Video game fans everywhere have welcomed the news that the latest instalment in the Hitman series will be released in March 2016.
Such is the popularity of the series that there has been two film spin-offs, Royal Vegas online slots and a host of other merchandise to capitalise on its popularity. You can see the trailer by following this link. Named simply Hitman, some commentators speculated that the sixth game in the core franchise is a reboot.
This would make sense considering the relative disappointment of Hitman: Absolution. In fact, makers, Io-Interactive, have previously said that rather than being a reboot, the game is in fact “a pure Hitman experience and “the foundation […] for future games in the franchise”.So what made the Hitman games so great and why was Absolution not as good?
At its core, the thing that makes the Hitman games stand out is their innovative open-ended level design. This gave gamers a number of ways to complete levels and three or four different ways to complete a hit. This is what made the likes of Blood Money (the fourth instalment) such a lot of fun to play.
These games also offer brilliant weapon customisations. Up until Blood Money, players were able to choose and customise their weapons, which many were disappointed to find was not the case with Absolution. Browse the forums and you’ll see pleas for Io-Interactive to bring this option back with number 6. Critics in the media also complained that the makers didn’t seem to realise “what made the first four games so great in the first place”.
In the first four games, there are many ways to play cleanly without killing innocent people besides the target. There was a freedom in earlier games that was largely replaced with smaller, less interesting levels and cut scenes in Absolution.
There is a level of realism in Absolution that some gamers actually feel makes the game worse than previous efforts in the series. For example, disguises no longer fool those wearing the same outfit, which is perfectly true to life. Yet users felt that this disrupted gameplay as the main protagonist (Agent 47) was forced to hide constantly.
While the guys at Io-Interactive say they don’t want people to think of the new game as a reboot, it sounds like it will certainly constitute a rethink. Hopefully they’ve listened to fans of the first four Hitman titles.
Hitman launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC March 11, 2016.