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.