The "Attack of the Saints" trailer for Hitman: Absolution, featuring a showdown between a squad of scantily clad hit-nuns of Agent 47, triggered a negative uproar in some parts of the gaming world. As you learned in Stephen's post yesterday, that reaction led to IO Interactive making some changes to the game. The trailer is apparently based on one of the game's levels, and director Tore Blystad confirms to Eurogamer that the level in question has been slightly reformulated.
"We learned from the trailer that we really needed to give these characters some context and some backstory," he explained. "We're working within the game - within that level - to build these characters up before you meet them. That way you know what you're getting and you aren't put off by them." In other words: the hit-nuns are still there, but the game's exposition will now take added steps to explain their presence and motivations.
Blystad believes that the nuns "fit" well into the Hitman universe, building on its "colorful and cartoony" past. "The game is inspired by Grindhouse-style movies, so for us the trailer was natural way to deal with that subject matter," he said. "We hope when people play it they have fun with it."
I hope so too, unless the game happens to be terrible. That's a very different discussion though.
This all frankly smacks of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy all over again, except it's worse. At least with ME3, fans were responding with dissatisfaction to a finished product. Instead, here we have a chunk of the community taking issue with a cinematic trailer. Is the very idea of killer nuns going to offend a few people? Sure. Where were these complaints when veteran pothead Cheech Marin showed up in the trailer for the movie Machete as a shotgun-toting priest? Where were the changes to that movie?
IO handled this situation as graciously as possible. For all we know, the added expository content was part of the plan all along -- this IS a story-driven game, after all -- and we're just being told that it's new to mollify the complainers. It's just a shame that it was a situation that needed to be dealt with at all. Creative artists should be free to craft as they please, and should then be allowed to stand by that work without ANY expectation of negative reactions reaching such a fever pitch that changes are necessary.
Read this humorous opinion piece by Brian Howe from a recent issue of Edge Magazine. It paints a comical picture of a grim, admittedly impossible future, but it also uses the lens of comedy to shine a harsh light on the sense of entitlement held by some in the gaming community.