Hitman’s Sniper Challenge Available Now To Pre-Orders

My cat yet again getting product placement in games.

We mentioned Hitman’s pre-order oddity, Sniper Challenge, a few days back. It seems the PC version of the pre-order is now in alignment with the rest, and is yours today if you pre-order. On another note, pre-ordering is a ridiculous thing, paying money for a game before you know whether it’s any good or not. It’s mad. Why are you doing it? The game’s not out until November! And that’s the first release date, so the Walker Principle says it’ll be some time in space year 3059.

Despite apparently being available now, the website for the pre-order bonus is still a static, information-free screen, so I’ve no real idea what it actually is. A web game? A download? I’ve asked Square for more details. We know it’s a 15 minute level that they’ve made from the game’s engine, and made replayable, with offers of prizes and so on. Here’s the head-asplodey trailer:


  1. diamondmx says:

    I agree, pre-orders are the game industry’s solution to the crappy, buggy release day problem.
    The solution being to stop us being able to do anything about it.

  2. mentor07825 says:

    Or you can simply wait it out until the game is released, wait a month or two after that and pick this up as DLC.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Wise advice, especially considering the game will be at least half the price by that point in time.

  3. Zanchbot says:

    If you pre-order through Gamestop’s website, you don’t have to put any money down in advance.

  4. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I am not so patiently waiting for this. Oh and by the way, there are several videos on youtube that walks you through the mission. It’s fairly short, but seems to have some amusing little mini-objectives (Unlock methods?).

  5. mjig says:

    Pre-orders are pretty idiotic, especially in this day and age, where everyone has a backlog on Steam.

    Also seems odd to me that this seems to be the sort of demo, whenever Hitman is not really supposed to be a game about sniping as many people as possible. Then again, everything we have seen of Absolution looks godawful, so maybe this is reflective of the sort of crap we will see in it.

    • mentor07825 says:

      I’ve been currently going through my backlog on Steam. Starting off with the first Hitman gamen and Thief from GoG. I have to say, from the trailers I have seen I’ve not noticed a bit of stealth. A lot of shooting, yes, but hardly any stealth.

      The game has a lot in common with the last Splinter Cell game than it does with its predecessors.

      • Brun says:

        To be fair, most stealth games don’t feature “stealth” prominently in their trailers. The reason being that stealth doesn’t make for a particularly interesting trailer.

        • mentor07825 says:

          Agreed. Still a shame though. I’ve read a lot of previews but I’ve gotten the impression from them that stealth seemed to be on the back burner for them. Then again, I never finished reading the article because it was astonishingly poorly written.

          I guess I’ll reserve my judgement until the game lands.

          • El_Emmental says:

            If I recall correctly, they’re worked on the action side but will keep the “stealth” possibilities.

            We don’t how much they “kept”: one or two stealth-ish ways of finishing the mission, or 4 or 5 possible stealth-ish solutions like in the previous Hitman.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      The change of voices aside what exactly looks so godawful? That they are showing a lot of actions in the trailers? Well guess what, action SELLS games and if you look up the old trailer for the previous games you would see plenty of action there with guards flying in the air in slow motion while 47 shoots them with a shotgun. And how did those games turn out?

      I also don’t get the instinct complaint. 47 can see through walls, oh no, now we can see where the guards are at any given time! Wait, we could do that in the previous games as well with the map. Only this time you can actually see it directly in the world with the trade-off of being able to use it for a limited time only. So what’s the problem again?

      Then there is the matter of how you get that instinct, but people seem to miss the fact that we simply don’t know how. We have seen in a single demo that you can get it by killing someone, that doesn’t immediately mean it’s the only way. In fact the devs actually said themselves it is not.

      What is with gamers and hate? Why do gamers instinctively decide to hate a game even if they don’t know anything about it? I swear, it’s been like this for decades and it’s never ceased to amaze me.

      • El_Emmental says:

        Because by observing details, clues (the publisher, the current state of the video game industry, the latest trends, the developers, the marketing material, etc), then, by comparing these informations with other titles (old and new) and the entire video game history, it is possible to determine how a game is likely to be, if it’s likely to be a miss or a hit.

