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.