A few weeks back, IO Interactive released the “Attack of the Saints” trailer for its upcoming title Hitman: Absolution. The trailer’s content caused an uproar from gamers, though the game’s director Tore Blystad says the studio meant no offense.
The trailer consisted of Agent 47 – returning protagonist for Hitman: Absolution – fighting an assassin group called The Saints. What sparked the controversy was The Saint’s choice of clothing. The group is comprised of female assassin’s that dress like nuns, only to reveal dominatrix-style outfits and an array of fire arms. Agent 47 then proceeds to brutalize them.
Speaking to Kotaku, IO Interactive’s Tore Blystad didn’t expect to get such a condemning reaction from gamers – they were just creating something that hearkened back to older games in the Hitman franchise.
“[The controversy] was a big surprise to us, [The trailer] was not meant to be offensive at all. It was never supposed to be offensive in that way. The Hitman games always come from this kind of cartoony, dark universe… This is no different from those.”
The trailer itself is based off a level in the game, though that might do little to soften the backlash for the trailer being billed as “sexist.”
“It’s one of the more extreme scenes in the game. It’s kinda grindhouse-ish, kind of… it’s almost like an interlude within the game… Okay, you have the normal story playing out and you have sometimes throughout the game you have these kind of odd moments where we’re kind of throwing something really unexpected at the players… This is something really different from everything else we’ve shown.
It wasn’t supposed to be a sexist trailer.”
Sexism in games has become a larger issue in recent years, with scantily clad women still prominent in most titles. Gamers need not look far to find editorials and Tweets about the “negative” way women are portrayed in “Attack of the Saints” – citing the Saints’ over-sexualization and the beating they endure. As Blystad points out however, over-the-top has always been a staple of the series. IO Interactive, Square Enix and their marketing firm probably don’t have an agenda against females, they just thought this was something that would click with gamers.
We’ve embedded the trailer above just to give you a quick reminder of what some gamers are upset about. Do you think IO crossed a boundary with “Attack of the Saints?”
Hitman: Absolution releases November 20, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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