        So far, this Hitman seems to be a “miss”: not a total disaster, far from that, but it won’t be as classy as the previous games, it won’t be a true “Hitman”.

        IO Interactive released 4 Hitman games in a 6-years window, then they put that series on hold and make the infamous Kane & Lynch games (who had some good points, but nevertheless made a flop because they were too cheesy to be genuinely funny => scoring below 70 on Metacritic, getting a writer from Gamespot to get fired to finally get a decent score, etc). Even if the sales weren’t as bad as the rest, they weren’t mirific (~2.5M for the 2 games combined). During that period, IO Interactive even tried the “small casual game” with Mini-Ninja.

        Eidos (now renamed Square Enix Europe after the buyout) is calling all the shots since the K&L period – and you know what (often) happens when a publisher is taking full-command.

  6. kadeton says:

    If pre-orders are ridiculous because you’re paying for a game before you know whether it’s good, then Kickstarter campaigns must be totally ludicrous, paying for games before you even know whether they’ll successfully be made.

    • Mattressi says:

      The difference is that if you don’t preorder a game, it will still be released; while an unfunded Kickstarter project may not ever be released. Plus, Kickstarter projects tend to give a lot more real information about the games they’ll make, whereas publishers give out standard PR crap that could describe almost any game of any genre.

    • mjig says:

      I agree that kickstarter campaigns are ridiculous from the funder’s perspective, I said this whenever everyone was creaming themselves over Doublefine’s kickstarter.

      • Apples says:

        I think it’s fairly sensible from the funder’s perspective to support two of the most famous (if not just THE most famous) adventure game developers, who have good track records and have been employed in game development for years, in making a game of a genre which otherwise does not often get used. It’s certainly a more sensible spending decision than deciding to pre-order Hitman, which has been met mostly with scepticism and complaints. Basically Kickstarter is only ridiculous if you have ridiculous expectations and very little sense.

        • mjig says:

          Eidos has a pretty good track record with Hitman. You’re saying it makes more sense to preorder a game with NO previews rather than preorder a game with bad previews?

          • Apples says:

            Well, yes, in this case – since Eidos appear to be saying in their trailers “This game is different from all the previous Hitman games, like it or lump it”, whereas Double Fine are specifically saying “This game will be like our old-school adventure games and if you liked those you will like this.” And Double Fine are not exactly some dodgy indie company with no work to their name; they’re reputable and experienced, there is barely any chance of the game being an abysmal failure or not coming out at all. So if you’re coming in as an old fan of either Hitman or adventure games, one still makes way more sense than the other to me! You can’t distill it down to “Better to buy a game with no previews than one with a bad one” because you’re ignoring all the context around who is making the games, who they seem to be aimed at, etc.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Of course Eidos isn’t making the game, Eidos never made any Hitman games, they PUBLISHED them. Hitman 5 is made by IO Interactive, the people who made all previous games.

            I agree though, the way they ditched Bateson was absolutely atrocious. Keep in mind though it is very possible that is Square Enix’s work, not IOI. I can name several games where the devs didn’t have any input on the voice acting whatsoever and everything was done by the publisher.

    • diamondmx says:

      Kickstarter is at least half-way charity. A game dev is offering to make a game you like, and isn’t in a position to fund it effectively – you want to support this dev, you throw them some cash in exchange for a (probably) cheaper price and a (potential) small creative input on the direction of development.

      It’s much the same as alphafunding – you’re giving cash to the devs you want to succeed.

    • John Walker says:

      Kickstarter is volunteering to fund a project. That often this doubles as a pre-order does not make it the same thing.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Agreed generally – Kickstarter is about getting things made which wouldn’t otherwise be. Hitman will still come out even if it gets zero pre-orders (well, in theory anyway – I actually wonder what would happen if that really did occur).

        Then again, that’s also why I find these Kickstarters for games that already have funding and are just basically glorified pre-orders, like Xenonauts, quite disconcerting.

