Timed 'beta tests' have mostly replaced demos amongst big-budget games, which is an awful shame for folks, like myself, who might like to try a game before buying it but can't be arsed with signing up for beta raffles and competitions and making time to play at during a short period and all that noise. So while I'd normally veer away from posting about semi-closed betas, ah, stuff it, here: Hitman [official site] is getting a beta in February. It'll contain a mission showing how Ian Hitman joined his murdercompany. Observe:
The beta will come to PC on February 19th (a week after consoles, boo!). As for what it'll let you see, Square Enix explain:
"[. . .] the Hitman beta is set twenty years in the past at a top secret ICA recruitment and training facility. This makes it an extremely unique mission because it revolves around how Agent 47 was recruited into the ICA and shows the first time that 47 meets his long-time handler, Diana Burnwood. This will be a moment of huge interest to fans of the series and the perfect starting point for newcomers to the game."
Going on about how pre-ordering guarantees beta access suggests there may be other ways to have a play. Hope you enjoy watching for signups and giveaways and all that. Or, I suppose if you're feeling sassy, you could pre-order and play the beta then pull a Steam refund, though that requires having £40 spare and is another whole load of faff.
Squeenix haven't said that Hitman won't get a demo, mind, but... I'd be surprised if it does. Games these days! Tch. I understand that demos require time, resources, and energy that already-stretched teams may not have (lawd knows folks crunch hard!), and can be tricky gits especially on PC, and that the reality of a demo can pull folks out the dream that marketing tries to build, but... the end result sucks for us. Demos coming a while after launch would also be okay - I can wait. Maybe that Hitman level you already have sectioned-off for the beta, eh Squeenix?
Anyway! Hitman, the full game, is due on March 11th.