Posts Tagged ‘io interactive’

Improvisation, Experimentation And Dark Comedy: Hitman Is Coming Home

I find his trigger finger terrifying

Absolution might be a fitting tag for what looks like a return to form and a casting off of the sins of the past, but since that subtitle’s already taken, I’m hoping I’ll be able to justify referring to this one as Hitman: Redemption [official site]. So far, the signs are good. I spent some time in the company of IO Interactive’s studio head, Hannes Seifert, as he played through a mission set at a Paris fashion show. As he manipulated NPCs behaviour and demonstrated some emergent possibilities, Seifert said all the right things about recovering the best of the series’ past. The game – this portion of it at least – backs him up convincingly. It’s looking good.

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Neither Early Access Nor Episodic: New Hitman Explained

I’m cautiously optimistic about the new Hitman sandbox murder simulator, which is named simply Hitman [official site]. Developers IO Interactive said encouraging things when Pip had a chat and a play during E3, which I might crudely boil down to “No, it won’t be like Absolution.”

One part of June’s big reveal was a little less clear: how will it be released? Is it episodic? Is it early access? Is it… what would I be buying? Presumably these are questions people have been asking a lot, and so they’ve now answered them.

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Hitman Announced: Big Levels, Regular Free Updates

IO Interactive have been saying the right things about their next Hitman game, which mostly boil down to that it’s stepping back from the disappointment of Hitman: Absolution. Last night publishers Square Enix formally announced the game, which is called simply Hitman [official site] though they say it’s not a reboot, and will arrive on December 8th.

Big sandbox locations to do murdering in, plenty of creative ways to murder people, and saves not checkpoints are promised. They’re also planning to regularly update it with new story missions as well as smaller things like extra targets, some of whom might only be around for a few days.

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Have You Played… Kane & Lynch 2?

And then, the murder starts.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Scurrying through grubby neon streets like the vermin you are, scrambling from cover to cover that’s too low to conceal your lumbering body, desperately trying to find more ammo as you ineptly spray bullets, that’s when Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is at its best. Its Shanghai is still one of my favourite video game cities. And then IO Interactive (them wot do Hitman) slightly spoil things by giving you fancy rifles towards the end.

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Grand Designs: Big Level Blueprints For Next Hitman

An entire building of murder.

After the disappointment of Hitman: Absolution, developers IO Interactive came to the Internet with their collective hat in their collective hands. Without quite admitting that Absolution’s small levels, linear missions, wonky AI, more personal story, and bottomless pockets didn’t pan out, they did write an open letter mentioning that they plan to do away with all those things for the next Hitman game. Reminding people that it’s still being made and they really did mean all that, IO have shown off a little concept art including a building which, they say, “on its own is larger than any location in Hitman: Absolution.”

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IO’s Open Letter: Hitman’s Next Contracts

IO-Interactive have released an open letter about the future of their foremost franchise onto the wilds of the internet. It’s addressed to ‘all Hitman fans’ but even if you’re not included in that group, you can read it by clicking on this link. Don’t worry about mail fraud, just take a big whiff of the page and remember the words of Billy Shakesticks – “A press release by any other name would smell as sweet.” The wording of the statement acknowledges some of Absolution’s sins, promising “an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels”. Contracts Mode will return and if the missions live up to the wording here, it could be applied extremely well.

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Agent 40 Winks: Hitman Cancelled, Uncancelled

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.
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Kane And Lynched: Hitman Dev Hit With Huge Layoffs

So many layoffs. When will the carnage end?

After the gaming industry went on a dubstep-and-Dew-fueled vacation to E3 last week, it’s now back to business as usual. By “business,” I of course mean layoffs, and goodness gracious, figurative business is booming. However, literal business – the part where people make money – isn’t faring so well because, well, layoffs. This time, the sobering specter took its scythe to Hitman developer IO Interactive, reducing its workforce by “almost half”. Yeesh. The plan to get things back on track? Er, make more Hitman. Which is to say, make nothing but Hitman.

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Agent 47 Didn’t Ask For This

His head is too big

Why distort one beloved franchise when you can do two at once? The latest DLC for Hitman: Ablutions once again fails to add new missions, ideally in a Streets of Hope vein, but instead a new costume and gun which can only be used in the Contracts mode. This new costume is the kevlar’n’metal duds of one Adam Jensen, he of Deus Ex: Human Revolution fame. This happens due to Hitman and Deux Ex being publisher stablemates, of course. As far as I can tell there is no narrative justification for why Baldy McChoke would come to acquire the augmented form of a mopey, bearded cyborg from the future, but hell, if Ridley Scott can contrive to unite the Blade Runner and Alien universes then this is no less silly.

The DXHR togs do make 47 look a bit like Gunther, mind.
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Hitman: Conversation

worst hiding ever

In which Adam, who has played it all, and Alec, who has played around a third of it, gather to discuss IO Interactive’s divisive Hitman: Absolution. Devout Blood Money disciple Adam felt let down by this latest reinvention of Agent 47 – does Alec feel differently? (“No.”) They do find some positive things to say about it though, promise.

Alec: I’ve been playing some Absolution. It’s brilliant! Just kidding. It’s a nasty, grimy, uneven game.

Adam: I almost wish I had someone to debate it with, who did think it was brilliant. But I think I’d just say YOU’RE WRONG and we’d find little common ground. I have been pondering how much of my dislike does come from the ugliness of it – I don’t think it’s well designed on the whole but there are bright spots. I wonder if I’d feel more sympathetic toward those if they weren’t wrapped in grime.
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IO-Nara: Squenix Montreal To Make Next Hitman

With Hitman’s latest subtitle so recently creeping into public view, IO are already talking about 47’s future. Speaking to OPM, Absolution’s director Tore Blystad confirmed that the next title in the franchise will be developed at Square Enix Montreal rather than remaining in-house. Blystad reckons development will follow a similar pattern to work on the Call of Duty games, so presumably we can expect development duties to alternate between Squenix and IO as they do between Treyarch and Infinity Ward. It almost certainly means we’ll be seeing the wigless wonder more frequently in the next few years. Three weeks ago I would have said that was a good thing. If you’ve played Absolution, perhaps you’d care to compare your thoughts with mine?

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Wot I Think: Hitman – Absolution

Absolution is the occasional freedom to be a silent killer but is also thimble-sized levels, gun-toting fetish nuns, and a prolonged and startling absence of silenced weapons. Absolution is a clever free-form Contracts mode with less hits than the New Radicals. Absolution has its priorities confused. Here’s wot I think.

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Not Entirely Silent Assassin: The Sound Of Hitman

Amidst the eardrum-bursting din of day-to-day existence, it’s easy to lose track of the little things. The important things. For instance, when was the last time you tossed your schedule in the wastebasket, picked up the phone, and called Agent 47 voice actor David Bateson to tell him how much you appreciate the tremendous role he’s played in your life? His vocal stylings are the perfect mixture of gruff, foreboding, and silky smooth – a beautifully layered sandwich of sound that often goes under-appreciated. But Hitman: Subtitle has many noises. Let them enter your sound-intake orifice after the break.

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