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Hitman release plan photo
Hitman release plan

New Hitman releasing unfinished, will get free content updates


Content updates through 2016
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix announced something of a reboot for the Hitman series this week. It's just called Hitman and is coming December 8. It won't be finished then, though. It will be $60. There will be "no DLC or microtransactions." St...
Hitman photo
Hitman

Our first look at the new Hitman


Not a mobile game!
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
"Good to have you back." IO Interactive debuted a first look at its new Hitman during Sony's E3 2015 press conference. Somewhat of a different vibe, at least from the trailer, but that's still Agent 47. Boy, just l...
Hitman movie photo
Hitman movie

Hitman: Agent 47 looks anything but stealthy


Videogame movies, man
Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
The tone of this trailer for Hitman: Agent 47 matches my playstyle for the game series, which is to go in quietly only to screw up repeatedly and end up having to trade bullets with everyone. While I could have done without ...

Hitman photo
Hitman

First concept art for IO Interactive's new Hitman


Square Enix Montréal announcing another mobile game soon
May 28
// Jordan Devore
IO Interactive has shared concept art for its next Hitman game for consoles and PC, viewable below in high resolution. The image is set in Central Europe and that building is "larger than any location in Hitman Absolution," a...
Hitman photo
Hitman

First look at Agent 47 in the new Hitman film


It's Homeland's Rupert Friend
Feb 19
// Jordan Devore
2007's Hitman movie wasn't awful. In fact, I'd be willing to believe that people were even fans of the adaptation. But there's certainly plenty of room for improvement and here's hoping Agent 47 delivers where the prior movie...
Hitman photo
Hitman

The new Hitman game for mobile has surprising potential


IO 'absolutely loved' the concept
Feb 13
// Jordan Devore
There are two Hitman games in development that we know about: one is a full-fledged PC and console title from IO Interactive, the other is a mobile project in the works at Square Enix Montréal. Hitman GO, a turn-based ...
New Hitman photo
New Hitman

New Hitman will have the largest levels yet


And Agent 47's 'magic pockets' are no more
Jan 16
// Jordan Devore
IO Interactive is working on the next major installment of Hitman and today the studio shared a few details about the game. Most notably, it'll feature Agent 47 "at the prime of his career" and open-ended sandbox levels that ...
Hitman photo
Hitman

New missions added to Hitman: Absolution 'Contracts' mode


Well, that was unexpected
Jan 09
// Conrad Zimmerman
Though Hitman: Absolution has been out for over a year, new missions for the title have been added to the game's "Contracts" mode with seemingly no warning whatsoever. New missions have launched on all three platforms th...
Future of Hitman photo
Future of Hitman

Square tells us exactly what's happening with Hitman


There are two projects
Jan 07
// Chris Carter
Yesterday, there was a report that sort of confused Hitman fans everywhere. People thought projects were canceled, and the franchise was in jeopardy, but here's the real rub straight from Square Enix. Apparently, the ini...
Hitman photo
Hitman

Square Enix Montreal's Hitman reportedly canned


Studio is now working on Hitman for mobile
Jan 06
// Jordan Devore
Square Enix Montreal was working on a new Hitman game that was said to be a re-imagining, though we never saw much of anything about the title. It's since been discovered that the project was canceled last year, according to ...
IO focusing on Hitman photo
IO focusing on Hitman

IO cancels projects to focus on new Hitman game


Nearly half of IO laid off
Jun 17
// Jordan Devore
When you think of IO Interactive, Hitman comes to mind. Maybe Kane & Lynch or Freedom Fighters as well -- sorry to reopen old wounds -- but the long-running stealth franchise is certainly right up in there. We'l...
Hitman reboot photo
Hitman reboot

Hitman movie reboot 'Agent 47' to star Paul Walker


Yes, *that* Paul Walker
Feb 06
// Jordan Devore
It's been an unusually long time since I've been able to use the word "reboot" here, but with the recent Hitman Absolution still fresh on our minds, it's only natural that the term would come up in relation to the popular ste...
Hitman HD: Trilogy photo
Hitman HD: Trilogy

