Feature Interview

An Interview With IO Interactive’s Sven Liebold On Hitman 2 And The Future Of The Studio

Hitman 2 is being developed by IO Interactive and published for the first time by Warner Bros. Interactive Entrainment. It is the seventh game of the series and the second to appear on Xbox One and PS4. The game will feature six missions in six different locations including a racecourse in Miami USA.

Being a fan of the series we had an opportunity to interview Sven Liebold’s of IO Interactive about the upcoming Hitman 2 game.


With HITMAN 2, which one new element or improvement are you most excited about?

If I can name only one among the myriads of improvements, it would be our new Picture-in-Picture feature. Getting constant feedback about your game world and actions allows players to go even deeper into our locations. You’ll explore new and creative ways to take out your target, and if something goes south along the way, you’ll have a pretty good idea why you find yourself surrounded by security guards pointing guns at you.


How has character A.I. been improved over the previous games?

You’ll find many improvements across the board. In combat for instance, our A.I. is now much more reactive and smarter. They’ll try to flank and outsmart you in startling new ways. In general, we wanted to get closer to the action and reaction of the A.I. that you would expect as a player in certain situations or even create surprising reactions that players didn’t expect in the first place.


When you released the HITMAN (reboot) through Square Enix, you released it in episodes. Was that your decision and if so what made you go back to making full games without splitting the content in episodes?

The episodic model was a great success story for us, since it has never been done in the AAA realm and laid the foundation for what is now our World of Assassination. The most important factor was not only the episodic format, but how we continued to sustain HITMAN with fresh new content. That’s something we’re immensely proud of and it’s still happening to this day. With HITMAN 2, we wanted to combine the best of both worlds. You are now able to continue the campaign in one go, without having to wait for the next episode. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re going to support HITMAN 2 in a much bigger way after launch. We have new locations coming up, new missions, exciting Elusive Targets, new maps for Sniper Assassin and many more exciting things we haven’t talked about yet.


Within HITMAN 2, how have you catered to players who are new to Hitman and those who are veteran players?

HITMAN 2 is the best place for new and veteran players alike. With the introduction of our World of Assassination, players are able to enjoy remastered versions of our previous game locations within HITMAN 2, including all new features and improvements. Meaning, you can play from the beginning of HITMAN, all the way to the end of HITMAN 2. This also includes the ICA facility, which is designed to introduce new players to the world of Hitman. On top of that, we will feature different difficulty modes, which will pose a challenge to even the most advanced players. You’ll also find many possibilities within the options of the game to customize the amount of help or information that gets relayed to you.


What can players expect to see with the pre-order bonus of the Sniper Assassin game mode?

Sniper Assassin is great new game mode and addition to the Hitman universe. You are looking down at a beautiful wedding that is taking place at a mansion, deep in the Austrian mountains. You must snipe three targets and 15 bodyguards within a time limit. It has all the depth and gameplay you would expect from a Hitman game, but in this case from a fixed perspective. Meaning, you must carefully take out your targets. Shoot them into a pond, from a cliff or into a window to hide the bodies. Discover secrets, collectibles and stories across the map in order to unlock new perks and upgrades for your rifle. It’s highly addictive and for the first time ever, we’re also bringing online co-op play to Hitman. You can of course play Sniper Assassin solo as Agent 47, but if you want to bring a friend along, we’re introducing two new characters – Stone and Knight — complete with their own dialogue and banter.


Now that you’re releasing a sequel to the HITMAN reboot, would you consider working on a new IP?

We never considered HITMAN in 2016 as a reboot of the series but more of a first step towards the grand vision we have for the franchise and obviously we’re laser focused on making that vision a reality. HITMAN 2 is certainly another milestone on that journey. That being said, given our new independence as a studio, we’re certainly able and excited to investigate many things. Let’s cross that river though, when we’re actually done building the bridge.


It was announced today (27th September) that Hitman 2 has gone gold, it will be available from November 13, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with Standard, Gold and Collectors Edition. For those who would to learn more about the different editions, please visit click here.

We would like to thank the team at Warner Brother who made this interview possible and for Sven Liebold for answering the questions.

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