Hitman Absolution altered over outcry

Director Tore Blystad says he was "surprised" by reaction to action game's controversial trailer; level amended to provide deeper context.

IO Interactive has amended a level from Hitman Absolution following outcry stemming from one of the game's teaser trailers. In the video, the game's main character, Agent 47, is shown murdering a group of assassins disguised as gun-wielding nuns. Hitman Absolution game director Tore Blystad explained to Eurogamer that the trailer was based on a level in the game, which has now been tweaked to provide greater context.

IO is going back to provide greater context for this scene.

"One way to go about that level is to go in all-guns blazing, but of course, it's not the smartest way," he said. "We learned from the trailer that we really needed to give these characters some context and some backstory. We're working within the game--within that level--to build these characters up before you meet them. That way you know what you're getting and you aren't put off by them."

The reaction to the video was unexpected, Blystad said. He said despite hundreds of internal staffers having witnessed the trailer, none had any idea it would draw the levels of criticism it did.

"We were surprised by the reaction to it. We've been trying to find out, y'know, how could we not see this happening? If we knew it would get such a negative reaction we would have done it in a different way."

Ultimately, Blystad does not think drama related to the trailer, and the amended level, will be remembered when the game launches in November. "People will have forgotten about it," he said.

Hitman: Absolution is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 20. It is the first entry in the series since 2006's Hitman: Blood Money, which saw Agent 47 bring silent death to locales ranging from mid-Mardis Gras New Orleans to the White House.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution

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