New Hitman Project Promises A Return To Its Roots

New Hitman Project Promises A Return To Its Roots

Hitman: Absolution - Screen 11

IO Interactive says the next Hitman game will feature Agent 47 at the peak of his career, with huge sandbox levels, the return of Contracts Mode and more.

It was reported earlier this month that the next-gen Hitman title being developed for Square Enix had been canceled, which caused a certain amount of confusion because IO Interactive quickly moved to remind everyone that it has a new Hitman project in pre-production, separate and distinct from the one that was terminated. And now, quite possibly in an attempt to clarify the situation and remind the world that Hitman is alive and kicking, the studio has posted a message offering some insight into what's coming in the next game - and it sounds a lot like it's returning to the Hitman of old.

"In the next game you will experience a globetrotting Agent 47 at the prime of his career - the apex predator stalking his prey across the world, with the support of his long-term handler Diana Burnwood and the whole of the ICA," the message states. "The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world."

Levels will be open, non-linear and checkpoint-free, with an "extreme level of detail," and players will be able to create and share challenges through the return of Contracts Mode. Agent 47's "magic pockets" are also gone - "We believe that's all we need to say about that subject," the studio wrote.

More details will be revealed over the course of the year, but it sounds like a step in the right direction. IO Interactive's new Hitman game is currently in development for the PC and "next-gen" (although that presumably now means current-gen) consoles.

Source: Hitman.com

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I think I will believe it when I see it. Thank you for now :P

It's sounds great on paper, but then again, the new thief did as well in the beginning. I'll see it before i believe it.
I did quite liked the last Hitman game though, so i am curious what the next one will be like

Also, personally i quite like those magic pockets. Nothing like holding 2 pistols, an smg, a shotgun and some other lose weaponry to get the job done.

Although just going out with the piano wire was my usual M.O.

I hope this is actually true. The last Hitman game was okay, but not nearly as fun or re-playable as Blood Money.

This makes me happy. With smile on my face and all the other cool facial and emotional details. Can't wait to hear more.

I can't help it. I'm stoked. Hitman is such an adrenaline pumping experience, and it's dark and violent and weird. God I love that series.

Make it more like Blood Money and you can be forgiven your screwup with Absolution.

So we're getting a reboot? I was hoping to see a continuation of the current plot, but I guess it doesn't really have anywhere to go.

"Quick! We need to say something to get people interested, so they can keep the hype machine churning while we actually make the thing! Just make it up as you go along - it's fine, we've not actually done anything yet, so you're not technically lying. Go. Pander. NOW!"

..is what I read there. It'd be nice if they pulled it off though.

Haakmed:
Make it more like Blood Money and you can be forgiven your screwup with Absolution.

Was I the only person that thought Absolution was a decent game? Like, it had its flaws, but I found it to be a pretty solid game.

An Ceannaire:

Haakmed:
Make it more like Blood Money and you can be forgiven your screwup with Absolution.

Was I the only person that thought Absolution was a decent game? Like, it had its flaws, but I found it to be a pretty solid game.

It was a solid game but there arent many games like Hitman and after something so good as Blood Money being a more action focused linear game just isnt going to cut it.

OT: After all that "Dont worry guys, Absolution will be the best and it will still be like the other Hitman games" shit they are doing it again, I like what they are saying but do they really mean it (as they certainly didnt in Absolution) or are they just saying this to please the fanbase while still making something for a different target audience to then try to cash in on both?

Absolution wasnt a bad game but for what it was it should have used a new IP to be what it actually tried to be (I wouldnt have bought it as what it was didnt interest me as much as if it was a proper Hitman game).

You have my attention Ubisoft, now don't dick it up and I'll buy this one.

After Splinter Cell screwed the pooch with their introduction of Action-Sam the greatest hero of them all my choice of non linear stealth games is pretty much left with Hitman.

Hero in a half shell:
You have my attention Ubisoft, now don't dick it up and I'll buy this one.

After Splinter Cell screwed the pooch with their introduction of Action-Sam the greatest hero of them all my choice of non linear stealth games is pretty much left with Hitman.

You do realize that Square owns Hitman, not Ubisoft, right?

