Posts Tagged ‘IO Interactive’

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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Hands-On: Hitman – Absolution

So many bodies stuffed into closets, so many innocents caught in the crossfire, so much blood on my hands. Out, out damn spot. Oh no, wait I was wearing gloves the whole time. Everything’s fine. Hitman: Absolution is best played without a conscience for its pleasures are of flesh punctured and perforated. I’ve killed in many ways as I played through the game’s opening missions and after the early elation of having the piano wire back in my hands, I’ve had a long think about the best and the worst of the experience.

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Disco Demolition – Killing With Style In Hitman: Absolution

Honestly, I want a Hitman-style game in which everything really *did* slip. You play as a well-meaning but fatally bumbling bald man who accidentally murders a number of tremendously important people. He's very, very sorry about it, though.

We’ve seen quite a lot of Hitman: Absolution in the run up to its November launch. Some of it has been downright brilliant. As for other bits, well, the less said the better. But ultimately, the core of Agent 47’s exceedingly snazzy murdertimes (or exceedingly murdery snazzytimes, depending on your point of view) remains: you kill people, but in clever, conspicuously inconspicuous ways. That’s what today’s reel of footage is about, and it also includes a very important lesson: Disco’s not dead. In actuality, it was the killer all along.

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The Contract Is On: Hitman – Absolution

My relationship with Hitman and his latest subtitle is one of love at fifth sight. It hasn’t been a whirlwind romance, instead starting with something more like a few gentle but malodorous gusts of disappointment, but now I think we’re just about ready to snuggle again. The Contracts mode, with its freeform hits, could have been designed to twang at my heartstrings and with David Bateson’s back on vocal duties whispering sinister somethings into my ear, I’m ready to be impressed. I wrote about Contracts in a hotel room, eschewing offers of German beer in favour of typing excitedly about simulated murders. Here’s an eighteen minute video very similar to what was shown at Gamescom.

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Knives To Meet You: Hitman Absolution

Marketing is a funny old thing, by which I mean it’s the sort of amusingly affable codger who will tell you anything you want to hear if you give him a handful of coin for his troubles. Conversely, sometimes he’ll be hawking something awesome, say an actual magic carpet, but he’ll insist on unpicking some of the ancient weave in order to stitch in a crude simulacrum of a woman, 80% chest, 20% backside. If you ask him why, he’ll tell you such unsaucy sauciness is the only way to sell something as mundane as a mystical object. What I’m trying to say is, after the Contracts mode reveal, I’m happy to soar through the sky on Hitman’s back no matter what Mr Marketing might say. Here’s a new trailer.

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Much Obliged: Hitman’s Freeform Contracts

eenie meenie miney murder

I’ve doubted, I’ve cursed and I’ve hoped. That it’s taken this long for Hitman’s new subtitle to reveal the glory of an older subtitle has given me good reason for the clip full of cynicism I’ve often been tempted to level at its gleaming tessellated cranium. But witnessing today’s announcement of the Contracts feature has filled me with a sort of giddy glee. It’s a creative murder-mode that seems to capture everything I’ve ever loved about the series.

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Streets Ahead: New Hitman Video Is Rather Good

People kept telling me this would happen. I first saw Hitman Absolution doing its thing at the Eurogamer Expo last year and expressed some concerns. It was just one level, I knew that, but it was the level chosen to represent the game to the public and the press. Then, nuns. Still, the man on the street (I think his name is Billy Crumpets) would chuckle as I passed: “I’m sure there are plenty of disguises and stealthy suffocations. Marketing is ever a fool’s game.” Whatever, Crumpets, just move away from my driveway. But perhaps he’s been right all along and here’s the evidence.

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Nuns On The Run: New Hitman Trailer Is Dumb

So very tasteful.

A very CGI trailer for the new Hitman is, well, odd. It’s Agent 47 murdering a collection of scantily clad women, who were moments earlier dressed as nuns. It’s a trailer that is to feminism what cricket balls are to genitals. You can watch the Tarantino wet dream below.

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Hitman: Sniper Challenge Aiming For August Launch

Well, it was nice knowing you. Wait, I just realized we've never actually met. Oh, haha, this is so awkward.

Hm, I’m not sure how to feel about this. I mean, I’m not usually a fan of pre-order bonuses – especially given how inconsequential they ultimately turn out to be relative to how frequently they’re paraded in front of us, bells jingling and doves emerging from places where doves shouldn’t be (sleeves, obviously). Also, there was a time when this would’ve been a free demo or teaser available to all. But, nowadays, those take extra time and money a lot of developers don’t have, so I suppose Hitman‘s upcoming Sniper Challenge is – at least, speculatively – justifiable.

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Violent Night: Hitman Absolution

I doubt and pout a great deal whenever Hitman: Absolution is mentioned. Until I play it I’ll hold out hope that I can be a silent assassin, or at least a low-pitched liquidator, rather than the boisterous chap blasting his way through the majority of the footage I’ve seen. Let me play dress-up and put bodies in cupboards. Let me scope out an area and plan my path to the target rather than being constantly on the run or up against furious armies of gangsters, cops or soldiers. The new video made me smile when 47 placed a man in a closet but I frowned mightily every time an explosion occurred.

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