Hitman’s GOTY edition brings four new missions, elusive encores and more

Hitman GOTY

More Hitman is always nice, especially now that Io Interactive are a fully independent studio, no longer shackled to monolithic publishers. Starting their journey into independence, Io are reconfirming their ownership of the license by re-launching 2016’s once-episodic murder simulator as the Game Of The Year edition, detailed here, adding a slew of new content including missions and escalation contracts.

Among the juicy extras will be a re-run of the one-time Elusive Targets for anyone who missed them first time round. Hitman will officially be returning on November 7th, and while a full retail price hasn’t been announced, existing owners of the game will be able to upgrade to the new edition for $20. Check out the trailer as well as some extra details after the jump.

While some technical upgrades are coming in this new version of the game (revised lighting, reworked UI elements), the most exciting part of this relaunch/expansion is the Patient Zero mini-campaign. A new story arc consisting of four missions set in remixed versions of existing locations. Presumably something similar to The Icon, a free mission released some ways into Hitman’s life, tasking you with the assassination of a vainglorious actor on the set of his sci-fi action movie in Sapienza.

Among the new content is three new outfits – the Raven, the Cowboy and the Clown as pictured above, each of which has an Escalation mission chain associated with them. I can only hope they’re on par with the weird and wonderful antics you could get up to disguised as the mysterious Vampire Magician. Completing these costume-themed missions will also unlock new weapons to be used in other missions as you see fit.

While I’m sure some will be disgruntled at the idea of paying $20 to upgrade to the GOTY version, keep in mind that most of the sales of the game thus far had gone through Square-Enix, who almost certainly took the lion’s share of the profits. Now independent, Io need some way of staying afloat until they can deliver a whole new Hitman game or second season of content for the first (Game Of Another Year edition, perhaps?). Given how cheap I got the game in the first place, I personally don’t mind.

Lastly, one thing that Io have not made clear is whether this GOTY version will finally bring the PS4-exclusive Sarajevo Six missions to PC as well, or whether they’ll forever be sweetening the pot for console owners.

34 Comments

  1. GenialityOfEvil says:

    $20 for graphical upgrades and a clown outfit? Uh, no. If they want to charge for the missions that’s fine (they’re going to charge you again for Season 2, remember), but there’s no way I’d pay $20 for that. It’s not your audiences fault that Square Enix published the game and it’s not our responsibility to keep you afloat, that’s what financing is for.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      >it’s not our responsibility to keep you afloat, that’s what financing is for.

      haha, what? Gamers have the most curious, um, understanding of how game development is funded. It is *literally* your responsibility in every meaningful sense, in that (for an independent developer) sales of a game and any expansions fund continued development of more expansions and future games. It’s really not complicated. No sales, no more games.

      You don’t have to like paying $20 for DLC or whatever this is (whether that’s fair is entirely debatable) but “we shouldn’t have to fund your games” lol, seriously…

      • GenialityOfEvil says:

        I’m not saying we should get the game for free, and I didn’t say “we shouldn’t have to fund your games”. Read all the words next time. I said we shouldn’t have to bankroll their company, that’s all this is.

        We already paid for the game, and the season pass and will pay for season 2. I’m not even saying we shouldn’t pay for the missions, though they are rehashes of the original maps, they already included missions like that in the season pass so suddenly charging us for it now is just milking more money.
        I’m saying that financing their company is not our job. If they make new content, we’ll pay for it but paying an exorbitant amount (it’s not like there are any new maps) just because they’re independent now is not part of our job description.

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          Ninja Dodo says:

          Obviously I was paraphrasing there. Bankrolling a studio’s next project(s) is exactly what you’re doing any time you buy their games.

          Would it have been nice if this was a freebie? Sure. But for all we know sales of this shiny new version are going to determine whether Season 2 happens at all, or how big it is (games get cancelled and studios close all the time as you may have noticed). Most studios do not have infinite Steam or GOG money to keep pumping out free updates just cause they can. If sales dry up you can’t afford to keep making free stuff.

          People always assume DLC is something that was somehow removed from a game in a finished state to be sold separately but what actually happens (explained here: link to askagamedev.tumblr.com) is paid DLC is just *more game* that you would not be getting at all otherwise.

          I suspect that’s the case here as well.

          • GenialityOfEvil says:

            That may be true from a company’s end, but it’s not true for ours. We’re paying for a product (and we already paid for this one), not for the next one that we might not have any interest in. Frankly I think that logic is pretty moronic when you consider how much it costs to run any business. You really think the handful of people who would bother buying this is going to finance an entire company and it’s payroll for however long it takes to make season 2? They have independent financing, that’s how independent studios operate. How do you think they make their first game?
            As I said before, alternate missions for existing maps are part of the season pass.

