Developer IO Interactive recently put their stealthy Hitman series on hiatus after adding a roguelike mode to the combined World Of Assassination package. Since then, the studio have been tight-lipped about their current projects, an “online fantasy RPG” and their mysterious James Bond game – until now. speaking with EurogamerIO co-owners Christian Elverdam and Hakan Abrak shed some light on the Bond project, letting us know that it’s an origin story and that it’ll follow a brand-new 007.
“It’s an origin story,” says Abrak. “It’s the beginning of something new and it’s the beginning, hopefully, of something that the gamers can call their own.” The subject of ownership comes up often in the interview, as the team doesn’t want a “gamification” of a past Bond like Daniel Craig’s, for example. They want to create an iteration of the character that’s unique to the games. “It’s something that can stand next to the TV and the movies and whatnot,” says Abrak.
Elverdam echoes the sentiment by saying, “we’re allowed to build a James Bond for the games [audience], which I think is a profound homage to where our industry is.” He continues to say that it’s time to have a James Bond “who’s comfortably just his own game character,” and not a recreation of a film counterpart, like Goldeneye 007’s polygonal Pierce Brosnan. This does make me wonder if IO’s Bond will be played by a famous heavyweight actor, as is tradition for the films by now.
The interview doesn’t reveal any concrete details about the upcoming game, but we can read between the lines. Or try to. Elverdam says that the team is “very good at agent fantasy” thanks to their experience with Hitman, but he continues to say they’re “rediscovering new sides of the agent fantasy with James Bond.” If these franchises are two sides of the same agent fantasy coin, maybe Bond will provide a counterpoint to Hitman’s slow and methodical stealthing. Or, maybe it’ll have the blockbuster action alongside some of Hitman’s sneaking.
Only time will tell, but it would be a shame to lose Hitman’s unique DNA. Agent 47’s disguises have led to a constantly evolving sense of humor and made the series a good kill-your-boss sim – a healthy way to deal with workplace grievances. If you’re wondering where to start, RPS also has a full ranking of all 21 stages from Hitman 1, 2, and 3.