Relive the past with Agent 47 in this Hitman HD trailer


A compliation trailer for the Hitman HD trilogy
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
Hitman HD: Trilogy is nearly ready for release, so IO Interactive has whipped up a trailer that showcases footage from all three games, and a small teaser for the brand new Hitman: Sniper Challenge bonus. Whether you're a se...
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Check out this real life Hitman video featuring Agent 47


Eat your heart out Timothy Olyphant
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
So I'm a huge fan of Timothy Olyphant (basically Justified above all else), but the Hitman movie left a lot to be desired. Enter this neat little fan video, directed and edited by Michael Shanks, that hi...
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Unannounced Hitman Trilogy HD sighted on Amazon


Would you pay $40 for three Hitman games?
Dec 13
// Jordan Devore
Score one for consolidated shelf space. A listing for Hitman Trilogy HD, a compilation which sounds innevitable but has yet to be announced by Square Enix, has been spotted on Amazon. It's even complete with a promotional ima...
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Absolution director comments on next Hitman game


Series taking two-studio approach
Nov 23
// Jordan Devore
While it's no secret that the next Hitman installment will be developed at Square Enix Montreal, Hitman Absolution director Tore Blystad has shed some light on the situation. Speaking to Official PlayStation Magazine, he expl...

Review: Hitman Absolution

Nov 19 // Conrad Zimmerman
Hitman Absolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: I/O InteractivePublisher: Square-EnixReleased: November 20, 2012MSRP:  $49.99 (PC) / $59.99 (PS3,  Xbox 360) Agent 47's former handler at the International Contract Agency, Diana Burnwood, has gone rogue. Exposing the Agency and cutting its lines of communication as a distraction, she has gone into hiding with a valuable Agency asset, a young girl named Victoria. In the prologue of Hitman: Absolution, the Agency is closing in on Burnwood and has dispatched 47 to eliminate her and recover the asset. The acquisition of Victoria by 47 and his continued protection of her in defiance of the Agency makes up the basis of Absolution's plot, which winds up being a surprisingly straightforward affair. No grand scheme is played out, no conspiracies are unearthed nor mysteries revealed; just a bunch of disgusting people without respect for human life being murdered one after another by another largely amoral (but not necessarily evil) guy in a nice suit. The fact that the story doesn't attempt to be epic in scope is actually a mark in its favor, as it makes for a more grounded and enjoyable tale. [embed]238879:45835[/embed] The repugnance of the Hitman world and the characters who reside in it is almost overwhelming at times. The main antagonist of Absolution, a weapons manufacturer named Blake Dexter, is a sadistic, slobbering pig and his underlings are all in pretty close competition to be his runner-up in terms of sleaziness. There are only around four likable characters and 47 shoots one of them in the tutorial mission. That's just the kind of setting we're dealing with and it works wonderfully for making the player feel like they've actually done the world a service by violently removing these people from it. And the presentation of that setting is quite exceptional, to boot. Visually, Absolution is gorgeous and I/O's new Glacier2 engine impresses with its lighting effects, animations and ability to render more than a hundred NPCs in some of the more crowded environments, such as the strip club and Chinatown. It's a real treat for the ears as well, featuring a dark, moody score that hits the right notes for tension and its all-star cast of voice actors provide top-notch performances that will make you cringe at how gleefully rotten most of them are. But it's the in-game conversations between totally irrelevant people which often steal the show. Everywhere you turn, it seems that somebody is talking to someone else. These exchanges are usually humorous in nature, though they'll occasionally also provide a nugget of information about one of 47's targets or a place where a murder could be made to look like an accidental death. They add a lot to the general atmosphere as well as providing a needed break to the tension of creeping around corners. Each chapter of Absolution challenges the player with moving Agent 47 through different environments to complete his objectives. Sometimes the objective is as simple as moving from one end of a stage to another, while others require the player to acquire items before being able to move on. And, of course, there are plenty of stages where your goal is to eliminate one or more individuals. Most of these locations are places where Agent 47 wouldn't exactly be considered welcome, which generally means he should be staying out of sight or remaining inconspicuous through the use of disguise. The clothes really do make the man in the Hitman franchise, as 47 can dress in the outfits of various types of people in order to fool people into thinking he has permission to access areas normally unavailable. Disguises are only effective on people other than the type 47 is disguised as, however, and people who share the player's fashion sense will see through the subterfuge pretty quickly and expose them. The best stages are those which require you to kill and feature a large area in which to do so. These environments are huge, with lots of side areas to explore, multiple access points and plenty of opportunities, subtle and otherwise, to eliminate targets. They're also filled with weapons, firearms and melee alike, tucked away into the corners and crevices. These larger stages best demonstrate the fun in the Hitman formula because there is so much to take in and they contain greatest diversity of approaches.  