          • jezcentral says:

            What season pass?

          • GenialityOfEvil says:

            There was the intro pack and then the season pass for the rest of the episodes, they didn’t call it a season pass but that’s what it was (they were the ones who called it “Season One” FFS). It’s interesting to note that IO themselves said they wouldn’t charge for content outside of the season content because it was “the wrong approach”.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            Never said this DLC would fund Season 2 all on its own* (and it’s entirely possible they also have some outside financing), but every little helps.

            * only that when funding sources fall away it usually means cutting scope, or cancelling projects

            I don’t know about you, but when I like a studio’s games I would like them to keep making games.

          • GenialityOfEvil says:

            I have no problem with supporting a good developer, and as I said I will be buying season 2. But if they want me to pay them for something they have to actually develop something worth paying for. Charging for something that previously had been included is not a good developer practice. If they wanted to raise some quick cash they could’ve made a new map. That wouldn’t have fallen in the purview of season one content.

          • NihlusGreen says:

            “People always assume DLC is something that was somehow removed from a game in a finished state to be sold separately but what actually happens (explained here: link to askagamedev.tumblr.com) is paid DLC is just *more game* that you would not be getting at all otherwise.”

            When dealing with ethical publishers and devs, yes. When dealing with say EA, no. * See Battlefront.

          • Jerykk says:

            “Quick cash.” You’re severely underestimating how much time and resources it takes to create a brand new map for HITMAN. The maps are huge, insanely detailed, have extremely elaborate scripting, tons of NPCs with their own unique dialogue, etc. Even just remixing an existing map takes a lot of work, as they have to redo all of the level scripting in addition to modifying the art, writing new dialogue, creating new NPCs, etc.

            Finally, IO has already delivered more than they promised in the season pass. The Landslide mission was never mentioned in the season pass description, nor was the Christmas remix of the Paris level.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            @NihlusGreen

            If by “ethical” what you mean is “puts games before money”: unless you’re counting self-publishing developers, there’s no such thing as an “ethical” publisher. All publishers, especially publicly traded ones, are businesses first. If they can’t make a profit on something they’re not going to do it. So that DLC that you imagine they would’ve made as part of the main game (for the same budget) they simply wouldn’t have made at all. Those execs answer to shareholders, not their customers. Your beef is with capitalism, not games publishers.

            Also will just note that using dramatic terms like “unethical” when referring to overpricing games is the height of absurdity and you should knock it off.

    • white-male says:

      Heh – as if I am to pay for mission in a game I already own?

      Guess ill go for the “free” copy of these mission and also season 2!

  2. MiniMatt says:

    Seems buying the complete Hitman a couple of weeks ago was a mistake, I should have waited a fortnight to buy the complete complete version.

    Well I sure as hell won’t be buying it again, sorry.

  3. Unclepauly says:

    I PRE-ORDERED 9 COPIES!

  4. Banks says:

    I’m very happy to see more excellent Hitman and I’m willing to pay for the extra content.
    However I think it’s unfair that the technical upgrades are locked behind a paywall, and sad that the new content is just recycling of old levels.

    I think that a single brand new episode would have been a far more interesting proposition.

    • qrter says:

      Looking at the actual announcement on Io’s site, the technical enhancements will be patched into all Hitman versions, whether you buy the GOTY upgrade or not.

  5. Micky Nozawa says:

    As much as I like Hitman and IO, I do think they’re taking the piss a bit with their pricing. I bought the game episodically, which I think turned out to be more expensive than waiting for the full package. This meant for some reason I didn’t get the bonus missions that reworked Sapienza and Marrakesh, which people who paid the full price up front got for free. Eventually they did make these bonus missions available, for a price of about £7 from what I remember. Turns out the missions weren’t really that interesting – you were tied to two starting locations and there were no extra item unlocks. Now they want to charge $20 for a further set of reworked missions, which judging by experience will probably be rather lacklustre. I know IO is struggling but this leaves a poor taste.

    • Banks says:

      I think that the new missions will be good fun but they are marketing this very poorly, as if you had to pay more for the “trully complete experience”. They made that mistake with the bonus episode and they don’t seem to have learned anything.

      If you consider this as an expansion then I guess it’s really great, but then again it’s not completely new content either. And a large part of what made the game great was discovering the levels in the first place.

      We’ll know soon.

  6. Dominic Tarason says:

    I’d just like to point out that Season 1 of Hitman wrapped up a good long while back, and they kept adding free content a bit beyond that, too.

