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.
Of course, we won't know how well any of these ideas are implemented until we've played the game through but we're promised more information later in the year.
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. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we’re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game.
It all sounds very much like what I hoped for from Absolution and even though I was far from keen on the game, its best moments suggested the hit wasn't entirely successful. The flutter of a heartbeat remained.
Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves.
Lofty ambitions. And then there's this:
You will also be glad to hear that we have removed 47’s magic pockets. We believe that’s all we need to say about that subject.
I await the next letter with interest.