Now that the first episode of IO Interactive’s Hitman is in the hands of the people it was made for, fears over a potential lack of content and a game potentially made to a strict budget have essentially all but dispersed, but IO says they’re not at all surprised that scepticism over the model was high prior to release.
Speaking in the latest issue of UK magazine EDGE, IO’s creative director Christian Elverdam said the development team was expecting fans to be sceptical, but the release of the first episode has lowered those worry levels to a minimum. Elverdam attributes the reservedness to the relative newness of the episodic model in the triple-A games market.
We were expecting people to be sceptical up front. There’s this old quote: ‘Everyone loves progress, but no one really likes change’. We can’t really persuade anything that this is a good idea, I think. We’ll have to let the game speak for itself.
I recently toured around with the preview code for Sapienza, and the feedback was really good. When I look at forums and general chatter about it, I see much less worry about it after Paris came out than before. Before, people were really talking about how much content there would be, and I think if you really dig Hitman and you turn off the hints you don’t need, there are a lot of hours in Paris, and I think it starts to click with people why it’s a good idea that the next episode then comes out and there’s a new, fresh level instead of just barrelling through.
It’s hard to disagree with Elverdam, if we’re honest. The opening Paris level of Hitman is a return to the series’ roots of being all about giving the player a sandbox world with the simple objective of assassinating specific targets and the tools with which to carry out your objective in any way you please.
Despite alarms being raised when Hitman was delayed from its initial release date of December last year, Elverdam says it enabled his team to give each episode the polish and care it deserved. If you’re a Hitman fan and are still wary of subscribing to Hitman’s episodic structure, you can read our review of the first episode here.
Hitman‘s second episode – dubbed Sapienza and set in Italy – is due to release in April, and IO Interactive is due to announce a firm release date later this week.