Agent 40 Winks: Hitman Cancelled, Uncancelled

By Alec Meer on January 7th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Hello there. Things have sounded a little unhappy at Hitman and Kane & Lynch devs IO Interactive for a while now, in the wake of 2012′s Hitman: Subtitle achieving neither the acclaim or the spondoolies it was hoped to. Last year, the Square Enix-owned Danish studio saw half its workforce removed from their jobs, along with claims that the remainder would get to do nothing but Hitman games. Yesterday, reports circulated that the Next Jennifer Hitman game had been quietly garotted. That claim, despite being made on a Square Enix Montreal senior game designer’s LinkedIn profile, has now been denied.

Said Squeenix to Gamespot:

“There’s a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix-owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion.

“Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise. We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year.”

The troublesome LinkedIn claim, from Square Enix Montreal senior designer Richard Knight, how appears to have been removed.

I suppose a couple of years ago I’d have been screaming blue murder about even the suggestion that Hitman series might be sent for a permanent nap, but 2012′s Subtitle was such a grim affair that part of me wouldn’t object to it all stopping now while I can still hang on to happy memories of Blood Money. Let’s just hope that whatever new scribbles are on IO’s tear-stained drawing board related to what makes Hitman Hitman rather than what might make Hitman more mass-market.

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42 Comments »

  1. Low Life says:

    I don’t think Hitman works as an AAA game. They should make it AA or even A instead.

  2. Scissors says:

    Absolution is the worst game (compared to what I thought it would be) of all time. Pretty impressive, actually.

  3. HadToLogin says:

    Hitman Absolution was great, sometimes even better than Blood Money.

    But only in those maybe 5 levels which weren’t just “sneak to the door”.

    Please more Chinatown/Hope Town, less everything less.

    • tobecooper says:

      Still, even the greatest levels in Subtitle were too small for a Hitman game, but it doesn’t change the fact it is one of the greatest stealth games created by mankind. On Purist it’s tight, tiiiiight!

  4. tobecooper says:

    That’s one confusing news post right there :D

    Wasn’t it like
    Hitman: Subtitle 2 was being produced in SE Montreal. Hitman: Subtitle 3 was being produced in IO.
    H:S2 was cancelled. People feared that means all the Hitmans are cancelled. But there comes the head of something and says that IO is still doing Hitmans, which probably means the planned Hitman: Subtitle 3 is now Hitman: Subtitle 2.

    There you go. Less confusing!

  5. Jakkar says:

    I’m trying to enjoy Dishonored on my second playthrough, and I do love the game, but… Mission: High Overseer’s Office – that building, how is it? Why is it? Engine constraints do not account for the small levels and low details, for the total incoherence of the interiors of buildings, the fake windows and doors.

    Why has no-one made anything like Hitman: Codename 47s hotel level, Traditions of the Trade, since 2001?

  6. Ergates_Antius says:

    A blood pool the size of the one under that body would take more than a couple of seconds to form. Which means that either Agent 47 didn’t kill the guy, he’s just stepped over a corpse he found in the street. Or that he killed him, then stood around for at least a minute or so watching him bleed.

    Though given that the “blood” doesn’t appear to be soaking into the body’s white vest, maybe it isn’t blood. Maybe it’s a piece of street art, someone has painted a blood pool on the pavement, and Agent47 has killed the guy bloodlessly, then carefully placed his body on the painting of a blood pool for shits and giggles.

  7. S Jay says:

    Absolution will never be absolved.

  8. Myrdinn says:

    Bought the previous one on release day, haven’t been able to force myself further than the first few levels. Why would they take out the sandbox out of the Hitman franchise? Why is my assassin emotionally entangled? Where are my silver ballers? All questions that SE has to answer to if they are to see my moneys again.

  9. sharkh20 says:

    Make a fairly open map. Add assassination traget/targets. Add lots of ways to go about killing said target/targets. Add lots of obstacles to try and stop you. Great game level complete.

