Unveiled during E3 2015, Hitman was announced as a digital title (disc release to follow), with developer IO Interactive revealing that it'll add more content in intervals. In this latest entry, players will be taken to "exotic locations" around the world to take out high-profile targets. The gameplay features sandbox levels and freedom of approach.
You can watch the first official gameplay below:
As a fully episodic AAA game, players will be offered an "intro pack" for $15 with each subsequent location priced at $10 as an add-on. You can also buy the full experience at launch for $60, which includes “all of this year’s content as it’s released."
The initial wave of content to be released on March 11 will include three locations – Paris, Sapienza and Marrakesh – featuring six campaign missions. For Contracts mode, players will have a combined pool of around 800 targets. Finally, the live content set to begin in March will include live, time-limited targets, weekly IO-developed contracts, and promoted content built by users. For the rest of the schedule, follow this link.
Hitman features a "major live component," which includes Elusive Targets (limited time contracts), Escalation Mode (a hit that escalates in difficulty), Contracts Mode from Hitman: Absolution, and Live Challenges (which are community-inspired challenges) - a feature that IO Interactive is still testing out.
Hitman's story structure is inspired by modern TV shows that unfold over several seasons. Agent 47’s targets will have individual stories alongside stories involving 47, Diana Burnwood, the ICA, and an entirely new main cast. While the overall story and individual mission stories start out separate, they will begin to merge as the first season progresses.
When Square Enix announced that Hitman will be an episode release, many became concerned about the quality of the experience. The Publisher's European CEO, Phil Rogers, has promised that the upcoming title will be a "polished, AAA game - Hitman as you'd expect." More recently, IO Interactive explained that it wants to create a high-quality living game that'll evolve over time.
IO Interactive claims that Hitman will be bigger than all the previous games in the series, with around 300 NPCs in the crowd and a single level being six times bigger than the largest level in Hitman: Absolution. In fact, the size and scope are two of the main reasons the game was delayed from December 2015 to March 2016. For comparison purposes, the developer released this handy infograph.
The game's level design makes it systematic and procedural, with actions triggering reactions.
IO Interactive recently apologized to fans for the confusion caused by the game's launch plan. Initially, it was poised to be a $60 experience, with content added over time. Explaining the change in plans, Studio Head Hannes Seifert said that the episodic releases feel "absolutely right" as the video game market has evolved and the developer wants to deliver a game that's better than ever before.
Hitman will not include any DLC or micro-transactions. “The whole of season one is a $60 offering, but there are different ways to buy that," explained IO.
Since Hitman's beta required an internet connection, many assumed that the game will be online only. Clarifying this, Square Enix said that the final game can be played offline but the live elements will understandably require an internet connection.
Want to see some gameplay before you make your purchase decision? Check out this playthrough of the Showstopper mission from PAX Prime 2015:
You don't need to wait for Hitman's disc release to purchase its $140 Collectors Edition. Here's what's included:
- Hitman Digital Game Download (Full Experience)
- 10” Agent 47 “Chessmaster” Statue
- Hardcover 60-page art book, curated by Art Director, Jonathan Rowe
- Agent 47 Iconic red tie and clip set
- Premium Collector’s Edition packaging (aka the box)