Pretty cool interview with Mattias Engström who was the game developer on Hitman 3.
They ask Mattias what the future holds for Hitman.
“I know you’re working on Project 007 and Hitman is done for the time being, but do you think that whenever you decide to return the gameplay formula for Hitman will evolve?”
“I think we will do a new take on it. I have no idea when, but it’s probably in going to be a new Hitman game that moves away from the World of Assassination trilogy in some ways. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, we wanted a bit of closure in Hitman 3 and a moment of hope. You can kind of see that maybe we could pick it up again from there and just do a completely new thing from there with a new espionage thing or whatever. But we could also say, ‘Yeah, it’s done.’ We could just do a complete reboot and start over again. Anything is possible. We don’t know yet but it’s in our DNA and Hitman is not going away”.
I personally would love to see the story pick up years after the consultation of Hitman 3. I know it didn’t end on much of a cliff hanger, but the ending felt fitting that the story could pick up straight away from there.
Don’t really want to see a reboot, I want to see the story continue after H3
I’d actually be fine with a reboot, or at least a game that doesn’t pay much attention to the existing story. Would be neat to do the early clone stories in a more modern and polished way. To be fair I’m not a big continuity guy in general.
It does need to be a different game in a lot of ways though. I personally would play WoA style levels forever, but for the mainstream audience I think H3 is already pushing it.
Do you mean that WOA pushes a casual/mainstream audience by having a plot that, in H3 at least, is interwoven with the levels themselves? I don’t play a wide variety of games, but WOA seems to me to be fairly mainstream in its gameplay. Some of the stealth aspects can be very hard to master, but it wouldn’t be Hitman without them.
Do a spiritual reboot, keep the story vague and contained to the immediate events of the game (a la Contracts’ 47 just dealing with bleeding out instead of giant world conspiracies). Make the game more focused on taking contracts and getting paid, with an actual economy system. Please no more 6 mission games, I want at least 10 solid levels or more (or something even more expansive). More diverse equipment types with unique animations. Fix the fibre wire, bring back dual ballers. The current gameplay loop is pretty much perfect, I would only change the bloody contextual button prompts for everything. As a player I want my actions to be my own and not confined to what the game allows me to do based on what I’m standing next to.
I’ve been playing a ton of Thief and my favourite part of those games is how vague the setting and factions are, and how Garrett is only a guy who wants to pay his rent. Everything in the backdrop is incredibly interesting but is restrained to well… the backdrop. It makes the world feel really compelling and larger than it actually is without wasting any time or effort, but also keeps the plot focused to just Garrett and his heists. It’s both personal and larger than life. I want a future Hitman game to be similar, keep the character/world backgrounds blurry but allow the player to have some tidbits of info to have them invested in it. What should really matter to us (and to 47 himself) is the contract he’s just taken and how to complete it. Everything else is ancillary.
Lastly, and probably most controversially: can we please have music that’s a little more idiosyncratic to the world of Hitman and not… Bourne, Bond or some other Hollywood spy thriller? H3’s music is a definite step in the right direction, but still felt like movies I’d seen time and time again.
I wouldn’t mind one game set into the future. I don’t mean on Mars or with Laser guns or anything like that. I mean a stand alone story where 47 is in his 60s. The same overused “retired assassin has to come back from retirement to fix _______.” It might be fun to see what the writers and Bateson do with that aspect.
I know that is the exact opposite of the “timeless 47” IO just created back in 2016, but they could do this game and then go right back to timeless 47 if they wanted. It would still have to be sandbox gameplay though.
A large passage of time would be great, yeah. Although I wouldn’t push it as far as his 60s. Hell I wouldn’t even mention his age. I think a large time gap can allow Io to create a blank enough canvas where they could insert a lot of implied story details. Have 47 and Diana start off in a really unexpected, probably bad place - whatever that may entail. Maybe the game is mainly focused on taking contracts but there’s some big event that’s already taken place in those missing years. Something alluded to several times with heavily implied consequences and ties to how they ended up where they are now. Some “HOLY SHIT” thing that’s almost forbidden to explicitly mention. In the last few levels things can become clearer and clearer, but not solved in a way disallowing sequels.
This is the one thing I hope they don’t do, we’ve had too much of that.
And usually, the “retired assassin has to come back” stereotype is always used with some other stereotypes, that I cannot see working with Hitman in any way, such as the fact that most plots that do this require some new young character to come in and prove the old dumb veteran wrong. They already did a retirement comeback in the earlier days of the franchise and it was honestly really unique.
I hear a lot of “more story/no story”, personally to me it doesn’t matter because if it’s good, it’s gonna be good regardless. All the Hitman games have a story and generally they are pretty great games. I don’t think people realize that “no story” doesn’t mean you’re just rushed into the game and told “hey kill this guy lmao”, there is still gonna be a briefing and a reason for killing the targets, and the levels are still gonna be great, I hope.
Look at Landslide, everybody loves Landslide, imagine that but with new maps, new game, new atmosphere and new game mechanics/system overall.
Even in the modern games I’m not big on the “big” story. The level stories are great, the setups and the characters, and you can mostly ignore the overall narrative. In other words you can play them as separate hits all you want, really.
Although pretty much every Hitman game is a reboot. The series has never really been strong with continuity. Silent Assassin is the strongest in being a sequel, in that it directly references events from Codename 47. Otherwise, Contracts, Blood Money, Absolution, and World of Assassination are pretty much their own standalone things that have nothing to do with the story and events in any of the other games. There might be a few references here and there, but those are more like Easter Eggs than any real continuation of the story.
Hitman: Contracts would like a word…
He’s already 56. 47 was “born” in 1964, so he’s turning 60 in ~3.5 years…
I don’t think we should look at it as a “reboot” per say. IO, Square-Enix and media outlets also used the word “reboot” to describe H16. It’s a reboot in terms of how the gameplay loop functions compared to past games, however it’s not a reboot of the series and it’s events. Unlike the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, where non of the events from past games happened. I always disliked when H16 was described as a reboot, because it means something completely else to the majority of people and it have spawned it’s share of confusion regarding the canon.
Also with the conclusion of H3, IO are setting up a world post the ICA and Providence. It will be very interesting to see where it takes Diana and 47. That said I can’t imagine it not more or less following the same beats as all other Hitman games. Diana and 47 get played by a shadowy figures and towards the end they fight back. I hope to see IO break free from the same story tropes we seen so far in more or less all Hitman games.
this is why I don’t think it’s worth mentioning his age, and I would even go as far as just making it a complete mystery from now on, kind of like how Bond is an ageless, formless identity that is inhabited by various actors and in different eras. the more we leave unobscured about 47’s past the less interesting he becomes IMO. what matters is what he’s doing right now. I’ve always thought of the clone stuff as just an explanation for his physical abilities and appearance, not some profound thing worth exploring in its entirety.
edit: and the easier it becomes to keep making Hitman games without worrying about the aging-protagonist problem some game icons seem to face
There aren’t many videogame franchises that can say they’ve kept the same ongoing story for 21 years, and that’s something that I really enjoy about Hitman. To throw that away with a reboot would be silly.
I don’t want to see a reboot. I want to see the franchise keeping its original roots and expanding even further with a better AI, more realistic reactions from NPCs, more complex patterns for the targets, more interactivity between 47 and NPCs (like dialogues). Just keep the World Of Assassination formula, make it harder and push it further.