Hitman Director Responds to Nun-Trailer Criticism
Last week, we posted the above trailer for Square Enix’s upcoming Hitman: Absolution, in which Agent 47 is ambushed by a group of sexy, gun-toting ladies who also happen to be dressed up like nuns. Our bald antihero quickly and violently dispatches with them. It’s a mega-violent trailer, but it’s also for a game that is explicitly based on killing people. Even though I was initially put off by how violent it was, it does show, in a perverse sort of way, that Hitman is all about equal opportunity murder and mayhem. After all, Agent 47 kills tons of dudes—why not sexy homicidal ladies, too?
But it seems as though there was something of a backlash against the trailer among online critics because of the exploitative outfits the women are wearing as well as the aforementioned ultra-violence they suffer before being snuffed out. The game’s director, Tore Blystad, responded to inquiries by Gamasutra during this week’s E3 conference to the dust-up:
“It was kind of a shock to us back in Copenhagen when we got the response to that trailer. We honestly didn’t mean to offend anyone, this is a game that has its roots in a kind of cartoony extreme universe.
If you look at the old Hitman games, they have similar scenes to this throughout all the series. So for us we didn’t feel like we were doing something new, it was kind of just a part of the whole DNA of the title, but playing on more of a Grindhouse style.”
In addition, Blystad added that the scene depicted in the trailer is more open to player input than it initially seems:
“It’s an actual level within the game, and the way it’s portrayed in the trailer is one of the ways of going about it. But the game is about choice, so that’s only one of the solutions.”
He offered up a formal apology, though, saying, “All I can say is we didn’t mean to offend anyone, and we’re sorry!”
What do you think? Is this all just a tempest in a teapot? Given how much crazy, potentially offensive stuff we see in video games all the time, is this trailer an extreme example of games going too far? Or are critics just jumping on this because it’s one man tearing through a bevy of scantily clad ladies without restraint? Does context matter? Or is it straight up offensive just as it is?