The years leading up to the launch of Absolution were not quiet ones, and while it might have been expected that a certain element would stir up controversy about the basic premise of the Hitman series, it was indeed the contents of the game that were revealed to the press and the public that served as the initial momentum for the controversy that still surrounds the game today.
The release of the Attack of the Saints video trailer as E3 approached set some teeth on edge and provoked a media storm of criticism and controversy to the point that IO Interactive ended up issuing a public apology over the matter.
The trailer basically depicts a leather-clad hit team of nuns. Well, maybe not nuns, but attractive and deadly women who are dressed in a fetish-based version of a nun costume. That was clearly enough though, to set the world ablaze and sadly, to cause IO to change that portion of the game due to the unanticipated backlash from the trailer. Project Director Tore Blystad confirmed that the controversy lead to the developers making significant changes to the game.
The Attack of the Saints Game Trailer
According to statements to the press that were made at Gamescom following the event Blystad explained that the decision was made to add more layers and complexity to the characters in the game to help better explain why they were what they were, in the hopes of making them easier to accept. He pointed out that the controversy came as a shock and surprise, adding that had they known how that portion of the public would react, they certainly would have done it differently.
While the controversy is easy enough to understand, it flies in the face of reason that a reasonable person would presume that the trailer was meant to depict an event in our reality – after all this is a game that is part of a series that exists in its own realm, its own fantasy world, and based upon my own personal experience with the previous titles in the series I can certainly point to more controversial elements than that!
We did not think that we could write this guide without addressing the matter, and including the trailer (which is embedded above) since it is, and always will be, part of the lore and the canon that is the Hitman Series.