Agent 47 returns in Hitman 2, the latest from masters of assassination, IO Interactive. We spoke to Theuns Smit from the community team to find out what’s changed since the first game.
What lessons did you take from the episodic Hitman?
Theuns Smit, community team: A big learning curve was to give the locations the attention they deserved. It really opened our eyes to how beautifully the game plays out when you’ve got such great level design – something that really stands out in the Hitman series. I remember in the office we often spoke about approaching level design as like a Swiss cheese – the cheese has all these little holes and entrances through it. We like to create levels in such a way that no matter what direction you go, you won’t really get stuck. You’ll find another way to either get through a window, over a wall or through a crack and keep the gameplay moving. So, the focus on great level design may be one of the first ones that comes to mind.
For the community – especially new players – it gives them a great way to get into the game and experience the replayability of each mission, to go through the training it takes to become a master assassin, and to really understand what it means to think like Agent 47. This is going to work really well with our full release model, where the locations are coming all at once. Everything we learned will go straight into the game and players can enjoy it from the start.
After 18 years, what’s the secret to keeping mission levels fresh?
Much of it comes down to the great mix of people we have at the studio. Even though we are based in Denmark, our creative minds are from all over the world. With multiple nationalities, each person brings their own flavour to the game. It helps that we are all gamers at heart and we want to create something that we’d enjoy as players. Our focus is always: ‘How will I enjoy this the most?’ A lot of that comes down to the game directors, but really it’s a big team effort.
Can you reveal the most bizarre weapon we can use to assassinate a target in Hitman 2?
I can definitely speak about some of the wackier weapons in the game. In Miami for example, there’s a non-lethal and a lethal form of a fish. The non-lethal one is the big Fugu fish that you can slap people with. The lethal one, which is a little bit hidden, is a starfish you can throw like a ninja star. That’s pretty fun to do!
In Colombia, you might come across a poisonous frog – it’s quite bizarre using that to take out your target. Speaking of animals, there might even be a hippo on the loose… Well, not so much on the loose, but he is definitely a danger to your target. I’ll just leave it at that, for now!
Where around the world can we expect Agent 47 to ply his deadly trade in Hitman 2?
So far we have revealed Miami and Colombia as two of our locations. Each is very unique – Miami is very colourful and your target is at a very busy public event at the racetrack, surrounded by big, beautiful vistas. Then there’s Colombia, which is almost the exact opposite – a rainforest with dynamic weather and the sun shining through the gaps in this dense jungle foliage. All the locations are very complex, very intricate and very beautiful. There are places to enjoy getting lost in as Agent 47 prepares for his missions. We look forward to sharing many more exotic locations with you guys.