IO Interactive's Luke Valentine has tried to assuage fan fears that the stealth aspects of the older Hitman games might not be preserved in the upcoming Hitman: Absolution by noting that the Silent Assassin rating is still a big part of the game, and drawing comparisons between the marketing campaigns for this game, and older releases.
"[The Silent Assassin rating] obviously still in Absolution," Valentine said. "People still talk about achieving Silent Assassin in Hitman: Blood Money. It's really hard work to pull off. You've got that here, and you've got that in Absolution."
But fans have been worried by the action-heavy trailers for Hitman: Absolution, with Valentine suggesting that gaers tend to take more notice of action-heavy trailers, arguing that stealth is difficult to portray in exciting fashion...a point upon which we'd rather beg to differ.
"It's true, the trailers do look more action focused," he told Eurogamer. "The thing is, what do you do when you're marketing a video game? How do you make a trailer of stealth? How do you make a trailer of Hitman observing AI patterns or sitting in cover for a minute? No-one would watch it."
Valentine suggests that fans cast their memories back to the last games, noting that the marketing campaigns for both Hitman 2 and Hitman: Blood Money used action-oriented trailers to promote their respective games.
"The funny thing is, if you go back and look at trailers for Blood Money, Hitman 2 and Contracts, they're super action focused and they're not at representative of the games," he said. "These games weren't action games at all. But the way you need to market, to get attention, is to show something that looks exciting.
"Sitting and watching someone, although as an experience it's exciting because you're tense and you're nervous as hell about messing up, it's not an exciting way to show stuff. The comments are valid. But the people who worry it's an action game just need to look back on the previous trailers and see the marketing was the same, actually."
One can't help but feel that this is all missing the point slightly. Even in the older Hitman titles, there was a certain amount of satisfaction to be had from just unleashing the dual ballers. The real kicker will be the level design. Will the acclaimed mini-sandboxes return? How much of the scripting seen in those trailers is indicative of the game as a whole? Will Agent 47 really have to square off against a helicopter?
We'll hopefully have a few answers for you after E3.