You can now play Hitman’s first stage for free

2 min read

I’ve told you before that Hitman was the best game of 2016. I’m going to tell you again and again and again because dammit more people need to play it and I’ll never not love IO Interactive’s brave new murder sandbox that rewrote the rulebook on what Agent 47 was capable of in a fully realised world. Sadly, I’m the equivalent of Homer Simpson’s father, impossibly yelling at clouds to stop being so cumulonimbus as Hitman’s sales didn’t please the higher-ups over at Square Enix this year.

That resulted in an uncomfortable period at IO Interactive. The Japanese publisher had dropped them, leaving IO and Hitman’s future in doubt as they were forced to shed staff to remain afloat. There was some good news last week however: IO Interactive had managed to stave off a shuttering of their studio as they became an independent developer and retained the rights to the Hitman franchise. Brilliant.

IO clearly still believes in the series, as do I. But they’re going to need more funds to keep the lights on as they work on season 2 of Hitman, which means more people need to buy that first superb game. Still not sold on it? There’s a solution that: A taste of the sandbox in the form of Hitman – Welcome to The Playground:

Before you get too excited, this slice of Agent 47 isn’t set in the sumptuous Parisian level of the Showstopper stage, but rather the training grounds of Hitman. That’s still a substantial chunk of gameplay, which really hammers home the idea of offing your targets with every tool at your disposal. Honestly, the two of them combined offer as much gameplay as just about any of the other six main levels. Here’s what your investment of zero cash gets you:

Play everything in the first location from the game. Experiment, Improvise, try things and have fun: Welcome to The Playground. Anyone who downloads the game for free will have full access to everything included in the ‘ICA Facility’ location.
  • 2 Story missions, including all cut-scenes
  • 2 Escalations Contracts
  • 40+ Challenges
  • 17 Achievements/trophies

It’s a smart move from IO Interactive, that should get more eyeballs on their product and hopefully pave the way further for season 2 of Hitman.

Last Updated: June 20, 2017

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