View Full Version : [Fan Letter]Dear Hitman Developers

31st May 2015, 21:26
Dear Hitman Developers,

I'm a french fan who discovered the franchise with Hitman Contracts which back in time blew my mind as an awesome open game with endless possibilities.

The storyline was EPIC, just as the many cinematics who brought the character as an icon all over the world.
Jesper Kyd made an incredible work with the music which adds a great dimension to each moment into the game.

I knew right away that i would love the franchise. Then was released "Hitman: Blood Money" which is for me (and a lot of fans) the best Hitman ever made!! Hours and hours of gameplay and still playing it today!! A real sandbox.

Then we all heard about Hitman Absolution. I was so excited!! All dem EPIC trailers and videos of gameplay...very thrillin and i was feeling like you reached another level.

(i was sad because Jesper Kyd left the equation but still, the graphics, cutscenes, lightnings...incredible)

I'm not here today only to make a post about how much i care and i love your games, more like giving you my feelings as a fan of your work after playing Absolution and how the next HItman games can be improved to make something as close as what the fans are expecting to be one of the greatest stealth/action games ever made.

My post may contain some mistakes since i'm translating it from french.


Absolution was a great surprise after playing Blood Money at the first sight, because of the amazing landscapes, the improved graphics, the cutscenes. We also had another point of view of Agent 47 because it was like a hunt. We feel constantly chased, we have to hide more than on the previous ones, we had a permanent tension that makes the game more immersive and intense.

But despite the fact that it's entertaining and beautiful, that it's great to see the amazing work you did to improve Hitman mechanics to bring a next-gen videogame, i was not feeling like i was playing the "Hitman" game.

---> Point-to-point action


The first thing that comes different is the way we go through each level. No more "free-to-go" action, we go through some kind of "hallway" with few scripted events to reach checkpoints. I felt more like in a Deus Ex game, even if it adds another stealth dimension to the character. The level design is awesome, but it was too bad we were unable to explore it as much as we expected, kind of frustrating to have only one (or a couple) ways to go, most of time.

---> Basic Instinct


A "not-so-good" feature was the "instinct" mode. When 47 goes Ezio Auditore and "feels" the way NPC will go, or when they look at him and it's like "i'm being spotted from everywhere!!" unless i press CTRL and activate instinct mode to avoid people feel suspicious about me. But within a tight level with a lot of enemies who are wearing the same type of clothes as you, or you have the full bar and keep pushing by walking away, or you are screwed. Not unlike the old ones where guards were feeling suspicious about you, but then went away. Here, or you are fully guised, and loaded, or you're f***ed.


Reversely if you guise as a bunny, you can walk wherever you want while police or other NPCs are not thinking you are suspect.


After few hours of gameplay you understand that if you want to go stealth you just go wall-to-wall by pressing cover button until you reach the next checkpoint, because of the new instinct system :(


The game becomes the same level-to-level and we lost the replayable thing.

---> The animations


One great point of the new Hitman was the animations. Hitman walking, going all in with his fists, taking down enemies like a boss, climbing walls and windows perfectly, holding guns and shooting away like a badass, taking cover like needed, it was a real pleasure to handle the new 47 :)

---> Inner Ambiance


The cutscenes and ambient sounds are amazing. Wow!! A very deep step into next-gen gaming. Too bad we lost the old storyline with Diana saving 47's *ss from the graveyard and going away for another adventures after the ICA being dispatched...


The scenario was interesting, but not as much as expected. Agent 47 was wounded, chased, but has to go stealth. Something felt weird between what the story is trying to bring and what Agent 47 is doing live on the way to finish the game, even if it adds intensity.


No more "incognito" gameplay. We are constantly on the move, even the pro gamer becomes stressful and busted because of the instinct system which makes every NPC around feeling suspicious about us.

Diana being on background is sad too. After Blood Money she deserved to be at the center of the storyline. I hope we will see her coming back later on a brighter shine.

Despite the good dialogs and NPC voices, i felt like the scenario was less interesting than in the previous ones :(

---> Going through the levels

Like i said previously, we are feeling like it's an only choice, an only way that is given to us. Even if there is a couple of ways to go through a "zone", we get it more scripted than previously. It's like going straight all the time, hiding behind walls, switch, Deus Ex style.

Going through doors isn't a challenge anymore, more like a checkpoint. I've kinda missed the challenge to lock pick doors to pass on a different way, it's been like...gone.

No more open world gameplay, we go through different pieces of the map until reaching the final point. Remember the huge places you made on previous ones (wine tropical drug lord mansion, huge hotels, surprise party with angels and devils, ...)!!

---> Online features

The "contracts" mode is a great idea!! Anybody can give challenges and beat scores worldwide!! I can barely imagine what it could give on an open-world game!!

---> Conclusion


+Good Points+:

- Awesome graphics
- CQC system (punch fists and kicks, etc...)
- EPIC gunfights, avaiability of using anything as a weapon
- Awesome cinematics and cutscenes
- Amazing crowd managing (was already great in Blood Money but gg still)

+Bad Points+:

- No more weapon selection (plus debriefing)
- Instinct Mode to forget, like...forever
- Linearity (go point A to point B, no more Open World)
- Fake stealth mode: we have to take cover to avoid enemies, mandatory like in Deus Ex HR
- No more real "custom mode" for weapons
- No more lock picking, unless to pass checkpoints
- Disguising mode: forced to use instinct bar everytime, we have to "put the cap down" constantly, not interesting anymore to change disguising, unless you turn into a bird...
- Bad scenario: storyline and characters original but 47 gets wounded, smashed like a noob, he is supposed to be a genetic super agent, Diana getting back to life after all the drama...
- Missing Jesper Kyd's work
- No more replayability
- Puzzled maps, cut in parts
- No more "incognito": everybody knows who 47 is.
- Scoring system: good feature but in story mode it breaks the immersion. We always feel like we have to be better, attack from a different point of view, we lose the focus on the actual gameplay to focdus more on how we are going to make it, when on previous games it was at the end, we had that "suspense" moment that makes us focus on the game, and only on it.

