Hitman Absolution dev: ‘teaching players about choice is difficult’

Tuesday, 6th November 2012 10:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Hitman: Absolution developer IO Interactive has always delivered a wide range of choices across Agent 47′s adventures, but director Tore Blystad has stressed that communicating that freedom players can often prove difficult. Find out why below.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Blystad explained the challenging process of creating worlds that encourage players to push back with their own solutions and creativity, rather than just following what is presented to them.

“It’s been a lot back and forth between level design, and game design, and technical design, to come up with something that we believe can tackle anything you do in an interesting way, and not just kill you instantly.” Blystad stressed, “Because it’s very much about the player pushing the game, and the game pushing back, instead of just using a sledgehammer and just killing you instantly, and then restarting,”

“It’s quite difficult, actually, to educate players that this is what the game is trying to serve you,” he continued, “because people are increasingly used to games where you’re told to do one thing, and if you stray from this line, there will be nothing else around. It’s like, you have this experience, and that’s it. So we’re telling people, actually, “No, no, no. You choose by yourself.”"

“If you want to go in here, or here, or if you want to kill them or not, it actually changes the way you play the game — when you understand that you have the choice,” Blystad concluded, “So in the first couple of levels, we are continuously working [on it]. And still back in Copenhagen we’re trying to find out, are we teaching the players everything that they need to understand about the gameplay and the possibilities of the game?”

What is your take on the freedom offered by the Hitman series? Does it deliver freedom well, or is there still room for improvement? Let us know what you think below.




  1. Talkar

    There absolutely is freedom in the Hitman games. A few weeks ago i was replaying Hitman Blood Money. And i discovered a new way to kill your target in the mission “A new Life”. I haven’t been able to find anyone else who did it the way i did.
    I killed noone, but the target, i waited for the target to walk upstairs. Knocked out his bodyguard. Knocked out the target. Then dragged the target down the stairs. Dragging him in between patrols with perfect timing, all the way through the house. At last we arrived at the pool where i drowned him.
    So i played it this style: Target only, accidents only, no weapons, don’t get spotted.
    It is just so rewarding to do something like that, several years after a game has been released, and not be able to find anyone on the internet that did it the same way. And to not get spotted during all of this makes it even more rewarding!
    I hope Absolution provides the same freedom of choice ^^

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    Dishonored dev team managed to do it. :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. bpcgos

    @1 & @2
    Absolutely agree.

    BTW, I hope its not an excuse if Hitman are not as great as predecessor due to following this bunch of person that doesn’t want to find its own way when playing (although they’re quite a big audience if you asked me! No doubt about it)

    #3 2 years ago

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