Monday, 16 May 2011

The return of Agent 47 is finally official

It may have taken five years, but the moment I have been avidly chewing my socks for has finally come. Hitman: Absolution has been officially confirmed and revealed. Well, I say revealed, but I actually mean that it has been cruelly teased. IO Interactive has waved a shiny token through the bars of my metaphoric cage of ignorance, like a drunk prison warden dangling keys in front of a prisoner. I’ll only find out more when they let me.

All we’ve really seen of the game is the teaser trailer, and even that reeked of cock tease. All we got to see was Mr 47 tightening a suppressor onto one of his trademark Silverballers, followed by a barcode that illuminates six digits that indicate the first day of E3. So basically what IO has done is reveal the reveal date. I’d much rather IO Interactive teased me about my height or jawline, rather than the game I’ve wanted for years.

Hitman: Blood Money ranks as one of my favourite games ever. No other game has let me put a dog to sleep with a sedated sausage or kill a man and then make it look like suicide. If they just take the formula that was perfected with Blood Money and simply build on it in Hitman: Absolution, then I will be a happier than a bunny watching Firefly (before he realises that there are only 14 episodes of it).

That’s not to say that I am completely without my concerns at the moment. Since the release of Blood Money, IO Interactive has made two messy third person shooters. Whilst I did enjoy bits of the Kane & Lynch games, I can’t exactly say with great enthusiasm that I am likely to revisit them anytime soon. The critics were nowhere near as passive in their dislike for the game, with both titles receiving reviews that were harsh enough to make Simon Cowell wince. It’d be nice to see some of the lessons learned from Kane & Lynch included in Absolution, mainly the ones that taught the bods at IO what not to do when making a good game.

My other concern came in quote form from IO game director Tore Blystad. He said, “For the first time we are taking Agent 47 on a personal journey which allows us to explore other parts of the Hitman fantasy.”

I don’t want my favourite bald headed cold killer to go on a personal journey. I want to guide him through anonymous assassination jobs that he deals with efficiently and with a disturbing lack of emotion in his face. Hitman has never been about personal journey; it’s been about getting the job done in the most creative and stealthy way possible. The random assignment aspect of the game gave the perfect excuse to go to different locations and environments. As soon as some kind of personal structure is introduced, this gets lost and there has to be a reason invented as to why he is going places.

I won’t even get started on the rumour I think I read, but frantically hope was a fevered nightmare: Hitman as an open world game. That would be the complete opposite of good and worse than the word “bad” can adequately describe. That would be shit.

1 comment:

YellerBelly said...

Square Enix are now responsible for publishing Hitman, and they seem to like sticking their noses in where they're not wanted. Nobody wants to listen to my warnings about Deus Ex: Human Evolution, but I think people are going to be disappointed, judging by what I saw at the end of last year.

I love Hitman too; if Square Enix foul up a brand new Hitman title, I shall expect to see heads on sticks.