All has looked very promising when it comes to Hitman, the next entry in hit video game series following the silent assassin Agent 47.
We’ve already seen cinematic and gameplay trailers, as well as an impressive first 15-minute gameplay demo, but now a bit of a speedbump has been encountered. Developer Io-Interactive has announced that the game has been delayed from its original December of this year release, and pushed back a few months to March of 2016.
You can read what they had to say, and as a bonus, see an infographic comparing the largest level of the last game in the franchise, Hitman: Absolution to one of the levels in the new game below.
It’s safe to say HITMAN is the biggest venture we’ve ever undertaken at Io-Interactive. Not just in terms of scope and ambition but also in terms of the size of the game world itself. The playable area and density of our locations goes beyond anything we’ve built before. We’re striving to create a series of living, breathing worlds in those locations and we get pretty obsessed about every detail that you’ll experience.
On top of that, we’re going for a new release model where we put out a good chunk of the game when it begins and then release the remaining locations over time. We want to make absolutely sure you all get the best possible experience when you join, so we’ve made the difficult decision to move the initial release date to March 2016. These few extra months will mean we can add more to the launch content of the game, more than we had originally planned, and then follow with a tighter frequency of updates, which ultimately will create a better game for everyone. And in the end, that’s what we’re all looking for.
To give you a sense of the scale when it comes to our various locations, we’ve compared our Paris Showstopper mission to the largest level in Hitman: Absolution. As you can see, lots of challenges, plenty of space to set up death traps, and a huge supply of targets for Contracts mode.
Moving a launch date is never an easy decision, we know it’s frustrating to have to wait a bit longer for the game, but we truly believe it will mean we can deliver a better launch and overall experience. We’ll share more details next week about the full release schedule and scope of HITMAN in general so keep a look out for that.
As far as the delay goes, I have absolutely no problem with it. I always want games I’m excited about to be as good as possible, and delays only increase the chances of this happening in most cases. I would much rather have a more polished game released than have a buggy mess of a game released and have to wait to see if it gets better with patches or not. Plus, I and many others will be pretty occupied with a little game called Fallout 4 for the last couple of months of the year at least.
My biggest concern with the game is still the release strategy they’re going for. This starts with the plan to first release it digitally, which, as someone who will stay faithful to physical media for as long as I can, makes me really sad (unless it releases a day or two later, in which case no big deal).
But most of my concern for the game comes from the post-release plans mentioned above. Instead of completing and releasing the finished Hitman, they will instead be releasing a large chunk of the game, and then releasing smaller continuations of the game at later dates. These won’t cost anything more, which is important, but it sounds like something awful. This isn’t an episodic game from Telltale; it’s a Hitman game, and I want the whole thing when it’s released. Perhaps I’m being greedy. I’m all for their plan to release new missions here and there to keep fans playing, but in terms of the primary game’s story, I don’t want to have to wait however many months to keep playing it after reaching wherever the first chunk ends. We’ll see how it all works when the game is released in March, but for now it all makes me very nervous.
Until then, here’s the infographic comparing the biggest level of the previous game with the level shown in that gameplay demo.