We haven’t seen a new game in the Hitman series since 2006’s Hitman: Blood Money. There’s been a (not very good) movie in the interim, and both the developer, IO Interactive, and the publisher, Eidos Interactive, were acquired by Square Enix in 2009. The hiatus is understandable, but fans of the series’ unique blend of stealth, action and Rube Goldberg-ian murder ploys are ready for more. Now we know for sure that more is coming, and soon.
There have been rumblings in the past few weeks and months about an upcoming Hitman game, but it hasn’t been officially confirmed until now. There’s a debut teaser trailer online for Hitman: Absolution. It shows nothing even resembling gameplay and very little beyond that, just a brief glimpse of a silencer being screwed onto a pistol muzzle — presumably by Agent 47 — and a snake coiled around the assassin’s trademark handgun. The teaser concludes with a recognizable barcode in which the numbers “47” and “110706” are highlighted, which probably means that an official announcement is coming during E3 on June 7.
It’ll be interesting to see how the trends in gaming over the past few years might have influenced development on the latest Hitman. While the series introduces new quirks with each subsequent game, it’s really remained fundamentally the same experience since the beginning. You are given a target and a map to traverse in your pursuit of that target. Scattered all around the map are various points of interaction– disguises, traps, weapons, lackeys to avoid, crowds to blend in with and the like. Any number of paths can be followed to take out a target, but there’s typically one in particular that is the “ideal,” in the sense that it is completely stealthy. 47 is a professional after all; going in guns blazing is far too… messy for his unique sensibilities.