this is exactly what was so frustrating about Absolution. They had so many ideas, many of them which could have been interesting, but they just couldn't decide what to focus on, and they didn't match them well enough to 47.
I personally found myself really engaged by some of the settings and characters and moments, but the story never took that anywhere, because there wasn't a plan for how these things connected and built off each other. Instead of starting with the 47 we know and showing how he changes into someone suited for the story and characters, or even starting with a changed 47 and referencing back to how he got there, they just created a "new normal" and thrust him through these disconnected challenges and experiences. The concept of contract killing was the conceit for that in previous games, but even though they abandoned it, seems they wanted to basically do the same thing. At which point you have to ask yourself: "are we actually doing what we want to do, and what's best for the game? Why are we trying to go in this new narrative direction if we won't make the sacrifices and changes necessary to justify it?"
The original "Homeless Hitman" concept sounded like a really interesting take, not on going away from the concepts of Hitman, but in changing the context dramatically. It seemed like it was flipping the usual script of social stealth: instead of being the fancy guy in the suit, you were the bum on the street that everyone both ignores and tries to keep out of their way. There was potential there for things that would have usually been easy, like walking into a restaurant, to become challenges. And for hiding in plain sight to become easier, in other scenarios.
In that case, they were actually talking about making the mechanics fit the themes, and that's one of the most important things in game storytelling. And if you don't want to change the mechanics, for whatever reason, then you can't significantly alter the theme. Absolution wants to be a game about an immaculately dressed hitman at the top of his game, but its themes want it to be about an underdog.