OT: Maybe... I am cautiously optimistic. Could turn out badly if this is just marketing bullshit though

Fuck yes! Now just make a underlying thread of story that is engaging, and i'l be hooked!

I could say something else, but I don't even care. After "Hitman Arkham" I just won't bother, but anyways, if it's anything like the good ones, I might try it.

Hmmm. So instead of developing what was a fairly intriguing story and could have set up a tasty bit of sequel involving passing the torch, bringing Hitman into the 21st century, and maybe even being innovative, we're instead going to have a prequel with no story and no purpose beyond catering to people who said, "Just remake Blood Money, IO."

Mind you, it'll be kind of funny if they make good on their promise to do away with 47 hiding large and cumbersome objects in his pockets. I picture a bald man dressed as a clown being told to stick an assault rifle down his baggy pants only to have him stare directly into the camera and go, "No. I will not do this."

Living Contradiction:
Hmmm. So instead of developing what was a fairly intriguing story and could have set up a tasty bit of sequel involving passing the torch, bringing Hitman into the 21st century, and maybe even being innovative, we're instead going to have a prequel with no story and no purpose beyond catering to people who said, "Just remake Blood Money, IO."

Mind you, it'll be kind of funny if they make good on their promise to do away with 47 hiding large and cumbersome objects in his pockets. I picture a bald man dressed as a clown being told to stick an assault rifle down his baggy pants only to have him stare directly into the camera and go, "No. I will not do this."

Did you ever play Blood Money? There was plenty of story, and a pretty good one at that - it just wasn't force-fed to you during game play.

Absolution's story was god-awful. Especially the writing.

"I got wood, man... why do I have wood?"

I mean, seriously? You want more of THAT?

CarnageRacing00:

Did you ever play Blood Money? There was plenty of story, and a pretty good one at that - it just wasn't force-fed to you during game play.

Absolution's story was god-awful. Especially the writing.

"I got wood, man... why do I have wood?"

I mean, seriously? You want more of THAT?

No, Twilight was godawful. Absolution wasn't going to win any awards for writing (anyone who paid attention to the marketing could figure that out), but it did have a detailed set of character pieces mixed with some utterly wonderful crowd scenes. Standing on a subway platform in a crowd of frustrated, tired, and living people is something I most certainly did not get in Blood Money (no, Mardi Gras doesn't compare. A wall of cloned partygoers is to listening to a woman in the crowd telling her boyfriend she's still on the damn platform as dry toast is to a Reuben sandwich). And yes, it had some stupid moments, but really, would you expect anything else to come out of the mouth of a caricatured Southern hardcase with some utterly depraved sexual appetites who discovered, "Well, fuck, I just got killed"?

Blood Money was a series of set pieces (here's your scenario, here's your target, you'll pick up the rest as you go) with a very flimsy piece of narrative holding the whole thing together. I appreciated the story when I played it but it was there to give a semblance of connectivity to otherwise dissimilar hits. Absolution had definitive reasons for every single hit that tied into the main story and matched both the evolution of the story and the style of 47. Yes, the authors hit the player over the head with the plot constantly, but that was done on purpose to invoke a sense of urgency. Could it have been done better? Yes. That's one of the reasons Absolution is good as opposed to awesome.

Absolution also gave players something that Blood Money could not touch: narrative direction. Being able to say, "No, I don't feel like shooting at targets. I'm here for my guns and I'm going to take them" was incredibly liberating. Don't like the story you are being given? Take a different path. In Blood Money, you played the scene you were dealt: You're in a theatre, your targets are here and here, execute. In Absolution, that methodology occurred as well but was mixed with objectives that could be dismissed, modified, or even made more complicated than they already were. It also rewarded the player that chose to change the story with different dialogue and environmental effects. That kind of presentation takes effort and my hat's off to IO Interactive for demonstrating that it can be done flawlessly and well.