    The studio has since been cut loose by the publisher, bought back their license, and have produced a new chunk of content. I don’t begrudge them trying to sell that, especially as they’re probably getting very little from Square-Enix now.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Are commercial back channel contract negotiations really any concern of the consumer though?

      We like to think in terms of good guys and bad guys, we instinctively root for – and support – the “good”, little, guys, but in reality we’re talking two commercial entities who are out to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that (Thatcher taught me) but we’re not talking Pesticide Chemical Corp vs Tiny Donkey Sanctuary here.

      Somebody calculated that the money spent updating “for free” was less than the money such work would bring them in in new sales – they didn’t do this work out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it to make money, and to pay their staff.

      Similarly, someone has calculated that repackaging their licence with some updated textures and a clown hat can make them $20 a sale.

      Everyone’s value calculation is different. I’ll likely pay $20 for more maps, but I very likely won’t pay $20 for this.

      • Jerykk says:

        Did you like HITMAN Season 1? Do you want to see Season 2? Then support the developer. Principles are all well and good but the reality is that making a game like HITMAN isn’t cheap and the more revenue IO receives, the more likely they are to finish Season 2 and match the scope and quality set by Season 1.

        You can argue that you’ll support IO by buying Season 2 but that won’t be an option if Season 2 is never released. Think of it like crowdfunding because that is essentially what it is.

  7. Stellar Duck says:

    Based on the webpage it seems the improvements will be rolled out in a patch to the existing game. This would mean that the 20 quid would be for the new missions.

    I’m unsure if the elusive targets get activated again for the original game? If so, I might just stick with that.

    Also, I can’t tell if all the unlocks carry over. I don’t think I could be arsed unlocking everything again.

    I guess I’ll wait and see.

  8. grimdanfango says:

    Just in case IO happen to be reading this:

    The one DLC I would *gladly* pay them $20 for would be a re-recording of all the side-character voice work to actually fit the locations, rather than every waiter and cleaner in Paris and ever street bazaar vendor in Morocco talking with a thick US accent. It’s the one aspect of an otherwise near-perfect bit of Hitman action that consistently blows my suspension of disbelief, and only felt like it intruded more on the experience the longer I played.
    It’d be the difference between feeling like you’re immersing yourself in exotic locations and feeling like you’re casing a succession of Las Vegas theme-casinos.

    • Imperialist says:

      I agree about the VO. Its rather jarring.

      However…casing a succession of Las Vegas theme-casinos is something Hitman should absolutely do.

    • Catchcart says:

      They didn’t all talk with thick US accents. A lot of them talked with high, squeeky English accents.

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        Mungrul says:

        A couple of Aussies too.
        It would be nice to see an option for subtitled local language to offer even more verisimilitude, as I think accented English could be even more jarring, especially if the voice actor doesn’t get the accent right.

  9. montfalcon says:

    Does this package reactivate any of the elusive targets? I still can’t wrap my head around developers including time limited content. That seems like an equally anti-consumer practice as microtransactions and lootboxes.

    • LessThanNothing says:

      I would like to know this as well, is the time-limited content back in? Otherwise, I still won’t purchase it

  10. iucounu says:

    I’ve probably bought Blood Money about three times over the years and HITMAN is even better, which means it is a contender for being my favourite game of all time.

    Yeah, I’ll give them another twenty quid. I know it will probably feel like a bit of a swizz but I am desperate for Io to be able to keep on with this murder-as-a-platform thing that they’ve got going for at least another season.

  11. KingFunk says:

    I haven’t yet got around to buying/playing this yet, but it’s nice to see that IO have managed to come out of the other side of the separation and have got themselves into a position to continue as an indie, so kudos to the studio management – hopefully job losses were minimal in the process as well…

  12. Saarlaender39 says:

    Right from the start, I was very sceptical towards the episodic release.
    Bought the “complete” game (=without the elusive targets, ofc.) somewhen last year at a sale.
    I have to say (to me) this is the worst Hitman game, I ever played (and I played them all since they started the series).
    So – am I willing to spent more money on it?
    Hell, no!

  13. GGiyo says:

    Before you dummies complain about the extra $20 you’re gonna pay for more Hitman, please refer to the title of the article.

    4 new missions. The base game had 6 (main missions, outside of the few mini extras).

  14. Raoul Duke says:

    So can anyone clarify – are we finally at a point where I am allowed to buy a single, complete game that I can play at my leisure as and when it suits me for an indefinite period of time into the future?

    Or am I still required to play this at times which are partially at the whim of the publisher?

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