Adding to the list of things to try, each level features a list of challenges which offer all kinds of goals, from collecting disguises to suggesting unique opportunities to kill. It's not possible to accomplish all of them in a single run and they offer a fun incentive to return to levels and try for more. Even without them, the stage design is so dense with possibility that coming back to attempt a new approach to a level is enticing enough. Absolution uses a mechanic called "Instinct" to represent the innate abilities and training of the master assassin. Activated with a button press, using Instinct slows the game down a bit and highlights interactive objects, shows the locations of enemies (and their travel path, if in motion), and provide hints on how objects can be used to achieve objectives. It can also be used to deflect attention from 47 when wearing a disguise and to engage a combat technique called "point shooting" which allows the player to freeze time and aim multiple shots to take down groups of enemies quickly. These active Instinct abilities are limited by a meter, which is replenished through a variety of actions. Longtime fans of the Hitman series may be disheartened by the Instinct system, which does have a pretty strong impact on the game's difficulty and can suck some of the fun out of exploration by drawing explicit attention to kill opportunities and how they are used. But this need not be the case, as Instinct is one of many factors affected by the game's five difficulty settings. Easy and Normal modes exist to accommodate less skilled players of stealth games and newcomers who may be unfamiliar with the subtleties of Hitman. Returning players would probably do well to just start on Veteran, which limits the functions of Instinct (adding a considerable cost to those abilities which remain) and presents a challenge level more in line with prior entries. While the game purports a "play-how-you-want" design style, there are two core elements which run counter to that assertion. Players will quickly learn that combat is not a very practical first option. 47 is a pretty capable fighter, for what it's worth, with a melee combat system consisting of quick-time events that allow him to dispatch enemies in close quarters easily and in little time. He's no slouch with a gun either; the shooting mechanics are competent and cover works adequately. The problem is that engaging in open combat -- even melee -- invariably announces the player's presence to other enemies in the vicinity, who will then move to converge and overwhelm. More on the nose, however, is the scoring system which rewards players for achieving objectives and taking advantage of special kill opportunities while punishing them for being seen somewhere they aren't supposed to be or eliminating characters unnecessarily. The score is visible in the upper-left corner of the screen at all times, adding and subtracting, the tick of its numbers a constant judgment of the player's performance. By its very presence, the scoring system implies that there is, in fact, a right way to play Hitman Absolution, which is to complete objectives without being seen and utilizing a minimum of force. This is still a stealth game at its heart, regardless of any stated intent. For the first time in the history of the series, Absolution features an online multiplayer component, "Contracts." In this asynchronous game mode, players create challenges by replaying stages from the single player campaign but with the freedom to choose their targets. While moving through the environment, the player can designate any NPC as a target and then eliminate them. Up to three targets can be chosen and killed in this manner before the player chooses to leave the level and share their newly completed Contract with the game's community. The game records the weapon used and what disguise was worn for each target and creates these as objectives for future players. The Contracts system is brilliant because the player is creating content through play and experimentation, not through a clunky or complex editing system. There's no such thing as an impossible Contract (as the originating player has to have accomplished the goals set forth in them) and the range of possible combinations of victims, weapons and disguises is mind-boggling. Players can compete for scores on Contracts by challenging their friends directly and a rating system is in place to help separate the wheat from the chaff. Hitman Absolution offers refinement of a beloved series in many ways, boasting more visual pizzazz than most anything releasing this year and a well-paced story which features a good share of weirdness without attempting a scope beyond its means. While some simplifications could irk fans who may complain that the game has been watered down, the range of difficulty options should provide ample satisfaction for players who seek a classic Hitman experience without totally alienating those trying its unique blend of stealth and exploration for the first time.
Hitman Review photo
Welcome back, 47
Six years seems like a long time to have to wait for a new Hitman installment, but I/O Interactive certainly kept themselves busy during that time. With a powerful engine under the hood (in the form of Glacier2), the bal...

