Hitman the simply titled upcoming instalment in the video game stealth franchise Hitman has received a new release date after recently being delayed from it’s original launch date of December 1, 2015. The game will now be available for purchase on March 11, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Developer IO Interactive and publisher Square Enix also shed light on the game’s unusual release schedule. The game is being released episodically, but not in the traditional sense. Instead on March 11, 2016 the game will launch with three sandbox locations: Paris, France; Sapienza, Italy; and Marrakesh, Morroco. Within these environments the game will feature six campaign missions and “forty signature kills”, whatever that means. The game will also feature the return of Hitman: Absolution‘s contract mode, a system which allows users to custom create their own missions and share them online. At launch the game will feature 800 selectable targets for this mode. You’ll also get weekly online events that are timed and must be completed quickly before they vanish forever. Extra content will roll out over the next three months with a new sandbox location available each month: Thailand in April, the United States of America in May and Japan in June. These locations will come with new story missions, new signature kills, new targets for Contracts Mode and new weekly online events.
Got all that? Ok, so you have two purchasing options when it comes to buying this game at launch. You will be able to buy “The Full Experience” package which simply gives you everything. You’ll receive everything available on March 11, 2016 and you’ll automatically receive the rest of the content as it releases. This will cost you US $59.99. The other option is the “Intro Pack” which will cost US $34.99 and it will get you everything available on March 11, 2016 but none of the new content going forward. If you decide you like the game and would like to gain access to the ongoing content, you can then purchase the “Upgrade Pack” for US $29.99 which will give you access to all the other content as it becomes available but at a five dollar surcharge when compared to buying the whole thing day one. Due to this haphazard release schedule it’ll only be available on digital storefronts like the PlayStation Store, the Xbox Store and Steam at first, but once the entirety of the content has been released a retail disc-based release will become available.
The fact that I’ve spent two pretty lengthy paragraphs on explaining the game’s release plan and the fact that IO Interactive and Square Enix saw fit to release an infographic explaining the whole thing is perhaps a bit of an indicator as to how needlessly complicated it is. It would have been far simpler to just launch the game on disc in June 2016 and it would have been far less confusing to take the approach that Telltale Games has taken of late and just divide the game up into six episodes – one per location – and launch one every month with the option to buy a season pass or just purchase each episode individually. As it stands it’s not very user friendly.
If you preorder the “Full Experience” on PlayStation 4 or PC you can gain access to an upcoming beta for the game and it’s also worth noting that the game will receive some exclusive missions on PlayStation 4.