Eurogamer: So, for fans who played previous Hitman games and loved them, they can play this game just the way they want to?
Hakan Abrak: Definitely.
Eurogamer: There seems to have been a bit of confusion about that. It seems difficult to work out exactly what kind of game this is.
Hakan Abrak: We have a lot of difficulty levels in the game as well. Rest assured, the hardcore fans that like to have replayablity value in the game or want to have this stealth assassin - you know, I'm the ultimate stealth assassin - that playing style, those achievements, are very much in the game.
We appreciate our fans and we know way back from Blood Money, there are YouTube videos of different ways of solving a hit, coming up with very smart ways of doing it the developers probably think of, even. That freedom we really want to have in Absolution as well. There's a huge replayability value in it and we have some features in the game I cannot speak about that will enhance this and make this easier, and heighten the replayability value for the hardcore players as well.
Eurogamer: Does the hardcore difficulty level have a special name?
Hakan Abrak: Yeah, it has a very special name. And I'm pretty sure it's going to please the hardcore fans. I can't say what it is.
Eurogamer: What's your take on the multiplayer issue with Hitman? Is it something that simply doesn't fit the game?
Hakan Abrak: First of all, I want to say we do have something very, very interesting coming up in Hitman: Absolution on the online side. We're not ready to talk about it right now. Hitman is an assassin who works alone, but you never know in what form or in what way we could give you an online experience. It's unfortunately not something I can talk about right now, but I can say, in the story part, Agent 47 definitely works alone.
Eurogamer: You created a new game engine to make Hitman: Absolution. What are the challenges you're facing making a new engine as you're making a new game?
Hakan Abrak: It's very challenging. That's not a secret. But there are also some opportunities there. The ambitions for the engine can be aligned and compatible with the ambitions you have creatively. When you have a talented engineering team working on it as well, it gives a good symbiotic effect on the guys who really want to do something extraordinary here both from a technology point of view and with the game. Coordination and planning wise it's a huge challenge. But from the ambitions and what we want to achieve, there are really great opportunities when the creative and technology parts work close together.
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Eurogamer: Is Glacier 2 scaleable to the next-generation of consoles?
Hakan Abrak: If I had my technical producer here he would be able to answer that in more detail. We are very happy with our engine. The ambitions are definitely very high. It's also future proof. It's exceptionally good when it comes to workflows and pipelines. This is not platform or generation dependant. The way it was built up, I know the guys have made it future proof. We have great hopes for Glacier 2 in the future.
Eurogamer: This is a huge project for IO. When did development start and what size team is working on it?
Hakan Abrak: I can't speak about the team size. When we started out on the journey for creating Hitman: Absolution, it was apparent early on we would have to build up a new technology from scratch. It's very challenging to do technology and a game at the same time. It's been on the way for a while, since Blood Money.
Eurogamer: So development began soon after Blood Money finished?
Hakan Abrak: I can't be precise about that. It's difficult to say when it really took off. When you've got a franchise, you always generate ideas. But one thing is certain: this is the most ambitious project IO Interactive has ever done. Everything, with the look of the game, with the assets, with storytelling, I believe this is by far the most ambitious project we've ever done.
Eurogamer: The movie came out after Blood Money. I imagine there will be some people who saw the movie and enjoyed it, but have never played a Hitman game before. Their reference point for Hitman is the movie, rather than a game. Does that influence the design of Absolution in any way?
Hakan Abrak: No. I wouldn't say that. We've been working on this game for a while, so the vision for it, this darker, twisted story, the feel of it, is something our own directors have come up with. But it's super cool. We're very proud there's a blockbuster movie made about our franchise. And there have been conversations between the creative at IO and the people making the movie. It's always great. But the story of Hitman: Absolution was very dear to the guys and without many changes. It's been pure all the way through to release.