Next Hitman to feature “Huge, Checkpoint-free, Sandbox Levels”

Published on January 16th, 2014

Open letter to community reveals that IO Interactive is set to return to the formula that made great.

Who’d be a games developer, eh? You build up a strong franchise, deviate from the norms for a new sequel and then get lambasted for it. Yet change nothing and fans accuse you of producing another rinse-and-repeat sequel.

Look we aren’t saying that Hitman: Absolution was anything more than a disappointment or that IO were right to tinker with a formula that fans fell in love with – far from it. What we are saying is that if we, as gamers, want developers to evolve and grow sometimes we need to occasionally accept that new chapters in our favourite franchises might sail wide of the mark at times.

Thankfully this isn’t a point lost on IO Interactive, as they’ve basically laid out the design ethos behind the next Hitman in a surprisingly revealing open letter to the community. The good news is the next Hitman will seemingly ignore the narrative-focus of Absolution to bring more of the experimental sandbox gameplay fans loved from Blood Money, Silent Assassin and Contracts.

Next Hitman to feature “Huge, Checkpoint free, Sandbox Levels”

The kind of Hitman fans demand.

“At Io-Interactive right now, we are building the next AAA Hitman game for PC and next-gen consoles. It has our total focus and we wanted to take a moment to tell you a few things about it,” reads the statement.

“In the next game you will experience a globetrotting Agent 47 at the prime of his career – the apex predator stalking his prey across the world, with the support of his long-term handler Diana Burnwood and the whole of the ICA.

The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we’re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We’ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves.”

The open letter also confirms that Contracts mode, the ability for players to create their own levels and share them online, will return and Agent 47′s inventory space will be restricted as it was in previous games – forcing players to choose the right equipment for the kind of ‘job’ they wish to carry out.

More information will undoubtedly be revealed about the next Hitman sequel in the months ahead, but until then be safe in the knowledge that this time at least, IO Interactive knows what kind of game fans want and they’re working hard to deliver it. Way to play to your strengths guys!


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    1. Posted by David Brown on January 20th, 2014, 18:42

      Good, the on-rails aspect was what I disliked the most about the previous games.

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