Hitman Absolution Dev: It's Still The Hitman You Love

Hitman Absolution’s game director Tore Blystad has come under a fair old amount of flak since the game’s action-oriented E3 showing…

We caught up with him the other day to talk about bloody murder…

360 Magazine: Were you surprised by the negative reactions at E3 last year? Lots of quiet, intelligent stealth gamers emerging to voice their concerns.

Tore Blystad: We knew we had it coming, but E3,  you know how it is, we had 15 minutes to show everything you need to show and we’d been away for such a long time.

So E3 was very deliberate about bringing the character back, it was about showing as much of the mechanics in as short as possible a time and doing it in a story-driven sequence.

That’s why there is stealth in there. There’s a lot of action and disguises, but the way it’s presented is a more linear affair than what you might expect. But it was the first time we’d shown anything at all in such a long time and going out showing something… you know what it’s like.

It needs to grab people’s attention and this was the next natural step for us, focusing on the abilities of you as the player. Depending on how you want to play the game, the game will react to you completely differently.

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360: Seeing the game now, it’s totally evident that it’s just as intelligent and stealthy as it’s always been. Was half the problem that that wouldn’t have made a dent in the E3 psyche?

TB: If you don’t know that there is any choice, you think that the thing you see is the only thing you can do, right? I think it’s very difficult to show off choice without repeating yourself.

They were taking a chance in that we showed the same section twice, so you might sit there and be a little less entertained because, “Oh, I’ve seen these guys before so I know what they’re going to say in a second.”

But then of course, the gameplay will change that. It’s just a different way of showing the game, it’s just a mechanical showcase instead of a cinematic one.

So we tried to bundle it up so that there’s some story, some abilities and some mechanics of the game, much more on display than before.

360: And Hitman has always been about diversity. We loved that in Blood Money:  every level was like a short story in itself, a part of an anthology building one grand overriding plot…

TB: …it’s always been the desire with the game to make the diversity to be as extreme as possible. It’s hard from a directional point of view and also art direction-wise to cover all this diversity under one umbrella without making it feel completely disjointed.

It’s been a big focus for us to keep Absolution consistent… cohesive, without compromising on diversity. E3 was very dark and moody; this is lighter but it’s still kinda heavy on the art direction side, but we have other sections of the game that will be completely different.


To read the full interview, pick up a copy of the magazine or head to the iTunes store today!

If you’re excited about 2012′s new games, you should check out the 5 reasons, EA’s Syndicate will rock your world, or why Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma, and its Pawns, will learn to mimic your fighting style.

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