Interview of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
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UK Boxshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
US Boxshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
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UK RELEASE: 30-Apr-2004 (Released)  | NORDIC RELEASE: 30-Apr-2004 (Released) |  US RELEASE: 20-Apr-2004 (Released)
INTERVIEW
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  Interview of: Hitman 3: Contracts | By: Patrick Durante
29 Mar-2004
 

Agent 47 is back with his Silverballers and is cooking up something special for fans. I was able to “fire away” a few questions in anticipation of the third installment of Hitman to see what we can expect in the game that makes being a contract killer so fun.

  QUESTIONS  
Q: As always our first question is to get acquainted with who were are interviewing. Please introduce yourself and if you’ve been involved in the development of the previous games of the series.

A: My name is Neil Donnell, I am the Senior Producer on Hitman: Contracts. I’ve worked on Hitman ever since the first game Hitman: Codename 47, which was released on PC in December 2000.

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Q: For those not familiar with the series could you give us a quick synopsis of the story surrounding the past two games? How does part three weave its way into things?

A: In Hitman 1, 47 is sent on missions to kill a number of targets who were all partners in a cloning experiment of which 47 is the child. During the playing Hitman realizes that he is being manipulated and ends up killing his maker: Dr Ortmeyer.

After Hitman 1 and therefore in Hitman 2, 47 retired to a monastery in Sicily where he befriended the local Padre, Father Vittorio. Father Vittorio was kidnapped by the local mafia boss and 47 went on a mission to rescue him. Sadly, Vittorio didn't make it and 47 is now alone again in the world with just his skills and his Silverballers for company.

The narrative of Hitman Contracts focuses on Agent 47’s past. The game begins in Paris as a wounded Agent 47 finds himself trapped in a dingy hotel room. As he lapses in and out of consciousness he experiences flashbacks from some of his most harrowing missions. The player gets to play the defining moments in Agent 47’s career and understand how he came to be the world’s most formidable Hitman.

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Q: Definitely not for the fate of heart, Hitman always has had a satisfying way of putting smiles on a gamers face when “completing” a contract. What new additions have been added to help us carry out our contract?

A: There are new firearms and close combat weapons, including meat hooks, meat cleavers, pool cues and even swords. When it comes to ballistic weapons, there are a lot of new two-handed weapons, SMG´s and even sniper rifles. There are also updated versions of old favourites with improved effects, sounds and realism settings. We’ve also introduced several new ‘take-down’ moves including suffocation, varied strangulation moves, impaling, drowning and an improved stealth mode.

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Q: What can we expect to see in terms of missions? Run and gun, stealth, or a mix of both? What about new locations?

A: How you go about trying to complete a mission is totally up to you. One of the main strengths of the Hitman games has always been the freedom given to the player. At the start of a level you are given mission objectives, how you go about achieving them is totally up to you. We have expanded upon this in Hitman: Contracts giving you even more ways to make the perfect kill.

The game features 12 levels set in diverse locations where you must come face to face with some of the world’s most dangerous criminals and high profile targets. A Romanian slaughterhouse, a Siberian submarine depot and an English country estate are all there to be explored and exploited to satisfy your violent tendencies.


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Q: The graphics seem to be getting a well deserved shot of adrenaline. What new visual effects can we expect to see with the new engine, and being this is a game surrounded by gore, can we expect more realistic and disturbing deaths?

A: The game is powered by the latest iteration of our proprietary ‘Glacier’ engine, running more than four times faster than Hitman 2 and therefore crunching a lot more polygons. The biggest enhancement to the visual quality comes from a cool post filter technology we’ve developed. This adds effects on top of the image after the 3d image has been output. We can use this filter for motion blur, depth of field, noise, blooming and glows and colour correction. We’ve also introduced some amazing special effects - including dynamic weather, real-time reflections, explosions and bullet impacts

In terms of more realistic and disturbing deaths, we’ve done a lot of work optimizing the physics engine so we’ve got improved ‘ragdoll’ and rigid body dynamics. With the improved physics in conjunction with the new ‘take-down’ moves means killing people has never looked so realistic ;-)


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Q: Being a contract killer is one of the more unsettling jobs to acquire. How will the story match this deadly profession?

A: In the game we are trying to explore the psychology of killing for a living and what goes on inside Agent 47’s mind. Also the game is a lot darker in terms of atmosphere, dialogue, and the situations agent 47 finds himself in, as result we believe we have delivered the most disturbing episode in the series.

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Q: How about the music? Can we expect to hear similar quality sound/music as the previous game or are we looking for something in a different direction?

A: The soundtrack has been composed and produced by Jesper Kyd who made the music for Silent Assassin. There are examples of some of the music on the Hitman: Contracts website and on the trailers.

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Q: This being the third game of the series is the team pulling out the big guns? Maybe ideas scratched from the first and second title are finally making it into this one?

A: Now that the engine is highly optimized we can have a lot more characters on screen at once. This has allowed us to create party like environments that are very populated and offer interesting opportunities for gameplay (and big shoot-outs ;) this is something that we have always wanted to be able to do.

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Q: So how about yourself, what’s your most favorite way of “disposing” someone?

A: In terms of satisfaction, I don’t think anything beats creeping up on somebody and then blowing them away with a pair of Silverballers.

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Q: Finally what will make Hitman: Contracts the most tantalizing game of the series?

A: I think people will be impressed by how much darker and disturbing the game is and how we have really upped the ante on the graphics.

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Due only in a month, Hitman Contracts hopes to be the most dark and deadly game of the three. The free-form gameplay and plethora of weapons at your disposal can only make this game better. Look for the review on ToTheGame as soon as it hits the shelves.
 
  SCREENSHOTS
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
Click to enlarge this screenshot of Hitman 3: Contracts (PC)
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