-NOTBADNOTGOOD- Bringing a sentimental part to 47 was interesting (protecting the girl who had issues like him) but we lost something about him being a superkilling clone.


It was great to see our favourite Hitman back in the game. Sadly, even after all these new ideas and improvements, we are feeling like the franchise became something for all audiences, lost something in the process to sell it to more customers, very far from a masterpiece like Blood Money. If i had to rate it, i'd give him a 14/20 while Blood Money easily gets a 17/20.

I liked the music and dubbing but i miss Jesper Kyd's touch.

But as a fan of the franchise, it was a real pleasure and sadness at the same time to meet back Agent 47 in his adventures, that's why i had to post that huge topic, hoping that you will care about it.

Dear -IO- Interactive and Square Enix developers, cheers from a french fan, and wishing you the best for the next!!


Related: Hitman short fan film (not by me)
--> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgVHzNwthC0

1st Jun 2015, 23:47
By the way it was really interesting to see the making of about the game, such an incredible and amazing work!!
--> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ApmvNR_Il0

5th Jun 2015, 05:26
I'm also preparing another topic about "what would be the perfect Hitman game" with lots of suggestions of fans all over the internet and IRL. Stay tuned ;)

18th Jun 2015, 08:49
Generally agree, but.
**** the cutscenes.
No, seriously. It's either sandbox or cutscenes. Cutscenes are limiting the gameplay. The developers start to make a more or less linear gameplay whith sole purpose to connect cutscenes.
The situation goes even worse when graphics goes. The developers get a task: "the game should have ultra super-puper graphics with highly detailesed models and enviroment". It's all right when applied to engine, but it also applies to ******* cutscenes.
So, artists do say: "we can make only 30 (exact number is not important, important is the fact that it is a limited number) cutscenes". Then all gameplay is just about going between this number of cutscenes, and sandboxing and non-linear gameplay goes to trashbox.
No, really, let us compare an RPG made by BioWare and Spiderweb software from the non-linear gameplay point of view.
Spiderweb software (1 employer with primitive graphics) makes, at my point of view, games where there are more "checking points" (with that or that general status of world in a game) then such monstosity as Bioware. Why? I think because spiderweb makes a cutscene as a text or some primitive scripted movements of characters using engine, and BioWare does make a high-cost 3D video.
Generally, I think that all efforts should be concentrated on the engine, that is how old hitmans worked. There is a body whith health status 100, and when health status reaches 0, the should be (and was) a checked checkboxs "target eliminated". No ******* cutscenes, the health should drop only with engine means, and developers should not count the number ways of how it is possible to reach this status. Bullet damage, explosions, poison should be applied by engine (yes, the body should be scripted to eat and drink sometimes as it was). Damage by falling objects better also to be calculated with engine. The less things are mady by any kind of cutscenes and the more things (and than more complex they are) does engine allows to do, the better sandbox do we get. The best non-linear game (it applies to all genres - shooters, rpg) is when developers do look videos whith gamers playing the game, and discover for themselfs new tricks and ways of accomplishing mission.

18th Jun 2015, 09:55
Krockus, the team is not just one person who is writing the story, making sound design, creating levels, do modelling, creating textures and doing cutscenes. There are lot of "teams" inside the IO and everyone has it's own unique job. So do not worry about that ;)

18th Jun 2015, 10:21
Well, I do understand this I just want some people not to make some work which would prevent other people from making Hitman gameplay, making some splinter cell gameplay as a result.
Ideally there should be two cutscenes for one mission: one at the start, one at the end.
Well, cutscenes can be made for some unique killing situation. For example, as far as I remember in Blood Money there was an episode where it was possible to kill a man with hot steam in a sauna.
Probably it was a cutscene. But what if to make it as a game engine possibility? For example, we make a behavior pattern for an NPC "running around under pain". Then we make an object "steam with temperature X" and make steam with temperature above 110C to make a person feel pain (increasing over time and with temperature value) and loose hitoints (increasing with time and temperature value). Then it is possible not only to use sauna in a one cut-scene specified assasination, but to place saunas and pipes with steam in different missions where they probably would be useless but maybe player would like to use them somehow and/or somewhy (forgive my english) to eliminate some (maybe not important) other characters.

It's like the next joke:
A boy with a dead frog on a rope goes to a doctor and tells him: "make me ill with syphilis". Doctor answers: "Oh dear, but why would you need it?".
The boy tells: "I would have a sex with my nurse. Then she would have sex with my farther. My farther would have sex with my mother. Then my mother would have sex with the postman. And so, the POSTMAN WOULD SUFFER FOR THAT HE KILLED MY LOVELY FROG".

So, the possible course of actions in hitman are better to be unpredictable like the boy from this joke, it can be maded by engine and cutscenes can limit such things.

18th Jun 2015, 10:45
I've played a level from a HITMAN and I can say that there was no cutscenes. It's just like Blood Money - only important moments were highlighted.

19th Jun 2015, 20:33
I've played a level from a HITMAN and I can say that there was no cutscenes. It's just like Blood Money - only important moments were highlighted.

When i was talking about cutscenes, i was talking about these ones:

In-game cutscenes, with game engine, that adds immersion and suspense to the gameplay, without decreasing the quality of the game, see what i mean?

In BM for example, when he speaks to some NPCs, or cinematics when he arrives to the mission...that kind of stuff.