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Hitman: Absolution – guns, garrottes and gowns

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 08:51 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Disguises are one of Agent 47′s coolest mechanics. We get the scoop on the best-dressed assassin in the world as we talk to Hitman: Absolution’s art director Roberto Marchesi.

Hitman: Absolution

The fifth in the Hitman series, which centres on Agent 47 killing people in monumentally violent ways.

Caused controversy earlier this year with its “sexy nun” E3 trailer.

Based on IO’s Glacier 2 engine.

Releasing on November 20 for PC, 360 and PS3.

Agent 47′s character design is simple and elegant and reflects his personality. Hitman’s protagonist is a businessman, a professional, and his near-supernatural tailoring reflects that. You can’t go wrong with a well-made suit, the entire franchise seems to be arguing. Agent 47 isn’t just well-dressed; his iconic style regularly makes way for more daring jaunts into the realms of costuming, as he infiltrates a huge variety of situations.

VG247: You’re the art director? I have some very specific art questions.

Roberto Marchesi: Cool.

Agent 47′s pants.

Yes?

Appear to be magical.

What do you mean by that?

The piece of artwork I’m thinking of, he’s cradling a rifle and sitting in front of a billboard. It’s promotional art.

Yes.

And his suit trousers perfectly cover his ankles. You don’t see his socks.

Yes.

And you never see his socks.

No.

So they’re magical pants.

No! he’s just stylish. He dresses so well, he just – he’s got a tailor that makes clothes for him so well that they just fit perfectly every time.

But when he sits it should lift a little, because his knee bends and the fabric bunches.

This would be true for most people but he is so cool that pants just don’t abandon him.

And that explains how he can change in and out of disguises so quickly because of his deeply professional approach to clothing?

That and gameplay reasons. That is actually a very interesting point you raise there because we are always at odds with gameplay. We want to make a game that is both beautiful to look at, but also that feels responsive when you’re playing it. This is a balancing act that we have to go through every time we decided what he should be doing on screen. Every time he picks up an object, he goes into cover, he aims his gun, changes his clothes. We have to make a judgment call on what would work best in the given situation. Yes, the clothes do appear on him the way they do, but on a gameplay level I do believe that is the best compromise, to have a smooth experience.

So I’m unofficially writing into the lore that the reason that happens and you don’t see a transition is because of how smooth he is with clothes.

I can live with that.

It’s canon now. How many disguises are there?

Artist’s impression. Ugh.

I think we are approaching the hundreds. There are something between – oh, at one point we were close to a hundred. But there’s lots. there’s enough to satisfy most tastes.

Can you ever put him in a dress?

Do you want the true answer?

Yes.

Then it is yes.

Really! Yes. This is gold. Why? How? Can you tell me or is it too spoilerific?

It is spoilerific. The funny thing about him is his looks, his classic looks, the suit the red tie – they’re iconic, they’re our brand, and we really don’t want to tamper with them. There’s nothing to be gained by doing so. Where we can actually have a more free approach is whenever he takes those clothes off and gets dressed. What makes him cool is that he’s not afraid to change his appearance in a drastic way. Just to get the job done. He will do whatever it takes just to do it; he can do it, he has no problem with it. Some of the clothes he can put on during the game are more serious, like the guard outfit, plumber outfit and so on, but some of them are definitely more outrageous, and you will get something that I think will satisfy most tastes.

Are there any where he has his shirt off?

You can get him with a bare chest.

These are really excellent answers. I’m so glad. I thought you’d be like no, no, there’s none of that. Dress ups are kind of my favourite thing.

Funnily, that’s the good thing about the franchise; people perceive it completely differently. That’s the biggest strength of it, because there is no right or wrong way to play it. Some people see it as really serious, because fundamentally it is kind of a serious matter, you have a pretty harsh profession and it should be taken seriously. Other people they just latch onto the crazy stuff.

Also the way you play it: some people just play silent assassin, where if you take out your gun by default you’re losing, and other people just shoot everything that moves. But there is nor right or wrong way. Perception changes. Some people will probably really latch onto Contracts. Other people just really want to see the funnier disguises. And that’s cool.

