Hitman: Sniper Challenge Aiming For August Launch

Well, it was nice knowing you. Wait, I just realized we've never actually met. Oh, haha, this is so awkward.

Hm, I’m not sure how to feel about this. I mean, I’m not usually a fan of pre-order bonuses – especially given how inconsequential they ultimately turn out to be relative to how frequently they’re paraded in front of us, bells jingling and doves emerging from places where doves shouldn’t be (sleeves, obviously). Also, there was a time when this would’ve been a free demo or teaser available to all. But, nowadays, those take extra time and money a lot of developers don’t have, so I suppose Hitman‘s upcoming Sniper Challenge is – at least, speculatively – justifiable.

It takes the form of a quick 15-minute rooftop level in which Agent 47 takes shots (from a gun, to be clear – although I suppose he could also hurl a number of incredibly hurtful insults simultaneously) at arms boss Richard Strong Jr and his security team. It all takes place within Absolution’s engine, and stealth – or at least, capping fools while other fools foolishly fail to notice – is an option.

And, of course, optimal performance will yield an Agency Sniper Rifle for use in Absolution, because TRANSMEDIA SYNCHRONICITY GAMES AS A SERVICE, obviously. A “variety of challenges,” meanwhile, will apparently make the high-scoring head-shooter exceedingly replayable – as will leaderboards and the like.

For some reason, though, while the console version launches on D3-Day, PC’s not getting 47’s gleefully murderous skip along the rooftops until August 1. I mean, it’s not the end of the world – at least, so long as Absolution still hits its November 20 mark – but still, ouch. Kind of a slap in the face, Square. But, on the upside, you’ll only have to watch this trailer roughly 118,080 times to bridge the gap. Perhaps, by then, you’ll have become calloused and hardened to its gruesome brand of bird murder. Birder.

Thanks, VG247.


  1. Bostec says:

    You know, I don’t think i’ll be giving this one a shot.

    • Belsameth says:

      The pre-order bit kinda misses the mark…

    • stahlwerk says:

      I’m in another camp, as I didn’t have that game in my crosshairs up until now.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      PUN RHINO!!!

      • rokahef says:


        The pun chains are always a great read, but your pun rhino comment really did make me laugh out loud – and earn odd looks from my coworkers in the process. Thanks for brightening up my day!

      • Belsameth says:

        Nice way way to murder that pun chain with a single, well aimed, shot :(

    • unangbangkay says:

      That last jab at Assassin’s Creed was cute, as well as a good example of bird murder – though of eagle, rather than snipe.

      • sneetch says:

        That’s a man, not a bird at the end, but I think they would have had to rifle through some sound files to get the eagle cry.

    • Antsy says:

      These preorder bonuses are something of a misfire as far as I’m concerned. I think i’ll hang-fire till its cheap.

  2. stahlwerk says:

    No pile of leaves at the end of that fall, it seems.

  3. Squire says:

    Things like this and dubious advertising suggesting the game isn’t even stealth at heart anymore I think I’ll definitely be trying before I buy, the unofficial demo that is.

    edit – I bet just like Max Payne 3 the PC version will have to be delayed a month at least. We wouldn’t want piracy to ruin the games launch. link to youtube.com

  4. sneetch says:

    Nice, I love the little poke at Assassin’s Creed at the end.

  5. f1x says:

    The visuals look fantastic I must say, a bit too glowy but still fantastic

  6. Kollega says:

    I think the point of this article is that we should direct our jeers and boos towards the game because “in the older days” this would be a free teaser and not a pre-order incentive. But somehow, it fails to incite enough rage in me. For shame, Mr. Grayson. For shame. ;P

  7. CheesyJelly says:


    Because, as we all know, no one gains the ability to directly influence their own breathing until they shoot the requisite number of ear-pieced individuals in the head.

    I suddenly have a lot more respect for professional swimmers…

    • DrScuttles says:

      Respect for and fear of professional swimmers for me.

      • Bork Titflopsen says:

        I happen to know for a fact that professional swimmers are all retired ninjas.

  8. Maldomel says:

    Years ago, this would have been an actual level of the actual game, not some gimmick bonus for pre orders.
    It can be good, but still.

    • byteCrunch says:

      Years ago, DLC was a called a free patch, and we had proper expansions. The closest thing we had to DRM was a CD-Key, and so on and so forth.

      • wodin says:

        I remember the beauty of PC games and the Net was the fact you bought a game only for it to grow over time for free through patches, new maps etc and mods.

        Thankfully we still have mods for those games that can be modded.

        DLC or how to get more money for a game after everyone who wants it has bought it.