If IO does follow their plan, I sincerely hope they include more of that branched style of narrative. I'd get a real thrill out of a Blood Money style game where I could decide which hit I wanted to take next and to have those contracts influence future contract availability (i.e. pick a contract to take out the leader of a small country leads to being unable to accept a contract from that country later on because the leader has been killed by the player) or influence future story (i.e. "You're the guy that takes out people with piano wire. I like that. Keep doing that and I'll pay you double."). What worries me is that they might return to the standard, run-of-the-mill cloned humans that stand around filling space while adding nothing to the scene itself.

Living Contradiction:
Hmmm. So instead of developing what was a fairly intriguing story and could have set up a tasty bit of sequel involving passing the torch, bringing Hitman into the 21st century, and maybe even being innovative, we're instead going to have a prequel with no story and no purpose beyond catering to people who said, "Just remake Blood Money, IO."

I don't really understand what you mean by this. The first Hitman was released in 2000 and basd on what i have seen the games themselves are based in the 21st century. Hell, part of me bets that they are even farther in the future than we are no. That guy in Absolution had a freaking robot hand!

OT: I hope that thye bring back the customization of equipment from Blood Money and get rid of that bullshit detection mechanic where mooks could see through your costumes. I also hope that the game will offer paths where we don't have to change our clothes as much either through more traditional stealth or by making it so instead of having to change clothes to get into a place you just have to steal an invitation or pass or something.

Oh they've gone the Gears of War route. "Made changes which effect the entire story and can't easily be retconned?" REBOOT, PREQUEL time!

As somebody who didn't hate Absolution I don't like that they've decided to go back to the tradition, Absolution finally broke the bond between the Agency and 47, and they decide to just go back because people didn't like the gameplay of Absolution (or it's inconsistent tone).

Living Contradiction:

No, Twilight was godawful. Absolution wasn't going to win any awards for writing (anyone who paid attention to the marketing could figure that out), but it did have a detailed set of character pieces mixed with some utterly wonderful crowd scenes. Standing on a subway platform in a crowd of frustrated, tired, and living people is something I most certainly did not get in Blood Money (no, Mardi Gras doesn't compare. A wall of cloned partygoers is to listening to a woman in the crowd telling her boyfriend she's still on the damn platform as dry toast is to a Reuben sandwich). And yes, it had some stupid moments, but really, would you expect anything else to come out of the mouth of a caricatured Southern hardcase with some utterly depraved sexual appetites who discovered, "Well, fuck, I just got killed"?

Oh I wasn't complaining about the background elements, those were done quite well. Technology was a bit limited during the time of Blood Money; for example the Mardi Gras level had featured the highest number of NPC's on screen at once in any video game out at that point in time. And that was all they could do with them. How you can criticize their lack of dimension when "Absolution did it better" irks me... if you can't figure out the reason why, then there's no point in arguing with you about it.

Living Contradiction:
Blood Money was a series of set pieces (here's your scenario, here's your target, you'll pick up the rest as you go) with a very flimsy piece of narrative holding the whole thing together. I appreciated the story when I played it but it was there to give a semblance of connectivity to otherwise dissimilar hits. Absolution had definitive reasons for every single hit that tied into the main story and matched both the evolution of the story and the style of 47. Yes, the authors hit the player over the head with the plot constantly, but that was done on purpose to invoke a sense of urgency. Could it have been done better? Yes. That's one of the reasons Absolution is good as opposed to awesome.

Flimsy narrative... maybe you don't understand the story behind Hitman, but I'll try to break it down for you.

Agent 47 is an assassin, and he travels all over the world, assassinating people for money. In Blood Money, the story follows the attempts of another agency to trap and eliminate Agent 47 by any means necessary. You start out doing your job, and with each consecutive hit you can start to feel the net closing in. The last mission is a confrontation behind the man charged with your elimination... and the epilogue deals with the elimination of everyone outside of the ICA who is officially aware of your existence.

Absolution also gave players something that Blood Money could not touch: narrative direction.

Wait, stop right there. Just stop. Are you absolutely kidding me? Narrative direction? So that scene in the beginning of the game when 47 botches a hit on that giant mutant of a man didn't strike you as frustratingly out of your control? That the events that followed were all a result of something that WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED if the game had left me in control of Agent 47? That any time the writers wanted to add a sense of tension, they made 47 do something uncharacteristically stupid in a CUT SCENE?

