If you hadn't noticed, there has been a lot of genre-blending going on this generation.
And that's simply because newer technology allows developers to implement more gameplay mechanics, so we're not necessarily limited to one style. Hitman: Absolution game director Tore Blystad addressed the franchise's departure from pure stealth and talked about how the genre was shifting .
" It’s difficult looking at the stealth genre today. All the IPs have moved off in all kinds of directions and, while some are pretty close to us, some have gone off in completely different way. Like the new Metal Gear… I don’t know what the hell that’s all about, but it’s definitely not a tactical espionage game any more. "
That's true but at the same time, avid Hitman followers have complained that the new entry – currently in the works at IO Interactive – isn't indicative of the kind of gameplay they enjoy. I.e., they're seeing too much running 'n gunning. However, IO has made it clear in the past that such an approach would be entirely optional, and Blystad reemphasizes that point:
" We spent a lot of time on guns, the models and the weapon collection – it’s gun porn, sure, but the fans really like it. But using weapons in the levels themselves was practically useless as a mechanic, kind of a missed opportunity. We had to look into a viable way of using these guns and not just having them there to look at in a viewer, and that meant that we had to implement this dynamic combat AI and spend a lot of time with it.
It doesn’t detract from the other aspects of AI or gameplay – it just adds another dimension, something 47 should always have been able to do. "
It certainly makes sense that if you're going to have the option of gunfights, you should at least have a functional and even robust system in place, right? Provided all the bells and whistles associated with full-on stealth are there, the fans shouldn't be disappointed at all. We never mind options; we only mind replacements.
Related Game(s): Hitman: Absolution