      • f1x says:

        Not to be annoying, but years ago… there was no internet

        or are we not talking about that so called GOLDEN age of games but maybe the second or third GOLDEN age of games?
        its like when grandpas talk about when they were young, “when I was young… I chopped trees with my bare hands”

        Not that I support day one DLC or pre-order bonus tho, I think its a nasty shit, but still the “years ago when I was young” posts are kind of funny

        • byteCrunch says:

          CoD map packs, 4 maps, £11.49, so half the price of a full game, as opposed to when maps would be added via a free patch, or via modders.
          Not to mention the general lack of post-release support for alot of games, example Skyrim still has loads of issues, they’ll never be fixed by the devs (the fact the game supports modding is no excuse,) the HD texture pack as another example has numerous broken textures.
          The internet has been around for quite a while, I remember when I first got broadband, it seemed so fast then.

          • f1x says:

            Yes, of course, its only getting worse.. I totally agree I was just trolling a bit
            what I meant is now we say “old times were better” and 10 years ago people said “old times were better” that just gave me chills because it means in 10 years people will say “remember when they offered DLC and you could decide to buy it or not, now they destroy your computer with an interplanetarian laser if you dont buy the damn DLC”

            unless the industry changes, thats it

        • RakeShark says:

          Back in my day, we had rocks.

  9. wodin says:

    The bloom, the bloom!

  10. Shooop says:

    And of course all orders from the Pirate Bay get this included, no pre-order necessary.

    Some developers/publishers just never learn do they?

  11. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    “Controlled breathing unlocked”. Right.

    Very stealthy, there, shooting like 20 people for no obvious reason.

    This, combined with the other preorder bonuses (have you seen them? 47 posing with a tommy gun, looks ridiculous), seems like yet another nail in the coffin. IO has completely lost sight of what this game should be about.

    • ghor says:

      I seem to remember that you have to have enough Instinct Power or whatever to perform certain actions in the game, which means that in the preview level we all read about ages ago you have to kill a bunch of people to gain the ability to eat donuts. Goddamnit, video games.

    • Curry the Great says:

      That site pretty much states what I think about it. It’s gonna be linear, it’s gonna be less stealthy than the other hitmans, it’s gonna be worse than the other hitmans for a player that expects the style to continue. We’ve seen it before, and it’ll happen again. I try not to care any more, but I’d bet 10 bucks this game won’t be an improvement in the series. Bummer.

      • Chiller says:

        For some reason, nostalgia seems to mess up people’s memories.

        At least half of the first Hitman consisted of straight-up action levels where you gunned down tens of enemies with unsilenced weapons.

        Every game since then has improved the stealth and non-linear parts of the game to the high standards that we have grown fond of. Note that Hitman 2 was quite linear, even if the stealth gameplay was up a notch from the original.

        IO have a good track record with this series. I’m not concerned.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Those jungle levels, right?

          You could sneaksie those at least partially, but the end level was pure crappy corridor deathmatch (or—mild semi-spoiler for old game—camping in a broom closet with a minigun), and IIRC the final boss fight was functionally equivalent to a quick-time event.

          • Chiller says:

            It’s been a long, long time since I’ve played this, so I decided to take a look at a walkthrough and see if I remembered things properly.

            I recall playing in a run’n’gun style during the jungle, harbor and asylum missions. Those apparently make up about a third of the game. Perusing the walkthrough, it would appear there is more potential for stealth in those missions than I previously thought (other than the last one). That’s better than my initial assessment.

    • jezcentral says:

      While I agree with a lot if what he says, I wish he would dial the bile down a notch at the end. Gamers aren’t getting dumber, companies think we are. And I don’t think that he should be calling for a total boycott, just that no-one should pre-order. Remember when people waited for reviews before buying games? No, me neither.

  12. skyturnedred says:

    Guess I’ll wait for the inevitable “GOTY” edition to get all the goodies and DLC in one pack. When it hits a Steam sale.

  13. RakeShark says:

    Silent Scope?

  14. deadly.by.design says:

    Isn’t shooting someone always the worst way to complete a Hitman level?

    • Chiller says:

      Not really. IIRC, ever since they introduced the stealth rating for missions, eliminating your target by shooting was fair game as long as you used a single bullet (I think this actually varied between games although I don’t remember which Hitmans allowed for multiple shots).

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  16. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    You mean May launch, of course?

  17. Leaufai says:

    Ever since Sniper Elite V2 showed me in X-ray Vision how Wehrmacht soldiers’ balls exploded when they come into contact with a sniper bullet, sniper action in other games just seems underwhelming and unnecessary.

  18. DiGi says:

    I miss bit of bullet physics. Like in Battlefield and Sniper Elite…