Hitman: Absolution is no stranger to controversy, but IO Interactive’s twisted take on life is what gives it room to explore darker themes, the developer has told VG247.
Speaking with VG247 at gamescom earlier this month, IO Interactive lead designer Torben Ellert discussed Hitman: Absolution’s new Contracts Mode, as well as Agent 47’s animated world.
“I think it’s important as you have the ultimate straight man in the middle,” Ellert explained, “and if it was just him in a realistic world the game would really become grim. By twisting the world just a little bit you come to a setting that can have dark humour in it.”
“In the first game 47 walks up to his target – who I think was a big fat man sitting in a restaurant – and says utterly deadpan, “Fatty foods an kill”. I mean, that’s great but it only works because he’s the straight man and the world around him is so twisted,” Ellert added.
Hitman: Absolution has pushed boundaries this year thanks to its infamous ‘nuns with guns’ trailer, glorifying violence against women and more.
While Ellert couldn’t answer anything on those incidents himself – as he purely works on the Contracts Mode side of development – he does believe that as realism in games increases, it will give developers more room to challenge expectations.
“I think as the industry grows there’s more space to do things that would have been impossible,” Ellert explained, “When I look at the Mass Effect games, or when I look at what those games do for relationships between characters, I think, ‘That would have been unthinkable just a few years back.'”
Ellert added, “That a game can now not only do it, but attach gameplay to it, and let you construct an experience around it that is meaningful without just showing you it in a cutscene – I think that is awesome.”
“Yes there are games that will push the edge – Spec Ops: The Line has does very interesting things in questioning the morality of what you’re doing – and as the industry grows I think we will see more of that. I mean, thank goodness for that,” Ellert concluded.
You can check out our full Hitman: Absolution interview with Ellert soon.