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Freddie Wong's vacation is a 'far cry' from the norm


Bonus: Some sweet Hitman action
Nov 11
// Tony Ponce
With Far Cry 3 less than a month away, the freddiew team of Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch fuel the hype machine with an appropriate homage. A sunny, beach-side getaway in Belize is too trivial for ol' Mr. Wong. He needs a...
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18 minutes of Hitman: Absolution's Contracts mode


See how to create custom contracts
Sep 28
// Jordan Devore
I can hardly be the only one who gets tired of seeing unimaginative trailer after trailer, which is why this video for Hitman: Absolution is so great. It's approximately 18 minutes of IO Interactive demonstrating the game's ...
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gamescom: Contracts mode announced for Hitman: Absolution


Aug 14
// Dale North
At a press conference at gamescom today, a new Contracts mode was announced for Hitman: Absolution. Inspired by fans and how they would make anyone a target, this online Contracts mode lets you do this exactly. Fulfilling Con...
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Jimquisition: The positive side to punching nuns


Jun 09
// Jim Sterling
This episode went up last Monday but didn't get posted here due to me being in L.A. at the time it went live. The reason for the subject is a little dated now, especially with IO Interactive issuing an apology and kickstarti...

Feeling underwhelmed with Hitman: Absolution

Jun 01 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]228276:43830[/embed] Hitman: Absolution (PC, PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360) Developer: IO Interactive Publisher: Square Enix Release: November 20, 2012 The King hangs out in Chinatown, and likes to stand out in public places to make it harder for anyone to get to him. Plus, he has a unit of dirty cops guarding him and patrolling the small section of Chinatown we got to play in. The Glacier 2 engine powering the new Hitman is capable of displaying up to 500 NPCs on screen at once, and this tiny area of Chinatown was bursting with life that would make anyone think twice before pulling out a gun on the King. Granted, what we were shown was a pre-beta build, so this very well -- or at the least should -- change, but just because there were a lot of bodies walking around didn't make the scene feel lifelike. The biggest issue being that the NPCs just slide away as Agent 47 moves through the crowd. Games like Assassin's Creed and the upcoming Sleeping Dogs have a very realistic approach, wherein the player character will actively push or work their way around NPCs. This sounds like a trivial compliant, but it really was annoying and took me out of the immersion. As this is a Hitman game, you'll have a ton of options in how you can take out the King. You can straight up walk to the gazebo where he hangs out, and gun him down. Naturally, doing so will see a swarm of guards drop you faster than you can blink. Out of all the ways I could take out the King, my favorite was with the sniper rifle. If you hang out near the King at the beginning, you'll see him place a call to his drug dealer asking for a refill of the white stuff. After a couple of minutes, the dealer comes through, talks to the King, and then heads off to get his secret stash. Conveniently for you, the dealer heads down a dark alley away from the public. After choking out the dealer, you can take his clothes which now allows you access to the dealer's apartment. Upon entering his room, you'll find a sniper rifle and the apartment window has a perfect view of the gazebo. Boom. With your target dead, you'll just have to exit the level to complete the task. This was just one way of nearly a dozen. Other options included planting a bomb on the King's car, triggering the car alarm and detonating it once the King went to go check on his vehicle. Or, you could have found some poison, laced the cocaine with said poison, and watched the King snort himself to death. There were many more options, but you get the idea. Tying all this together is the point system. You'll earn points for doing things like hiding corpses in dumpsters, assassinating targets, and so forth. You'll lose points for hurting civilians, getting discovered, etc. For the most part, the points system looks to be just for bragging rights as you can compete against the world or just simply friends on a leaderboard system, much like Zen Pinball's leaderboard setup. All this can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. Players can activate an ability called Instinct with a simple button press that slows down the action somewhat and gives you an x-ray vision of the environment. Threats are highlighted with yellow and your main target is highlighted in red. Interactable objects that could be a potential aid to 47 are also highlighted in yellow, and clues are given about how you can use them. As you might expect, this is in place to help novice players. Harder difficultly levels restrict Instinct abilities and introduce tougher, smarter AI characters to go up against. As far as initial impressions go, I just didn't feel all that excited about Hitman: Absolution based on what I played. While much of what I described sounds fun in theory, it all felt very generic, in a "been there, done that" sort of way. As it stands, there's nothing that makes me want to give the game another go, especially with the avalanche of games on the way.
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Super quick recap time: Hitman: Absolution sees series protagonist Agent 47 betrayed by his former employers, the ICA. With the cops following his every move, the anti-hero needs to find the truth amidst the conspiracy he's...

