EvilMaggot:

Xid Satled:

EvilMaggot:
Its because IO interactive is from Denmark where we dont get shocked by such tiny things!.. sigh!

I hope you're serious.

does a smith work with metals?! yeah im freaking serious! Denmark - first country in the WORLD! to legalize porn.. we are not easily shocked.. Fack yeah!

I wish more people weren't so easily offended.

I'm fed up to see so many people getting offended for stupid reasons. 20 years from now we'll live in a bland, sanitized world where everybody thinks the same way (probably from low-grade reality shows and stupid movies).

If you are Christian and offended by half-naked gun-wielding nuns, you really are missing the point of your religion.

DVS BSTrD:
Well IO finally realized that gamers have more self respect than IO does.

Irridium:
Wait, so is he saying the characters in the game didn't originally have context before this trailer?

Because what I get from this is that in the game the nuns would have been nothing but scantily clad women you beat up/killed, and now there's going to be a reason to do this.

Does this sound a bit odd to anyone else, or am I just reading this wrong? Why the fuck didn't they give it all context in the first damn place?!

Silly Irridium!
Everyone knows those drooling, homophobic, misogynistic man-children who play videogames don't have the attention span to absorb something as superfluous as context!
All they care about is explosions, blood and tits!

I was actually thinking the exact same thing, in regards to context.

I like context! It enriches what you do throughout the game and give greater weight to the story points! Instead this makes it sound like the nun characters were just going to be throw away bad guys. I mean, I'm glad they have put in the context now, but that really should have been there in the first place!

Yay, more back story on big characters / groups! This can only be a good thing, right?

I understand that the trailer put some people off, it insulted the hell out of me, but IO Entertainment is run by humans, they make mistakes. No need to lambast them for all time for this error I am sure the game will be fine even without this 'tweaked' content which I believe is linked with this trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGJDoe62eNI&feature=relmfu

And for those who say that this one deviates too much from the original, here's a video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcJhijTI1Ps

Edit: Pause the first video at 0:42 and read.

Well i forget sometimes we're linving in the age when people "get offended" about everything, as long as the nuns got more story now im fine, but really if they remove violence/sex out just because the whole trailer and people getting offended, i wont freaking buy the game , why ? BECAUSE IT OFFENDS ME WHEN MY GAMES GET CENSORED.

Really !! why don't we change pulp fiction, that movie had a lot of mindless violence, heck it even has some seriously offensive rape scene agains a poor black man , wait wait, yes lets change inglorious basterds thats offensive, what about the A Clockwork Orange, sex? mindless violence? rape? yup its got it all.

Hate when people get offended.

Kopikatsu:
I'm rather surprised at all the backlash games have been getting lately as well. Especially where women are involved. New feminist kick? I mean, really. Like that thing with Lara Croft- FEAR 2's protagonist was actually raped, but there was nary a head turned about that. Guess it's not really rape if it happens to a man, yeah?

The issue with Lara Croft isn't the implied rape attempt, it's the same complaint people had about the characterization of Samus in Other M. In both cases you have an iconic female character with 15-25 years of established characterization as a capable, confident, self-reliant badass, reduced to a wussified, vulnerable "I need a strong man/player to control/protect me" little girl. And now that I think about it, these two might be the oldest iconic female game characters who are the proactive protagonists (i.e. playable characters) of their own established franchises and not damsels in distress. And just because these games are billed as prequels/reboots, it doesn't erase the image of the character people have built up in their minds over all those years. So yeah, people get angry when you drastically alter a brand and don't make it better.

Now, if they make Kratos into a quivering little boy for the God of War prequel, or if Dante gets threatened with rape in the new Devil May Cry, I might have to revisit this argument. But I'm extremely skeptical that will happen.

Kopikatsu:

As for people in fetish outfits being the subject of violence...it ain't just women. Men get it, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YLWIahcseI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gpAr5d_ykE

Unlike those two games, the Hitman series has never been an over-the-top, Refuge-in-Audacity satire. A big part of the reason the fetish nun outfits got a backlash is because the Hitman series considers itself a serious game with a certain level of realism--e.g., you can't just charge a dozen armed opponents in Hitman, you will die. World-class assassins who wear skimpy PVC and stiletto heels while wielding assault weapons are ridiculous, and more importantly, charging into such a heavily-armed group with just a pair of handguns is suicidal and doesn't fit the tone of the Hitman series. Or in other words:

matrix3509:
Goddamnit IO, we're are not offended just because the women are scantily clad, we (that is, we the fans of Hitman, and therefore the only people whose opinions on the trailer matter in the slightest) are offended because the trailer didn't look like Hitman, it just looked like shitty action schlock with ironic nuns. That is NOT Hitman.

