Hitman: Colorado

Hitman’s accent problem finally finds a solution (sorta)

Hitman, in most ways, has been going from strength to strength. The episodic murder simulator has seemingly found its form, with the space between each episode giving players plenty of time to experiment with its techniques and locations, finding increasingly outrageous kills and bizarre events. We’ve had “accidents” caused by launching a fire extinguisher at a Parisian balcony, setting up a totally improbable double kill with a trail of gunpowder in Sapienza, and in Bangkok the grim spectacle of smothering a man in his own birthday cake in front of his surprise party. I’ll understand if you don’t click that last…


The videogame that dared to question the War on Terror

If we can associate genres and aesthetics with film-makers (John Woo and action movies; Stanley Kubrick and deep focus) IO Interactive, especially in its prime between 2002 and 2007, was a game-maker defined by concerns about player agency. By constantly placing her in restrictive and alien environments, the Hitman series challenged the player’s typical experience of casual and unbridled progression. Kane and Lynch: Dead Men (2007), starring two legitimately unpleasant characters, undercut the prototypical videogame hero narrative—rather than saving the world, cast as a selfish villain, the player committed selfish acts and with selfish purpose. “My name’s John Ford and…

Hitman: Blood Money

The power of silence in Hitman: Blood Money

War games have consistently failed at making me feel like an invader. Their stories, almost always, involve Western troops on top secret missions behind enemy lines—myself and my AI squad mates are supposed to be interlopers, constantly vulnerable amid a foreign, hostile environment. And yet, we master our surroundings, and our enemies within them, entirely. On-screen objective markers tell us where to go. An arsenal of science-fiction weaponry ensures our safety. Videogames are sycophantic. We, the players, must always be comfortable. We must be provided with the necessary equipment and navigational tools so as not to become stuck (or even…