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Punch half-naked nuns in the face in Hitman: Absolution


May 30
// Jim Sterling
A new trailer for Hitman: Absolution has appeared, and everybody's talking about it. Some folk are hyped, some have felt their excitement plummet, and others are a little disturbed by a video that puts women in sexy rubber n...
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A behind-the-scenes look at Hitman: Sniper Challenge


May 25
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix wants to take you behind the scenes of IO Interactive's Hitman: Sniper Challenge, an exclusive downloadable bonus lying in wait for anyone willing to bite the bullet and pre-order Agent 47's latest adventure...

Preview: Hitman: Absolution is more than a stealth game

Jan 11 // Wesley Ruscher
Hitman: Absolution (PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360)Developer: IO InteractivePublisher: Square EnixRelease: 2012The demonstration began with Agent 47 decked out in priest attire slowly making his way down the confines of a hallway stalking two possible prey. In the stealth play-through, Agent 47 used his notorious cunning to sneak by and avoid any sort of confrontation. This avoidance of enemies brought Agent 47 safely through a couple of areas, but it also left a security guard tied to a chair, being brutally interrogated, in the unscrupulous hands of the enemy. In Agent 47's more violent entrance into the level, the two enemies that were patrolling were assassinated one by one. As Agent 47 pushed on, he found a fire axe on the ground that would eventually be used to rescue the security guard held hostage. As 47 bullied his way into the room, the axe quickly chopped down a few bad guys in some highly cinematic executions, before he turned around and hurled the axe and eliminated the final threat. While a more violent and dangerous option, saving the security guard did come with benefits. Rescuing him allowed the injured man to share some crucial information with Agent 47 on where some much needed firepower was hidden in the level. If you read our E3 coverage of Absolution, then you already know about Agent 47's "instinct" ability that can be used to give him an advantage in the stealth department. For the more confrontational player, this ability can also be used to allow the contract killer to slow down the action -- reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption's "Dead-Eye" mode -- and accurately pinpoint all of his shots. If the scene I witnessed was any indication, the use of Agent 47's instinct in this capacity delivers some truly astonishing moments when properly planned.From the opening moments, all the way to the dramatic conclusion in the orphanage, it's apparent that the team at IO Interactive is building a game with many, many choices. Although their previous endeavor, the Kane and Lynch series, wasn’t well received critically, it did usher in a level of Hollywood-like storytelling that has helped the developer take a more cinematic approach with Absolution.The rooms Agent 47 traveled through felt like their own unique experience. Often times in videogames, every generic enemy feels exactly that: generic. This is not the case with Absolution; each enemy Agent 47 made his way past conveyed a level of realism -- thanks to constant banter -- that is almost unprecedented. I was told by Absolution's head art director, Roberto Marchesi, that there are nearly 2,000 pages of script for all the dialog in the game. It's in this care for every character that Absolution creates one of the liveliest worlds I have ever seen in a videogame. In a scene where Agent 47 found himself slinking through a child's play area, two guards -- who were evidently buddies -- were engaged in dialog that would eventually play to the silent assassin's benefit. It was clear there was turmoil between the two and that one was a heavy drug user and was actually high at the moment. In disgust, the other guard walked away, complaining that his partner never has his back. In this moment it was made clear which of the two was the easiest target. As the drugged-out guard stood clueless, Agent 47 snuck up on him, knocked him out, then dumped his body in a child's ball pit.  