Hitman: Absolution will be aimed at a wider audience than earlier, less forgiving entries in the franchise, developer IO Interactive has revealed.
Speaking in an interview with DigitalTrends this week, director Tore Blystad explained that the steep learning curve of previous titles in the series had limited their reach.
"The Hitman games of the past have been very hardcore," insisted Blystad. "Even though the fantasy of the Hitman universe has a very universal appeal, the games have been so difficult to play, that it's been more of an acquired taste.
"The biggest challenge that we had with this game was to make it much broader in every sense, so that it was easier to play and more accessible, but still retain a very strong, hardcore side as well. We don't want to alienate any of our fans who have been extremely loyal for so many years."
Elsewhere in the interview, Blystad discussed how the game's innovative AI technology will make for a more immersive experience.
"If you attack an enemy from any angle, than we're able to have them fight back, or continue on in a normal state if you ignore them," he explained.
"There are similar things in games like GTA or these bigger sandbox games, but it's on a much less granular level because we have a very strong focus on the abilities of the characters.
"You get so close to the characters in this game. They all have names, and they have all some kind of part to play in the story, so that they act as believable as possible is the most important thing for us. It's the most central part of the game."
Officially announced earlier this month, Absolution is due out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 some time next year.