Despite having a few minor issues, Hitman: Absolution was one of my favorite video games of 2012 (read my review here), and it certainly made up for the insane amount of time fans of the franchise had to wait for it to finally arrive.
Around the time that game was being released, it was said that Io-Interactive was already working on next-gen sequels—an exciting rumor if only for the fact that it would mean that the wait time for a new entry in the series would not be nearly as painful to bear.
Now comes word from Io-Interactive directly—and in the quietest and most subtle of ways—that they are indeed working on Hitman 6 for PC and next-gen consoles. Read their full announcement below.
Usually when a big game sequel is announced, it’s done at a convention or awards ceremony or something big and viewed by many. This is undoubtedly a more exciting way to confirm a game and excite players. But Io chose to do things quietly, releasing an open letter/update to their fans confirming the game’s existence.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Hitman fans,
We wanted to share this open letter with all of you out there eagerly awaiting more news about what’s happening next in the franchise.
At Io-Interactive right now, we are building the next AAA Hitman game for PC and next-gen consoles. It has our total focus and we wanted to take a moment to tell you a few things about it.
In the next game you will experience a globetrotting Agent 47 at the prime of his career – the apex predator stalking his prey across the world, with the support of his long-term handler Diana Burnwood and the whole of the ICA.
The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we’re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We’ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves.
Contracts Mode is back – you will be able to create and build challenges by experimenting with the large levels and possibilities within them. And of course, you can share them with the world and challenge your friends or foes to complete your hits. Your rules, your Contracts.
You will also be glad to hear that we have removed 47’s magic pockets. We believe that’s all we need to say about that subject.
As we get further into 2014, we will reveal more and get into much closer contact with all of you. There are so many things we have planned and we are extremely excited for the future of Hitman.
Thank you all for your dedication. We will share much, much more in the coming months.
The Io-Interactive Team
Apart from this details are not known, but the part that states Agent 47 will be working with Diana Burnwood and the International Contract Agency seems to indicate that this new sequel may in fact be a prequel. Hitman: Absolution opens with 47 pursuing Burnwood—a handler at the ICA and longtime vocal assistant to him in his missions—as a target after Burnwood betrays the company. I won’t spoil things for those who have not played, but it seems unlikely that both would be involved in a sequel. We shall see.
Another thing that stands out is the announcement that the next game will have “huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels.” One of my minor complaints in playing Absolution was when something didn’t appear to be working correctly, it forced you to replay quite a bit over and over because you could only go back to a previous checkpoint, and for this reason the game (and all games) should allow you to save whenever you wish to (unless you dig that sort of maddening, tortuous repetition—*cough*Dark Souls*cough*—not that there’s anything wrong with that!). If Hitman 6 is this large and has no checkpoints, I can only assume that saving will be the player’s choice, and that would be fantastic news for a game like this where some folks prefer trying different things immediately instead of going back and reloading levels later.
Are you excited for Hitman 6? Would you prefer it be a sequel or a prequel?