Gamer backlash has prompted IO Interactive to make significant changes to the storyline and gameplay of upcoming FPS Hitman Absolution. While the game itself has been receiving rave previews, one brief teaser trailer has unleashed a can of worms that the developer is kicking itself it didn't see coming.
The trailer in question? The pre-E3 teaser, starring a bunch of nuns wearing tight latex outfits and brandishing automatic weaponry. Let us refresh your memory...
Fans around the world were shocked. Many took offense at the nuns, but others could not get over the fact that the super-stealthy Agent 47 had just rushed in, all guns blazing. Where was his trademark gameplay? What had IO done to the franchise?!
As Absolution director Tore Blystad explained to Eurogamer, he was there all along. The new game - and in particular the level the Saints trailer is taken from - lets gamers pick their own way to proceed. While some will choose the typical Agent 47 gently, gently, stealth approach, there are others who will shoot first, ask questions later. The trailer simply focussed on that one instead.
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.
Blystad explains that the studio believes the nuns themselves fit perfectly within the Hitman universe, pointing out that previous games in the series had always been "colourful and cartoony". The newest title has been openly inspired by Grindhouse-style movies, and the trailer was supposed to give gamers a sense of that. Unfortunately...
With Hitman Absolution not due out until November, Blystad hopes that there will have been enough time between the trailer's release in June for people to have forgotten all about the whole kerfuffle.
For more information on what we thought about the game, check our Hitman Absolution preview, which hardly mentions nuns at all.
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Jimmy the Geek