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Hitman Announced: Big Levels, Regular Free Updates

Is this... episodic early access?

IO Interactive have been saying the right things about their next Hitman game, which mostly boil down to that it's stepping back from the disappointment of Hitman: Absolution. Last night publishers Square Enix formally announced the game, which is called simply Hitman [official site] though they say it's not a reboot, and will arrive on December 8th.

Big sandbox locations to do murdering in, plenty of creative ways to murder people, and saves not checkpoints are promised. They're also planning to regularly update it with new story missions as well as smaller things like extra targets, some of whom might only be around for a few days.

Hitman will roam the world, visiting places like Paris, Italy, and Marrakesh, with big sandbox levels where IO say "every NPC has a name and every room matters". Sure names are a minor detail, but a cute touch. We'll need to give it a play to see what it's really like and, by chance, Pip is in Los Angeles at E3 and will be having a bash.

As for that update jazz, they say:

"The experience will begin on December 8th and we will release new locations, missions and hits over time at regular intervals through 2016, which means we'll all be able to share in the excitement of a new content drop at the same time. Rather than unboxing a game, playing it and then that's sort of it, we want to deliver a true community experience - creating an ongoing and evolving game which plays out with a finale that brings the story arc together. Our primary goal is to keep Hitman players fully engaged, so between bigger drops we will be creating one-off live events and live targets to keep you immersed in the experience."

Huh! That sounds a bit like some strange mix of expansion, DLC, early access, and episodic ideas.

"Another big part of this new approach is that we will develop the game with you, the players, and adjust gameplay and create live content and events based on player activity and feedback - so the game will deepen and evolve as time progresses."

Maybe it is. They're not calling it episodic or early access, to be clear, but sounds like they've picked up a few tricks from both those models. How curious.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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