Also: Insert "artistic integrity" here.

What matrix said.

BlindWorg:
I am still failing to see the reason why people got worked into a hissyfit over the trailer

*insert generic rant about game and fictions not having an effect on the real world expect through very unhinged individuals who were crazy even before buying the game*

That response seems a bit overreactive in itself.

Vegan_Doodler:

Isn't this a given rule for everything in the universe?

Psssh. What kind of gamer are you, to expect context in games?

DVS BSTrD:
Well IO finally realized that gamers have more self respect than IO does.

Yeah, we're totally better than this! We....

Silly Irridium!
Everyone knows those drooling, homophobic, misogynistic man-children who play videogames don't have the attention span to absorb something as superfluous as context!
All they care about is explosions, blood and tits!

...I'm sorry, what was I saying?

Kopikatsu:
I'm rather surprised at all the backlash games have been getting lately as well. Especially where women are involved. New feminist kick? I mean, really. Like that thing with Lara Croft- FEAR 2's protagonist was actually raped, but there was nary a head turned about that. Guess it's not really rape if it happens to a man, yeah?

Ah yes, I remember that. The rape, of course, occurred in the trailer. And the devs commented on it being a character-defining moment.

What? Those things didn't happen? Well, I'll shake my fists at feminists for double standards anyway!

EvilMaggot:
Its because IO interactive is from Denmark where we dont get shocked by such tiny things!.. sigh!

We over here in the UK are equally as perplexed by the retarded backlash.

Wow, the games industry these days really doesn't have any balls, if you'll pardon the expression, does it? Esp. considering much of the backlash comes from people who don't play and/or buy video games anyway.

Besides, when I saw that trailer my first thought was "ok, we have a group of female assassins dressed as nuns presumably to throw their intended victim off guard." Of course once they get close to their intended victim they throw all subtly out the window and bust out the AK-47s (or whatever).

i watch the video i see a really kick ass taranteno flick trailer, i guess i am way too jaded to find it offensive in any way shape or form personally.

far as the violence against women angle goes, i think all violence is good when they are packing rpgs, assault rifles, 45 cal handguns, and know kung fu the lot of em, sex dont factor into things under those conditions :P.

obviously the women in the video are not nuns, assuming hitman is some what based in the real world, they have to be fellow assasins of some stripe to be going after the ultimate assasin, what is there to explain really?

KeyMaster45:
I still think the whole thing was overblown, and the only reason it seemed to rustle feathers was because it was a guy fighting women, 'scuse me, scantily clad women. (who mind you had just tried to murder the shit out of him) Leaves me wondering if the reaction would have been the same had the devs used Rambo esque men disguised as a bunch of monks.

Still it's hard to actually care, but something about the logic for why we should be upset just nags at me as rather flawed.

Try men in Gimp costumes. Then you basically have the equivalent. No actually you don't have the equivalent you know why? Because no one would be attracted to it but a particular demographic.

There is a very easy reason why it was offensive. Because they felt the need to put them in latex. They could have simply had nuns shooting at him in actual nun clothes. But they didn't. They wanted you. Male viewer. To go "Damn that's hot I am getting me that game".

It's the same reason why super-heroines have boob windows in their suits and why women in RPG's wear about 1/5th of the armour of their male counterparts.

For cheap juvenile marketing appeal. I'm so disappointing that these are actual characters in the game. Let's hope we can get past that part fairly quickly.

Boo!!!

I don't like the idea of this being changed. I enjoyed the trailer. Was it tasteless? Yes. Do I think it means anything? No. It was just some crazy shit put together to advertise the game and whether you love it or hate it, it worked.

I just hope they don't botch it too much... or turn it into DLC.

but, but, but....

THINK OF THE ARTISTIC INTEGRITY!

How could you change something because FANS complained????? Quick escapist! To the developer's defence!!!

Legion:

"We learned from the trailer that we really needed to give these characters some context and some backstory," Blystad said at Gamescom today. "We're working within the game - within that level - to build these characters up before you meet them. That way you know what you're getting and you aren't put off by them." He reiterated the developer's surprise about the controversy, adding, "We've been trying to find out, y'know, how could we not see this happening? If we knew it would get such a negative reaction we would have done it in a different way."

Oh, ok. So basically they're saying "We wouldn't have done it if we knew we'd get in trouble."?

