Developers IO Interactive hide a reference to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the new Freedom Fighters episode of the episodic Hitman game.
Perhaps due to his high profile and controversial political campaign, Donald Trump has been featured in a number of recent video games. Whether it's Trump Tower being made a Pokemon Gym or Trump being a patient in a Surgeon Simulator expansion, it's proving difficult for gamers to escape the current political season by playing a game. Players of the new episodic Hitman game will also find some nods to the Republican presidential candidate, with a direct reference to him found in the game's latest episode, Freedom Fighters.
The Freedom Fighters episode in Hitman sees Agent 47 infiltrate a compound in Colorado, mirroring the real-world Bundy militia event in Oregon from earlier this year. If players listen closely to NPC chatter, they can hear one of the compound's occupants expressing his admiration for the "billionaire presidential candidate with the famous hairdo." His feelings aren't shared by the person he's talking to, however, who is quick to shut down the conversation.
Those that have been playing all of the episodes in the new Hitman game may have caught references to Donald Trump elsewhere. In the game's fourth episode, Club 27, one of the characters in the episode appears to be based on Trump himself, spouting similar catchphrases and mimicking the 2016 presidential candidate in general.
IO Interactive's repeated mocking of Donald Trump may not sit well with all gamers, but others may find it amusing. Now, if the studio were to take it a step further and add Trump as one of Agent 47's ill-fated targets, like it did to Gary Busey, then Hitman could become a great deal more controversial. Since IO Interactive worked closely with Gary Busey before adding him to the game as an elusive target, it's unlikely that Trump will show up as an elusive target or any other character - unless it materializes as some bizarre attempt to appeal to millennial voters.
All things considered, it's unlikely that Donald Trump will be added to the episodic Hitman game beyond these nods from IO Interactive. However, with the 2016 presidential election heating up, fans may be able to look forward to more timely Donald Trump references in the next couple of episodes that are planned for the game.
Even if Hitman decides to ignore Trump from here on out, these references highlight a benefit to its episodic release structure. The developers are able to respond to current events in a more timely manner than would be possible for other video games, allowing for a unique dynamic that's not really seen much in the industry. If IO Interactive is able to keep referencing current events in the next episodes leading up to the game's physical release, it could help the new Hitman receive special attention in the crowded fall gaming season.
Hitman episodes are available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.