IO discusses why it took six-years to develop a new Hitman game

Saturday, 9 July 2011 21:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

IO Interactive’s Christian Elverdam, gameplay director on Hitman: Absolution, has explained to CVG why it has taken the team so long to create another entry in the Hitman series.

According to Elverdam, the main reason for the wait, had a lot to do with wanting better technology and the much discusses AI developed for the game.

“We’ve been building brand new technology,” he said. “We call it the Glacier 2 engine. We actually got to build that from scratch, so we had a chance to look at all of the previous titles and basically ask ourselves what the important areas to Hitman were, and how we could improve them.”

“We really knew we needed to build this new technology,” he continued. “If you look at the E3 presentation, the AI is now way more advanced than it ever was. It has far more nuanced behaviour. To give you an example, in the demo we have this hippy apartment and 47 comes in dressed as a police officer. Because these hippies don’t really care about the police, his disguise isn’t very effective.

“Their reaction to him as an officer isn’t to jump him; it’s to tell him to get out of the apartment, which is a new behaviour system. Now, if you come to the apartment dressed in the default suit, these hippies will be friendly to you. Conversely, if you are confronted by a police officer, they won’t necessarily draw their gun and try to shoot you immediately, especially if they haven’t seen any killings going on.

“Encounters with police can escalate into full-blown combat, though. If they call for backup, you’ll be faced with a more direct combat situation. This is the kind of stuff we really wanted to go full circle on. We wanted to go from the more black and white AI of the earlier games to something that’s more shades of grey.”

Hitman: Absolution is due on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.