It's not that they are nuns and that this is somehow offensive to me because of . . . whatever reasons it might be offensive. Them having no context or backstory wasn't really the problem. In a different situation, that could work. Could even be interesting. Possibly even fun. Possibly.
My complaint was that they took a game that's supposed to be about the subtleties of a stealthy kill and turned it into brainless, over-the-top action.
Points have been missed, people.

BlindWorg:
I am still failing to see the reason why people got worked into a hissyfit over the trailer

*insert generic rant about game and fictions not having an effect on the real world expect through very unhinged individuals who were crazy even before buying the game*

Try not to bring rationalism into Escapist debates.

Especially if non-males are involved, because then your just a pig for not jumping on the bandwagon.

1337mokro:
They could have simply had nuns shooting at him in actual nun clothes.

Speaking of lame stereotypes. If they were wearing "nun clothes" you wouldn't know they were nuns.

If we are going to feign rage over something trivial because of insecurities with sexuality at LEAST don't make a silly error on a better alternative.

1337mokro:

Try men in Gimp costumes. Then you basically have the equivalent. No actually you don't have the equivalent you know why? Because no one would be attracted to it but a particular demographic

Ah. So sexual minorities don't count. (in response to the bolded part)

And to the beginning...soooooo Saint's Row?

Abandon4093:

EvilMaggot:
Its because IO interactive is from Denmark where we dont get shocked by such tiny things!.. sigh!

We over here in the UK are equally as perplexed by the retarded backlash.

I'm sure the majority of adults don't care. It's just that in the US there is a pretty prominent fetishistic cult behind "being offended". You just see folks groaning when they complain "mmmm I'm so offended! This is offensive!".

Somehow it is seen as more mature than just not being so easily manipulated.

matrix3509:
Goddamnit IO, we're are not offended just because the women are scantily clad, we (that is, we the fans of Hitman, and therefore the only people whose opinions on the trailer matter in the slightest) are offended because the trailer didn't look like Hitman, it just looked like shitty action schlock with ironic nuns. That is NOT Hitman.

This character has walked into a mental asylum to confront his creator and clones of himself. He's dressed up like a ninja to get into a samurai-era castle to kill a high-value target. He's killed a butcher in a room with a naked woman hanging barefoot from the ceiling. He killed a group of people (men and women) who dressed up as crows, and an "angelic" assassin who will kill him if he doesn't react. He could have spent the majority of the series making people die in freak accidents involving stairs and very short drops. He killed his albino brother in the White House, then followed it up by killing an innocent reporter, a crippled man and an entire funeral service.

Really, this whole incident is pretty far down the list in terms of WTF-ery from the franchise. If they make the story better as a result of this, I'm all for it - besides, there was already an explanation for who they are in one of the trailers.

Please don't presume to speak for everyone who's a fan of this series. Everything I've seen makes this look like it'll be just as good as Blood Money, if not better.

Falseprophet:

Now, if they make Kratos into a quivering little boy for the God of War prequel

I don't know. Based off of the whole 'Kratos will be a golden child who does not inflict horrible violence on women' thing, he may very well be.

Falseprophet:

Unlike those two games, the Hitman series has never been an over-the-top, Refuge-in-Audacity satire. A big part of the reason the fetish nun outfits got a backlash is because the Hitman series considers itself a serious game with a certain level of realism--e.g., you can't just charge a dozen armed opponents in Hitman, you will die. World-class assassins who wear skimpy PVC and stiletto heels while wielding assault weapons are ridiculous, and more importantly, charging into such a heavily-armed group with just a pair of handguns is suicidal and doesn't fit the tone of the Hitman series. Or in other words:

You've obviously never watched me play through Blood Money. Practically every mission in the game involved me running into the middle of the level, shooting people in the face with a handgun. A particularly defining moment was at the tutorial where they tell you that there are too many enemies in the next room and you have to use a bomb. 'Screw you, lady' is what I said, right before I jumped off the balcony and murdered everyone on the way down. And then I set off the bomb afterwards to kill the prostitutes, because that's just how Agent 47 rolls. Earlier in the same level I lined up a bunch of prostitutes that were packing cocaine and shot them all execution style because Agent 47 does not like hard drugs.

Edit: Since I keep mentioning prostitutes, I'll just say that I have nothing against them in particular. I shot the FBI agent they were torturing for information, too. My Agent 47 simply does not like to leave witnesses.

But yeah, Hitman has always been a ridiculous over the top game. I wish I could remember specific events, but there were definitely some 'What the eeeeeeeeef' inducing moments in the series.

Getting tired of the feminist/white knight syndrome goin on in the gaming community at large...

It's just getting really... really tiring.

The double standards are absolutely sickening too.

No one forced anyone to watch this trailer.
You didn't pay for it.
You didn't lose anything because of it. No one did.

