When it comes to stealth/assassination games, the Hitman series has always stood apart because of its main character’s iconic look: a slick suit and a bald head with the bar code on the back. Agent 47 has always been much more of a ‘real world’ operative mingling in the lives of everyday anonymous citizens while stalking his prey as opposed to being some government agent or special operations sniper trying to change world history. Agent 47 is your friendly neighborhood psychopath.
That’s why the inclusion of a fake newspaper –The Hope News Times– as part of Hitman: Absolution’s stealth marketing is so appropriate. Hope, South Dakota is the kind of small town where the death of a plumber, in this case, would be huge news weather it’s from natural causes or at the hands of Agent 47. Reading between the lines of the story and checking out all of the advertising will give sharp-eyed Hitman fans some clues to the game’s themes and maybe even its plot. Surely that home defense company and the cigarillo manufacturer will make appearances in Absolution. Can’t say the same for Joe the Plumber.
Really the most quaint part of the Hitman: Absolution is the idea that people still get their news from newspapers. The folks of Hope, South Dakota would’ve tweeted Joe the Plumber’s death immediately.