  7. Vigidis says:

    The subtle assassin’s creed reference at the end of the video is brilliant :)

    • grundus says:

      I read this comment, skipped to near the end of the video thinking ‘but how far is too far? What if I’ve missed it? If it’s subtle, how will I know?’ Therefore I feel you may have been being sarcastic when you said ‘subtle’. Is it brilliant, though.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I thought it was forced and stupid. “The Original Assassin” thing was obvious enough, thank you very much. Making a second reference just makes them look all bitter and angry, as if they have some bone to pick with AC and hate its guts. Quite silly, considering how different the games are IMO.

        • Optimaximal says:

          Or maybe they just thought ‘people might find this funny’.

          Shit, conspiracy theorising like this is just madness.

  8. tomeoftom says:

    Pay full price for a non-representative demo!

  9. sneetch says:

    Pre-ordering is fine. You can cancel a pre-order. Pre-purchasing on the other hand… well, I pre-purchased GW2 because I knew I was going to play it and I wanted in to the beta events but I was still uneasy about giving them my money when they don’t even have a release date. Mind you, it’s not really any worse than alpha-funding, or kickstarting a game, hell, at least you know Hitman will come out.

  10. Iskariot says:

    I never pre-order. Ever.
    I will pick up this pre-order DLC for free when the time comes.

    • jonfitt says:

      I’m the same way.
      The only thing I recall pre-ordering was Portal 2, and that was because there was no way I was going to be able to wait for it a moment longer.

  11. Heliocentric says:

    I used to pre order in stores when it wasn’t binding I’d buy maybe 40% of those on release, but I’m a very different beast now what with digital sales and bundles drowning me in cheap great games.

  12. GiantRaven says:

    Eh, as sniping based games go, this doesn’t look anywhere near as much fun as JFK: Reloaded was.

  13. Klydefrog says:

    Site seems to be live now

  14. Nova says:

    On another note, pre-ordering is a ridiculous thing, paying money for a game before you know whether it’s any good or not. It’s mad. Why are you doing it?

    I got Diablo 3 for £23.85 this way (UK import+voucher). That’s 29,21 Euro compared to 50-60 Euro.

  15. sejm says:

    Where are you sourcing this statement that the PC version is available today?

    Amazon still reads August and is the only site linked to from the Hitman official site for UK pre-orders.

  16. Shooop says:

    I heard you actually have to unlock your abilities XP-through-killing-stuff fashion. That’s one hell of a deal-breaker if it’s true.

  17. Siresly says:

    Ugh…of course you have to register a stupid SE account.
    Activation email doesn’t show up.
    Managed to log in anyway.
    Registering your code…………………

    Steam says:
    “Please first activate the original game.
    The product code you’ve entered requires ownership of another product before activation.”

    Good show.

    • Klydefrog says:

      I’m having the shame problem

      • Klydefrog says:

        I meant to say “the same problem” but shame is perhaps more appropriate as I do feel a little ashamed of pre-ordering just to get a demo which I can’t currently play

  18. Siresly says:

    I don’t understand those who give companies interest-free loans either. And then they have to go back to the store to pick up their pre-orders, or if they want to cancel. Potentially waiting in line and being subjected to seller talk. It’s pretty stupid. That’s why I do my pre-ordering from The Internet™.

    • jezcentral says:

      Speaking practically, getting money off for a pre-order means the loan is not interest-free.

  19. p1r473 says:

    No PC version of the collector’s edition?

    • Klydefrog says:

      I hope there is as I’ve pre-ordered it. If you look on Amazon there’s a button underneath where you select your platform which allows you to select either professional or standard edition

  20. bigolslabomeat says:

    Pro tip: Pre-order on Amazon, wait 20 minutes for your code, cancel your pre-order. No money has left your account and you get to try the challenge for free.

    Or wait a while and decide closer to November if you want to cancel or not, it’s only £25 at the moment, and if it drops lower Amazon will honour the lowest price.

    Edit: PC codes won’t activate until August 1st, yes that’s right kids you have to wait 2.5 months longer than your console brethren.

  21. desperado28 says:

    DId he just sniped all the security guards and main target?
    Goodbye 47, you will be missed