You may have heard that there is a new trailer for Hitman: Absolution that was released in advance of its major showing at E3 in Los Angeles next week. The video (which we’ve embedded below so you can form your own opinion) has a number of different groups up in arms. The trailer depicts a group of assassins disguised as nuns that peel off their frocks to reveal tight, overtly sexual clothing. To suggest that it might not be the best attire for killing would be an understatement.

Regardless of how you feel about the objectification of women, the killing of those wearing religious vestments or overt violence in general, there is a larger issue at play than what gamers think. This trailer is going to be held up as the embodiment of everything bad about videogames. Those looking for a reason to decry the industry need only point to these two and a half minutes. It’s a buffet of everything detractors warn the world about. Violent? Yup. Over-sexualized? Ripped fishnets say, “yes.” Anti-religious? The argument could be made.

The worst part is that there is no understanding of how this fits into a larger narrative structure. For those that purchase the game and are embroiled in Agent 47’s story by the time this scene occurs in the game, it might make perfect sense. As a trailer, though, it’s out of context. It’s shameful that it was very likely the reason it was chosen. We’ve reached out to Square Enix to hear from them about why this scene was chosen and how it fits into the story. We were told that the European team led the effort, and that a response would be forthcoming.

I understand that E3 is an extremely chaotic event, and that even from my years watching the proceedings from home, it’s hard to cut through the noise and make your game stand out. Still, this is the wrong way to go about it. It diminishes the value of the game play experience and carefully crafted world of an iconic character in favor of sensationalism. In many ways, this video serves the same purpose as booth babes, and I had hoped we’d grown beyond that phenomenon.

I had the chance to see a preview of Hitman: Absolution at PAX East. The game looks fantastic, the AI is smart and the action is tense. It offers a great deal of player freedom, while still rewarding those that choose to go the Silent Assassin route. Put simply, this game doesn’t need the schlock put forward in this trailer.

Please, Square Enix, respect us as a community. Respect yourselves as the publisher, and do the proper courtesy to those working so hard on this game. We all deserve better.


Michael Futter is the Managing Editor of @RipTen. You can follow him on Twitter @mmmfutter.


    • The game is not the issue, the video is. Have you ever even played a Hitman game? They are definitely not at fault for holding back the medium. Frankly, this video is the least representative of the games as any trailer I have seen for Hitman, which is why many fans of the series don’t like this trailer.

  1. We have hundreds of games and game trailers released every year yet it takes only 2 to bring down the entire medium? Yes the video is gratuitous but there’s nothing in it that you haven’t seen in a movie trailer before.

  2. It doesn’t really look like it fits into Hitman at all. As the article says: maybe it’ll make sense if you play the actual game, but ignoring all the surrounding gumph about the industry, this trailer doesn’t make me confident about the game because it looks so ‘Not Hitman’.

  3. Ehh, like it matters. Those who hate on games for this kind of stuff are going to hate regardless. So saying it shouldn’t exist because of that gets zero support from my end. As for the religious bit? I call BS. Every other religion in the world is fair game to poke at, why the hell not Christianity?

  4. Who cares. Its a silly, over the top, unrealistic action/sex themed trailer for a game that clearly doesn’t take itself seriously. No one reacted like this when Saints Row the Third showed gameplay of scantily clad women killing innocents with a dildo. Its a cartoony, over the top video reflecting the ridiculous nature of the game, so why are people reacting like its devaluing women and criticizing christianity? The fact that people think there’s some hidden meaning beneath the surface just shows their own desire to analyze big video games like this in search of some intellectual value, while in reality there is none. This is just another “hollywood” game made to make some money through an entertaining product. This isn’t the next big social commentary and frankly, video games like that are few and far between, so people expecting intelligent criticisms of society in a game like this need to get their heads checked.

    Just like in film, there are quality, intellectual movies, and Hollywood action blockbusters with sex and explosions. Video games are the same, and this is clearly the latter. Saying things like:
    “It diminishes the value of the game play experience and carefully crafted world of an iconic character in favor of sensationalism”

    is taking this trailer the wrong way. Besides Hitman, to me, was never a carefully crafted experience of gameplay or character. It was a silly action-stealth game that never took itself that seriously.

  5. Judging by the tatoo that one of the killernuns was sporting, they -do- have some connection to the story. Merces Letifer was the organization that 47 worked for in the first few games, and I don’t think they take kindly to people leaving – attacks of conscience or no. Though it’s curious as to why the company showed this trailer in particular, since it really tells us nothing. The series’ core gameplay mechanics aren’t even alluded to, as far as the way 47 works. Still crossing my fingers.