The new Hitman is now a fully episodic, AAA game

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Hitman

I love the Hitman franchise. I love that when a mission plays out right, it’s so clinical and methodical. There’s a real sense of strategy and planning to an assassination. Unfortunately, there seems to be no real sense of strategy or planning when it comes to the latest Hitman game’s development.

Since the new Hitman was announced, we’ve looked at it with furrowed brows. The game was originally meant to be a game sold at full price, with content being added over the course of a year. Players would get limited amounts of time to kill specific contracts, in a Hitman game that would function as a sort of living, breathing, transient digital world.

“Imagine a target appearing for every player in the world, for a limited time only… let’s say 48 hours,” IO interactive said at the time. “Where your one shot counts. And when that target is gone, it is gone forever. A shared experience where we imagine the HITMAN community will come together every time a new mission or new location appears. For $60 you’ll get full access to all of this content – everything we release as part of this story.”

It was meant to be released on December 8, with new content being added to the game over a long period.

“What we release on December 8th is not the full game. It’s a sizeable chunk of it. Throughout 2016 we’ll release more locations and missions until the story arc is done and finished. All of that content is included in the $60 price.”

But now, that’s changed. Again. The new Hitman will now be a full episodic game, with episodes released when they’re done, and a full retail version available at the end of the year.

“We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience,” said Hannes Seifert, Head of Studio at Io-Interactive. “Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a Hitman game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future – this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”

The first part will be out on March 11, and will cost $15. It’ll be an “intro pack,” featuring a Prologue and Paris levels. Subsequent packs will cost $10. There’ll also be a beta in the middle of next month.

This all seems very confused, and confusing to me – and it doesn’t really feel to me like IO knows what on earth it’s really doing. I hope that the confused messaging doesn’t hurt the game and its more open-ended approach – because ideally, I’d love to see a return to form for Agent 47.

Last Updated: January 15, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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