  10. hideinlight says:

    @Myrdinn, you losing out.
    The open levels come later, there’s even a big town level where you can have some fun.

    That said games needs to be played with the latest patch if you even think of playing Purist mode, otherwise just play it on Normal. There’s some values they never should of touched on the higher difficulty levels which completely killed the fun of the game. Like increasing the detection distance of disguises exponentially and making “quick time” melee events near impossible (you have to basically predict the button to press, you can’t rely on the animation)

    Being a bullet sponge in Normal kills it on that difficulty level too.

    So yeah the enjoyment of the game is largely determent by if you have the latest patch or not.

  11. strangeloup says:

    I thought Absolution was alright, actually, at least in part because I got it for about a fiver. The main reason, though, is because I can actually get somewhere in it without dying fifty times before I even find the target.

    I certainly like the idea of the games, but with the earlier instalments I’m not sure if the difficulty is pitched very high or I’m just rubbish at them. Probably somewhere between the two.

    • HadToLogin says:

      You must be rubish, sorry :(.
      Earlier games* were really easy to get in – find alone guard, kill him, walk around everywhere without no care in the world because nobody will bug you, kill target, get out.
      Of course that’s only if you want to get into those games. Trying to master them, that’s where fun starts.

      *Excluding Hitman 2, where disguises weren’t that great and enemies tended to recognize you quite quickly.

  12. Koozer says:

    The only thing I wish they’d keep from Absolution are the throwing weapons and the *gasp* points system. Get rid of the horrible attempt at character development for an emotionless, terse, genetically engineered killing machine, and the scripted conversations that just so happen to start when you’re in ear shot, every single time.

  13. lordfrikk says:

    Maybe if they looked at what made Blood Money appealing instead of needlessly changing what worked well and what the series had been working towards in quality of level design and mechanics since the start, Absolution might have been a grand sequel, easily surpassing BM. Instead they got lukewarm sale numbers and IP on the verge of being scrapped. Bravo…

  14. Megakoresh says:

    Hitman: Subtitle 2012 ?
    Only Absolution went out in 2012 and it was a very good game indeed. Did I miss something?

  15. Perkelnik says:

    A lot of hate towards Absolution could be avoided simply by using the “old” disguise system, it really made no sense. I hope they go back to where it was.

    • KenTWOu says:

      A lot of hate towards Absolution could be avoided simply by using the “old” disguise system…

      With the “old” disguise system Absolution levels become ridiculously easy.

  16. RPSRSVP says:

    Don’t just leave the body there! On second thought, you might as well, considering the noobish butchering of that thug leaving a bloody mess that will surely alert others even if you had properly disposed of the body. Now restart that checkpoint and do it properly!!!

  17. BreadBitten says:

    “Neither the acclaim”, care to explain that claim? The game fared very well in the eyes of the majority video game press.

    To all those accusing Absolution of being the absolute “worst” Hitman game, I think that distinction still belongs to Codename 47, because of how poorly it has aged and it’s overall clunkiness, and if you also take into consideration of how Contracts was essentially a rehash it makes Absolution the 3rd best Hitman game right after Silent Assassin.

  18. Arithon says:

    I enjoyed Absolution to a limited extent, but it felt too dumbed down for console with checkpoints and x-ray vision.

    Make a PC lead version, the X1/PS4 should be easy enough to port to after, since scaling down is easier that adding features at the end of the development cycle.

    As for canning the PC franchise in favour of mobile gaming, well. Someone needs Agent 47′s services. The receiving end.

  19. Tokyo Joe and the Bombardiers says:

    It just occurred to me that I never even bothered to finish Absolution.

    Oh well. I’ll just go replay Blood Money instead, I suppose.

  20. manny says:

    To make it easier, they could just ripoff scenes from films where people meet up. Throw in Hitman with a contract to kill and voila!, a good game.

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