Small scenes like this filled the entirety of the demonstration, regardless of the play style chosen. When enemies are constantly disappearing and not communicating with their squad mates, not only does the dialog change to reflect this, but their A.I. also adapts. Enemies become curious and are in a heightened state, making those with hopes of achieving a "Silent Assassin" ranking work even harder in their pursuit of anonymity. From what Marchesi explained to me, it may sometimes be to the player’s benefit to chose the more violent path. If many enemies are eliminated, the chain of communication can be broke, which will ultimately allow for an easier end to some of the more hectic stages. An amazing atmosphere is not the only aspect of Absolution that makes it such an enticing cinematic experience. The use of music throughout amplifies the drama felt in each scene. Like a thriller, it ramps in dissonance as Agent 47 makes his way through the more intense encounters, but reduces to a harmonious melody when the assassin is on the hunt. To be honest, had I not been told by Marchesi to pay attention to the game’s use of music I might not have even noticed this dynamic feature.After watching two completely different play-throughs of the upcoming Hitman: Absolution, I can say with very clear conscience that Agent 47 has never looked so badass. The overall depth of play I witnessed combined with a world that feels more alive than ever before should guarantee that gamers are in for one hell of a treat later this year, whether it be in shadows or with guns blazing.
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Later this year, Hitman: Absolution will continue Agent 47's masterful descent into the dark life of an assassin. In the past, the Hitman series has never been what one would call an intense action experience, but for gamer...

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Ever since I first saw Hitman Absolution at E3 last year, it's been firmly planted on my want-list for 2012. The old games were very firmly rooted in the stealth genre, and ever since the E3 gameplay went online, a lot of har...

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This Hitman: Absolution trailer is coming for you


Dec 10
// Jordan Devore
It's been a long time coming for Hitman: Absolution. This trailer for the game doesn't do much other than remind us that Agent 47 is very skilled at his job, but that's okay. The modern visual fidelity alone makes up for any perceived lack of substance shown here. Note to would-be bad guys: waiting for your target to leave the elevator never works.
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Hitman: Absolution devs add commentary to old trailer


Nov 04
// Brett Zeidler
A few weeks ago a huge 17 minute gameplay video of Hitman: Absolution surfaced that showcased a significant peek into what you can expect from the finished product. Square Enix has released the same footage again, but this t...
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E3: Agent 47 is a romantic in Hitman Absolution's trailer


Jun 07
// Maurice Tan
Another E3 hour, another CG trailer for an upcoming game. Hitman Absolution's E3 trailer might be CG, but it does drop some hints at possible themes and gameplay elements. Agent 47 is doing close combat melee like he did in ...
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Square Enix has today announced the next long-awaited game in the Hitman series, Hitman: Absolution.  The new adventure for everybody's favorite chrome-domed killer sees Agent 47 betrayed by his allies and on the run fr...


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