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IO wanted Hitman Agent 47 to be the ‘Coca-Cola’ of stealth games


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

The History of the Stealth Game by games journalist Kirk McKeand is dedicated to the stealth genre, and one chapter focused on the Hitman series discusses IO’s design philosophy behind Agent 47.

McKeand explains that the team’s main goal was to create a brand that could stand the test of time, like Coca-Cola.

“If you walk on the beach, find a piece of an old Coca-Cola bottle, and it’s just a piece with a ‘C’ on it in red, you know it’s not Pepsi, you know it’s not Dr Pepper,” IO Interactive co-founder Janos Flösser explains in the book.

“This is definitely Coca-Cola. Even if it’s a broken bottle, you recognise it because they made it so you can recognise it from any angle, in any context.”

According to the book, the first element of Agent 47 to be designed was his signature bald head, followed by the clean black suit, red tie and crisp white shirt.

“The team took some more literal inspiration from a bottle of Coke and stamped a barcode on the back of the character’s head. This was later complemented by his signature weapons, such as the fiber wire and his dual silverballer pistols,” McKeand writes.

The rest of the chapter also explains the difficulty IO faced developing the second Hitman game. Due to the need to implement mid-level saving, something missing from the first entry in the series, the team elected to overhaul its engine.

It was hoped that this would take one to two years but ended up taking six. This was shortly followed by IO’s acquisition by Eidos, which would eventually lead to it being absorbed into Square Enix.



They lost that fight before the bell rang.

For me, the perfect hitman game would be your standard hitman 1,2,3 game with a character editor. Dream game right there. Coca Cola gold star. ;)
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I love the Hitman 2016 saga. But I wouldn't say they are the best in the stealth genre.
But they are very close to the top.


Guys he's talking about having something being recognisable to their brand, something unique which people can always associate with it, in this case, if you see a bald man in a suit with a barcode on the back of his head, if you play games you're most likely going to think "Agent 47 from Hitman".


I mean unfortunately, the Coca Cola of stealth games is Assassin's Creed, which is to say, barely stealth at all but has the largest global recognition.

Also Assassins Creed, Metal Gear Solid etc. aren't true stealth games anymore, at least not to degree the Modern Hitman trilogy is.

Any game where the only real consequence to failing stealth is your own personal pride, or where "going loud" is perfectly viable isn't a true "Stealth" game I feel.
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thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
I’m glad hit man is being brought up!

This feels like they’re trying to throw IO under the bus to feel better about themselves.

The "Hitman" formula is very simple, traditional single player campaign or "missions", or "episodes".

Friendly reminder that Hitman was one of the best games of 2016.

The hitman games should be in the same breath as games like Metal Gear Solid and Dishonored.

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is still best stealth game.

Book seems like it might be a good read.

It is, but sadly it was really the only great one in the Splinter Cell series. I enjoyed Splinter Cell and Pandora’s Tomorrow well enough, but they were very flawed, linear titles that offered little in choice and decision making. Then the series decided to jump off a cliff after Chaos Theory. Double Agent was *bad*, Conviction was just an action game with very little stealth element, and the less said about the insult that came after, the better.


That sounds like a super weird analogy but whatever. That said, Hitman probably my second fav stealth franchise after SC.

Speaking of Pepsi, I know these soft drinks can have different tastes in different countries, but, man, regular Pepsi taste turned to shit in my country recently - I think they are trying to get rid of the sugar and it just tastes like Pepsi Max and I can't stand that taste. Did it happen elsewhere too?


Would've been cool to see IO do another Hitman on next gen hardware. I assume their 007 games will be cinematic action games like Uncharted.


AC is more recognized as a stealth game even though there's less stealth in the new games. Hitman would be in strong second... so he's the Pepsi guy or whatever. Metal Gear is that weird hipster drink. SC is a good bottle of whisky.
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Well, they're not wrong. Hitman is the only one left.

> Thief is dead.
> Splinter Cell is dead.
> Metal Gear is dead... (Thank God!).
> Assassin's Creed stopped being about stealth ages ago.
> Only indies and AA are making stealth with superb titles like Mark of the Ninja and the Styx series.
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They succeeded. Hitman isn't just one of the best stealth games of the gen. It's one of the best stealth games of all time. I hope they come back to it down the line after taking a solid break.
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