The folks over at Io-Interactive are doing things a little differently with the upcoming next game in the popular Hitman franchise, which will be exciting to some and frustrating to others.
You’ll still play as the legendary assassin Agent 47, and you’ll have a collection of contracts to complete as usual. The game will offer numerous ways for you to get the job done, some blunt and bloody and straight forward, while others much more subtle and unnoticed. One of the cool features of the previous game in the franchise, Hitman: Absolution, was the way they integrated online play. You could replay various missions from the game in an attempt to better your high score, and you could complete those missions a specific way and challenge others to replicate your methods to see if they could do it better. The next game, simply titled Hitman, will expand on this.
You can learn more and watch the first cinematic trailer (which is pretty phenomenal, by the way) and gameplay preview below.
While the new game, which will be released this year on December 8th, will still allow you to create your own contracts and compete with friends to see who gets the high score, there are also longterm plans in place. As time moves forward after its initial release, new contracts will be added to Hitman for fans to play. Some of these new objectives will also be timed, giving you only a day or two to complete them before they disappear, and the results of the contract—whether you succeed or fail—will be final.
IO Interactive can describe the game best, so here’s the full rundown from the official Hitman website:
The new game is simply called “HITMAN”. We did this because in many ways this is the start of a new journey for Hitman. Don’t think of it as a reboot, though – think of it as a pure Hitman experience and the foundation for future HITMAN games. Agent 47 is the aspirational assassin, he’s at the absolute peak of his power this time around. This is our central promise: a pure assassin fantasy. So we liked the simplicity and the power of calling this game HITMAN. We want him to be powerful and embody the fantasy completely, and he will remain a constant throughout everything we do with the games going forward.
So what is this new game? Well first off HITMAN is still a creative stealth action game, featuring the greatest assassin out there, Agent 47. As an operative of the International Contract Agency, his job is to take out high-profile targets all over the world, supported by his long-time handler Diana Burnwood. Each location in the game is a living sandbox, a place where every NPC has a name and every room matters. We’ve focused on making sure you, the players, have complete freedom of approach over how, where and when you decide to take out your target. Creativity from players is fully expected, you have the power and intelligence of Agent 47 at your fingertips and it is your choice whether to use brute force or orchestrate a genuine masterpiece of assassination.
Locations are more detailed, more populated and much larger than ever before, full of things to experiment with and targets to kill without any checkpoint systems in there. Contracts mode, which we’ll talk more about later in the year, returns and really shines in these big sandboxes. We’ve brought back save games, so you can save your progress anywhere, and we have revamped pretty much every system in our Glacier engine to enable this HITMAN experience. We promised you these things a while back and we’re sticking to them because they are important – and because your feedback is important. In fact, it’s so important we’re taking things a step further.
One of the reasons why we’re calling this a new start for HITMAN is also the idea of releasing a digitally led product. That can mean a lot of different things depending on who you are, but for us it means we’re going to make HITMAN available first via direct download.
We’re embracing what digital can offer a blockbuster game series like HITMAN – it allows us to do things that are both bold and exciting and entirely new to the Hitman experience.
We are building an expanding and evolving world of assassination. The experience will begin on December 8th and we will release new locations, missions and hits over time at regular intervals through 2016, which means we’ll all be able to share in the excitement of a new content drop at the same time. Rather than unboxing a game, playing it and then that’s sort of it, we want to deliver a true community experience – creating an ongoing and evolving game which plays out with a finale that brings the story arc together. Our primary goal is to keep HITMAN players fully engaged, so between bigger drops we will be creating one-off live events and live targets to keep you immersed in the experience.
Imagine a target appearing for every player in the world, for a limited time only”¦ let’s say 48 hours. 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.
Another big part of this new approach is that we will develop the game with you, the players, and adjust gameplay and create live content and events based on player activity and feedback – so the game will deepen and evolve as time progresses. The experience begins on December 8th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC and will reach well into 2016.
So there you have it. Some things to be excited about…maybe a couple of things to be nervous about. I’m certainly unsure about a couple of things, but it is still early. I’ll reserve judgment until we have much more solid facts on what this game is going to be.