Available: Q2, 2004.
Developer: IO Interactive

Interview by: Andreas Misund Berntsen

It's been a while since we last saw something of 47. We've used his skills in a lot of very dangerous situations, and in most cases even came out on top. It hasn't been long since Hitman: Contracts was announced (and the first trailer was released), a sequel that's doing some notable changes to the series. We wanted to know a lot of things, so let's see what the developers had to say...

Hi, please introduce yourself to our readers.¬¬†

My name is Jacob Andersen and I'm the¬¬†Game Director on Hitman: Contracts.¬¬†

I’m sure most of our readers know the Hitman games very well by now, but I’m sure what’s new is what everyone’s wondering about. In the press release it says the game is going to be more epic – does this mean the game is more story-driven and you follow more of a red line, or will you just be given contracts to kill even more important people?¬¬†

In contracts we take a look at 47's memories of past killings, in the way he remembers them. As you know 47 is genetically engineered and has trouble dealing with human feelings, but it seems that his human mind tried to convince him that what he does is wrong. 47 needs to find out how he wants to deal with this.

The press release also mentions how you’ll now be able to solve a mission in more ways than before. Can you describe an example, such as the one which the “butcher” screenshots are taken from?

We have tried to further develop the open gameplay. Most missions you have multiple targets which gives you a great deal of new ways to complete the game. We have chosen to focus on less but bigger missions than Hitman2.

Can you tell us about what’s new in the 3D engine upgrade? I noticed that certain things like blood and metal looks more reflective, so I’m guessing there’ll at least be some nice new shader effects?¬¬†

We have upgraded the engine to include real-time mirrors, post filters (Depth Blur, Blooming, color correction and a lot¬¬†of other stuff),¬¬†an improved physics engine. On top of this the¬¬†render have¬¬†been¬¬†optimized greatly (needed that for Freedom Fighters) so we¬¬†can squeeze quite a few extra polygons out.¬¬†¬¬†

We all know Jesper Kyd and the Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra have made some awesome music in the past, so should we expect more from them, or will you be using new sources this time?

We're still using Jesper as the composer of the main soundtracks in the game. We have also licensed¬¬†some tunes that fit certain missions¬¬†to enhance the¬¬†mood of the game.

¬¬†Could you tell us about other changes, maybe in terms of extended gameplay? Are you going for a different kind of atmosphere this time around? To be honest the game looks bloodier, but maybe that’s just me.

We are going to return to a gamestyle that we found worked well in Hitman1, more civilian settings. Some of the missions in Hitman2 got a bit too military and we found that the ones where you are allowed to walk around among a lot of innocent people are the most fun. Of course that leads to a lot of innocents getting hurt if the player messes up and has to shoot his way out.

Can you tell us a funny story from the development so far?¬¬†

Well, misplaced facebones¬¬†is always a laugh¬¬†:-)¬¬†

How far along are you in the development, and when should we expect to see it in stores?

The game is getting ready to be submitted to Sony these days¬¬†so¬¬†you should expect the game to hit the shelves in April.