Absolution is the new instalment and it leaves behind the "hit structure" for storytelling, making it "more personal" to 47. Choices 'made clearer' to us.
"In the prior games the structure of the story, the pacing of the story, was linked to the hit structure. Diana would give you a hit and that would push forward the story, with the next hit and the next hit," explained lead producer Hakan Abrak.
"It's very different in Hitman: Absolution as we wanted to make the story a more personal one. Hitman is betrayed and on the run. So he needs to make the decisions now. You become a lot closer to Hitman, get to know a bit more about his background and who he is. You get to make the next steps, the next moves as Hitman would in the game."
IO wanted to explore who Hitman's number 47 really is as a person, which is something they haven't really done before in the series.
"There are a lot of interesting stories to be told with Hitman in the universe we built around it. It was something we never did before. It's very interesting to come a bit closer to the fact he's a clone. What is driving him? What are his ambitions? His nature?"
The studio isn’t leaving what lies at the core of a Hitman game: choice. "We want to emphasise on the core of our franchise, which is the freedom of choice. In the earlier games you would be dropped in the middle of a level and you would go round and explore how to solve the different obstructions and challenges in the game," noted Abrak.
"You still have that choice. To one challenge, there are several ways of overcoming it, with different play styles. It was important for us to make those choices clearer."
"The choices weren't clear before, and that was a challenge. And sometimes the controls were also a challenge," he added. They needed to streamline controls to make Hitman more accessible in the game world. "It's very clear to you what choices you have, then it's up to you what approach you take for that challenge and how you solve it."
There's definitely more choice now. "Before, when you screwed up the stealth path, then it all went into action and then it was very hard, or the controls weren't up to spec. It's definitely a viable way, if you want to approach an obstacle, a challenge, in a very violent way. You can do that, and you can have a compelling experience out of that."
"If you want to do the extreme stealth assassin, it's very much still in there. You get a compelling experience from that as well. If you want to switch, there is a possibility to do that as well. So you can mix your play style, which wasn't possible in the earlier games."
Check out thebetween Hakan Abrak and Eurogamer. Hitman: Absolution releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2012. Excited for number 47's return?