Most who seem to be pitching a hissy fit are being rather irrational. It's like being mad because someone offered you a flute and tested it to show you it worked.

He didn't force you to stick around and hear it.
He didn't force you to buy it.
You didn't lose anything because of the incident.

yet you decide to get pissed off, smack him upside the head and say "shut the fuck up, you sound awful! You demean flutes everywhere!"

Kopikatsu:

Falseprophet:

Now, if they make Kratos into a quivering little boy for the God of War prequel

I don't know. Based off of the whole 'Kratos will be a golden child who does not inflict horrible violence on women' thing, he may very well be.

Falseprophet:

Unlike those two games, the Hitman series has never been an over-the-top, Refuge-in-Audacity satire. A big part of the reason the fetish nun outfits got a backlash is because the Hitman series considers itself a serious game with a certain level of realism--e.g., you can't just charge a dozen armed opponents in Hitman, you will die. World-class assassins who wear skimpy PVC and stiletto heels while wielding assault weapons are ridiculous, and more importantly, charging into such a heavily-armed group with just a pair of handguns is suicidal and doesn't fit the tone of the Hitman series. Or in other words:

You've obviously never watched me play through Blood Money. Practically every mission in the game involved me running into the middle of the level, shooting people in the face with a handgun. A particularly defining moment was at the tutorial where they tell you that there are too many enemies in the next room and you have to use a bomb. 'Screw you, lady' is what I said, right before I jumped off the balcony and murdered everyone on the way down. And then I set off the bomb afterwards to kill the prostitutes, because that's just how Agent 47 rolls.

But yeah, Hitman has always been a ridiculous over the top game. I wish I could remember specific events, but there were definitely some 'What the eeeeeeeeef' inducing moments in the series.

I made it my mission to kill everyone on every board, oh the terror. think i got psychopath on just about every board in blood money, except one or two.

Kopikatsu:
But yeah, Hitman has always been a ridiculous over the top game. I wish I could remember specific events, but there were definitely some 'What the eeeeeeeeef' inducing moments in the series.

Like chaingunning down all your clone brothers in the first game? :)

As an aside, I'm a feminist and... I agree with what 47 did, yes, I would punch a woman, if she did something I'd punch a man for. Luckily I'm not a violent or aggressive person ever, at all, full stop. So I never punch anybody.

HOWEVER! The thing that did shock me most about the trailer was just how GODDAM impractical those nuns costumes were, I mean c'mon, they are meant to be elite assassins, who know their target, so they should be in body armour and/or stealth suits made of matte material... not to mention how cold it must have been for them in the first place.

As an aside; I'm not saying the trailer wasn't in poor taste, but it wasn't out and out offensive.

Wait, they're changing a part of the game and providing more context and information based on a bad reaction from fans? Sounds familiar. So where's the shitstorm directed at the people causing IO to change their "artistic integrity" and whatnot?

Furism:
I'm fed up to see so many people getting offended for stupid reasons. 20 years from now we'll live in a bland, sanitized world where everybody thinks the same way (probably from low-grade reality shows and stupid movies).

If you are Christian and offended by half-naked gun-wielding nuns, you really are missing the point of your religion.

I don't think religion has anything to do with it. The world just seems to be getting a metric fuckton of sand in it's collective vagina lately over every single little goddamn thing.

I hope they change it so that you can rape a nun as a qucktime event - but with context.

Legion:
I wonder if their logic behind making it was:

Developer 1: "Okay, so we want to get lot's of young adult males buying this, so what do they like?"
Developer 2:"Women in skimpy costumes!"
Developer 3: "People getting beaten up!"
Developer 1: "Okay guys, I have an idea..."

that's been the logic for years, if not months. Just this time it didn't work.

...(after further consideration, better leave this here)

*SARCASM*

The "impractical costume" thingie again, its a game ok?, i can't understand how people can accept the whole im an assasin with clone brothers and can kill waves enemies, but can't accept the fact that there are some some enemies wearing "impractical costumes".

Buretsu:
Context probably won't help with the people who condemn the trailer for the girls being needlessly sexy...

Some people actually think that gamers seeing attractive women dressed in tight clothing is making them force women into dressing like booth babes 24/7. Some go so far that it makes male gamers more likely to rape.

It's really no different than the fantasy of sexualized supernatural teenagers fighting a war over a girl, but that doesn't get seen as destructive while any fiction involving male fantasy is wrong, and harmful to women.

So IO won't make them happy because the women are still dressed provocatively. I guess the lesson is killing women in games is ok so long as they aren't attractive?

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