Hitman's original Elusive Targets aren't coming back, because they wouldn't "stand up"

The Hitman: The Complete First Season package announced last week will contain everything released so far for Io Interactive's rejuvenated Hitman—everything, that is, except the Elusive Targets. The listing says the package will provide access to “all upcoming Elusive Targets taking place after January 31st [2017],” but those that have already come and gone are finished, and Io Interactive is sticking to its pledge to not bring them back. But maybe not for the reasons you might expect. 

“Being able to replay them, they wouldn’t necessarily stand up,” lead online designer Torben Ellert told PCGamesN. “I chose way early on that they were going to have some fairly bombastic accidents, so that they would be easier to find, so that they would be more memorable. But that means that if you’re really paying attention, you can hear [the characters] defaulting to their AI dialogue—for instance where they need to tell guards about stuff. But I only notice that because I can play them blasé.” 

You, on the other hand, are probably far too busy trying not to bungle things too badly to notice that The Sensation is wandering straight through the middle of some bushes, because his pathing isn't quite as tight as it should be. “We make compromises to keep a production cadence based on the aspiration that I would rather have a few more more memorable targets and live with some wonkiness, and for that reason, I don’t think they would stand up,” Ellert said. “That’s why I oppose [re-releasing them].” 

I'm in favor of keeping Elusive Targets a one-off proposition simply as a point of design: My finger is never far from the quicksave button, but I love the idea of an actual, unrecoverable failure option in a videogame. But it's fun to hear a developer admit that he's bluffing his way through things a little bit, too—at least when it's for a good reason. (And I agree with Ellert that this is.)

If you haven't taken a shot at an Elusive Target yourself and want a better idea of what it's all about, you can read about our own efforts to kill the first of them (which did not go especially well) right here.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.