It does encourage quite a lot of playfulness, just in in the experimentation and approach; that sandboxy thing. Like at the end of the level it shows you which items you found, so there is a real incentive to go through every room and look for everything, which is really neat. But it’s also a little bit hard; do you see that as something that mainly expert players would be doing?

This is something that we have focused on in our hunt for accessibility: not to make the game easier, but to tell the player there are options. We don’t want them to just stroll through it and don’t feel a challenge; we want them to know ‘you could have picked up this, you had X here, you had this thing over there, you didn’t poison the King of ChinaTown; you didn’t steal his cocaine’. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to play through it over and over again – that’s just for completionists and trophy hunters. Just to tell people what their options are because the game is quite creative and free, and from there you can take it where you want.

How do you poison the King? I saw his drugs there and I thought about it, but I couldn’t find anything to tamper with them with so I just shot him in the head.

I can give you a hint. Some fish are more poisonous than others.

Fugu! I am an idiot. I saw that there. That’s really obvious. Damn. Okay that’s clever. How do you drop the pallett on his head?

A high-resolution version of the image that
started this fiasco of an interview. Click for
the wallpaper-worthy, full-size version.

That’s a bit more straightforward.

Do you just shoot it?

You have to get him there.

He just wanders over there.

Well, you can get him there faster.

How do you get him there faster?

I’m not telling you. You have to play the game yourself.

I wanted to shoot him in the head from the apartment and he kept wandering off. And then I, because I have the attention span of a goldfish, I would start looking around the room, trying to make Agent 47 do amusing things, and then I would come back and have just missed him. I was probably there for a good 20 minutes waiting to shoot him in the head.

I am happy to hear it. As long as you felt entertained and had fun in one room, I think the game has legs.

I really like the fact that all the environments are so busy. there’s just so much to look at. You can read magazine covers and stuff. is that something you were really pushing for?

I think that was really important to us from the get go, to make a world that was as dense as possible and give you so many details that you could get lost in it. We didn’t want to do it at the price of understanding and communication, but we did want to make it as interesting as possible to explore. We don’t know if you’re going to go out and shoot the guy – you can kill the King of Chinatown pretty fast if you know what you’re doing – but if you’re exploring? We want you to have fun doing it and spend time doing it. Especially if you’re in a very stealthy mood, and you spent half he afternoon hidden behind a couch, we want to make damn sure that’s the most beautiful couch you’ve ever hidden behind.

In Chinatown the crowd was really impressive. I think you said the engine can do 1,000 characters on screen?

In Chinatown I think we have 700. This is one of the small crowds. Chinese New Year has probably a thousand there, because it’s bigger; you’ve opened up and there’s more you can see. If you get to a higher point you can actually see many moe characters at a given time.

I got kind of hungry in Chinatown because there was all the sizzling and the flames.

The first time I saw those flames I was really happy.

Hitman: Absolution looks absolutely stunning whether it’s on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It launches at the end of November.

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5 Comments

  1. Moonwalker1982

    Not gonna read it cause i already know alot and i don’t want to know anything more. I however do wonder about one thing. We we use any outfit from anyone that we have knocked down? If i remember correctly this was always possible in Hitman.

    Screw it. I did read it. Still its not entirely sure if you can use any outfit. But it sure seems like it. I can NOT wait for this one.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Yoshi

    1 of the best interviews I’ve ever read, no joke. Just so laid back and fun please do more interviews like this :D I enjoy more serious interviews but this was just such a nice change of pace I’ve fallen in love with it. :)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. zinc

    One day years from now, a Hitman game will be made, where his trousers bunch & you see his socks… & I will rage that the Devs forgot his *magic pants*!

    Very nice interview :-)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Talkar

    Didn’t read the article, because, well i have bad experiences with articles about Hitman and spoilers xD
    Anyway, this game is really looking to be absolutely great. I’m estimating i’ll have well over a 100 hours of game time in this, seeing as i can easily take 20 hours to complete a mission to my own specifications :P

    #4 3 years ago
  5. SlayerGT

    “Hitman: Absolution looks absolutely stunning whether it’s on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It launches at the end of November.”

    Nice sign off Brenna :D and read as well. Magical pants… :P

    #5 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]