Hitman games have always been the sort you replay – trying to do thing differently to get a better, smarter, or more deliciously evil outcome. The problem is that so few people try to do that. In fact, only a fifth of players even finish games – and it makes the developers of Hitman Absolution really sad.
"The general player will probably never even finish the game, which is very sad,” said IO Interactive’s Tore Blystad to OPM. “Or they might only play through it once, but the game is built for the people who want to go back through every single level and get all the stuff out of it. It’s built to last, rather than be a one-off experience."
Basing this off of metrics that suggest only a handful of people finish the games they buy, Blystad puts it down to a lack of commitment.
"I guess people can’t commit to taking all those hours to finish one product, they get tired of it. It’s not just for this game, it’s for any game," he said. "Knowing that 20% of the players will see the last level of the game. It’s horrible to know. It makes the people working on it really really sad."
It’s one of the reasons some games start off incredibly well – and then fizzle towards the end. developers sometimes try to move the most interesting, engaging parts to the beginning of a game – but it’s not something IO could do with Hitman.
"It’s very difficult when something is constructed to fit into a larger story to move things too much around. I think in some of the previous Hitman games that that might have been the case – that some levels were moved earlier, because they were more catchy or interesting. For us it hasn’t really been that easy, because the story is really tying all the levels together, so they’re still coming in the same order, more or less, that they were designed."
You’ll want to revisit levels in Hitman Absolution though – because IO has stuffed each level with cool things you’ll just have to see.
"In the user tests we have they actually tell us that the replayability factor in itself, it’s the situation or the humour that’s the reason people actually go back through the levels, they want to see more, they want to find these things, which makes us very happy, because it takes a lot of time and effort to get these things in."
If the rather excellent Hitman Absolution Sniper challenge Pre-Order Incentive DLC (that’s a mouthful…) is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat with Absolution. The 15 minute minigame had more things to do, more content than most fully-fledged titles was compulsively addictive and showed an incredible attention to detail.
Last Updated: June 27, 2012