THIS is why Blood Money's narrative is superior: the story takes place outside of the actual levels, beyond 47's immediate vicinity, and there's nothing 47 can do to stop what's coming until he's directly faced with it. And when he IS faced with it, 47 can and DOES deal with it the way he deals with everything - by using his skill and abilities to sneak into places, execute key people, and walk away without the surrounding public aware that anything unusual took place.

In Absolution, he kills a guy in front of a church congregation.

Give me a break dude, your argument is incredibly flimsy.

Carnage, let's put this to bed, shall we?

I played Blood Money and enjoyed myself immensely, okay? I'm not trying to find fault with it. I understand the story quite clearly, so you don't have to recap it for me. What I am stating is that, from my perspective, it felt rushed and lacking in depth, as if the writers went "All right. We've got the missions down. How can we tie this all together?" The set pieces, each individual mission, were skilfully crafted and each excellent in their own right.

You felt greater depth was at work and for that, I congratulate you. You have a greater imagination than I. Good for you.

However, I do not feel that a game gains something by keeping the narrative out of the game proper. That saddens me just as it delights you because I enjoy taking an active role in a story as it evolves instead of seeing "...and then, after the grueling battle that nearly killed 47 and that never gets mentioned again..."(Before you get all riled up, yes, that happened between "Curtains Down" and "Flatline", and no, I'm not spoiling anything because, as I said earlier, it only gets mentioned as an aside, a throwaway point to accent the urgency of the narrative).

I would have been overjoyed to have a chance at experiencing the rush of that moment, fighting for 47's life with a grievous injury against an annoyed assassin trying to finish the job, but such is the price paid for a story that stays out of the active gameplay.

So that scene in the beginning of the game when 47 botches a hit on that giant mutant of a man didn't strike you as frustratingly out of your control?

Nope, because if I was playing that scenario, I would've done the same thing 47 did: get out my piano wire and attempt a nice clean quiet kill before sussing out the rest of the suite. However, had the game's writers left that to the player's control, one "oops" moment would've translated into "ah crap. Reload and I'll shoot the guy" instead of allowing the story to progress.

There are times when you can let a player change the narrative and times when you can't, Carnage, not without bringing the story to a premature conclusion. Where you see impotence as 47 is constantly denied his ultimate goal in Absolution, I see drawing out the moment to delicious and exciting effect. Would I have preferred that 47 actually catch up with Victoria and effect a decent rescue? Yes. Do I think the story was contrived in places? Yes again. As I said before, the story is good, not awesome. But at least it isn't completely outside of the gameplay save for one wonderfully gory set piece at the tail of the game and a completely avoidable reference in the seventh mission that, if explored, instantly kills 47.

...47 can and DOES deal with it the way he deals with everything - by using his skill and abilities to sneak into places, execute key people, and walk away without the surrounding public aware that anything unusual took place.

In Absolution, he kills a guy in front of a church congregation.

No, Carnage. Your interpretation of 47, which does match mine, is one of the silent and traceless assassin. That does not mean he isn't able to kill openly or become a terrifying mass-murderer. That's his greatest draw as a character: that the player can superimpose a playing style of any kind onto him. I've watched players send him into the White House armed for bear, killing everything save the potted plants in the lobby while leaving a presumably non-existent agency to clean up the mess. That's acceptable as long as the player enjoying the game finds it so.

I was able to accept that having just seen the rest of Hope, SD, going up in flame, the occupants in that church were soon to follow suit and that 47 could be forgiven for realizing that, giving subtlety a miss, and indulging in direct confrontation. You weren't. That's fine.

Good. Absolution was terrible. I didn't need the Hitman soap opera, particularly at the expense of the game in tiny levels, with x-ray visioon, achievement meters everywhere, checkpointing from one area to another.

And then as soon as anything of note happens, I lose control so that 47 can fuck it up in a cutscene to contrive some more BS. Then there are the one way doors, the half assed assassinations, the complete lack of fucks given by the perfectionist 47 to even try to research or plan ahead.

But then, they said Absolution would be a proper Hitman game as well, and they were lying their asses off with that one.

 

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