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Hitman: Absolution sends 47 on stealth-action flip-flop

Previews for IO Interactive's Hitman: Absolution have started popping up online, and it looks as though players will be able to choose to be the classic, stealthy Agent 47 or a more gun-happy man in a suit.

Absolution's Agent 47 is no longer accepting contract kills and is instead on his own mission, which will give players the opportunity to decide how the character progresses through the story. This also allows the player to choose between stealth and action modes in the game.

"First and foremost, what we're trying to convey is that Hitman is still very much about stealth," the game's lead producer Hakan Abrak told Joystiq. "If you liked that in the earlier installments, you're definitely going to get that here.

"But we also want to present compelling action, if you're that type of player.

"In earlier installments, if you went into action, every enemy would come after you - you felt like a failure, like you had done something wrong. We really wanted to do that differently here, so if you play action, we think it should be a compelling experience and we think we've achieved that. If you want to switch between stealth and action, you should have the freedom to do so."

Various actions will trigger a more "dramatic and suspenseful experience" no matter how the game is played, enabling the player to see how their playstyle is "reflected in how the game presents the world" to the user.

"If you go in guns blazing, we know how many NPCs will go into combat mode or send out hunting parties for you, if you run away," producer Tore Blystad told RPS. "The music will listen to all these things and give you a dramatic and suspenseful experience regardless of how you want to play the game.

"You can seamlessly go back and forth between all these different states. And this is how to show off without trying it out and seeing how my play style is reflected in how the game presents the world to me. This is the biggest challenge we’ve had, to feel linear but not be linear."

There's a quite a few more details on gameplay and the various game mechanics posted on various sites, and links for each are posted below.

Hitman: Absolution is slated for release sometime this year for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Pre-order incentives and special editions will be announced at a later date.

New screenshots are available in the gallery below.

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