There’s a Game of the Year edition of Hitman coming. IO Interactive’s announcement brings good news for late adopters and current players. The new edition comes with all of Season One’s content, plus new suits and weapons, a new Patient Zero campaign based around stopping a viral infection, and some new escalation contracts that ramp up the difficulty. The Game of the Year edition is launching on November 7th. If you already own the first season, there will be a $20 upgrade DLC available so you don’t miss out on the clown suit.
The big reveal for people that missed some of the time-limited content is that they’re repeating Season One’s Elusive Contracts. It’s part of the free update to the game for all owners that includes a redesigned user interface, lighting upgrades, and new social features for missions. The encore of the Elusive Contracts will also be time-limited and if you already failed one, you will not be permitted another try. Sorry. No do-overs allowed.
Hitman’s final scheduled time-limited assassination, The Entertainer, will go live this Friday. Elusive Target 26 begins on July 14th and lasts for ten days. Everyone will get one chance to eliminate “Mr. Giggles” and steal a client list in the Marrakesh level, then Season One of Hitman’s live support ends. If it’s your first successful elusive target in Marrakesh, you’ll unlock the summer suit with gloves, a snappy cosmetic outfit for Agent 47. If you’ve attained a few of the previous elusive targets, you may unlock other outfits based on your progression.
What comes next for Hitman is anyone’s guess. Originally, IO Interactive had planned to create a Season Two of content for Hitman with new levels and targets as paid DLC, but that was back when the franchise and the studio were owned by Square Enix. Now that IO Interactive is an independent company, things are a bit dicey. Although they haven’t officially confirmed a Season Two for Hitman, the studio’s July update notes mentioned new content for August, indicating that they would be continuing to work on the game. Whether that means wholly new DLC content and not just live targets in the same maps remains to be seen.
How different would How the Grinch Stole Christmas be if instead of being infused with the holiday spirit, the titular green goblin was garroted to death by Agent 47? Would Cindy Lou Who be as cheerful about her returned presents? Probably not, but Whoville never had to contend with international conspiracies or assassin groups for hire. IO Interactive is releasing a free Holiday Hoarders mission to celebrate the season of giving. It’s a Christmas-themed rework of the Paris level, but instead of a fashion emergency, Agent 47 must stop two thieves from nicking all the presents. The developers encourage players to enjoy the free content and donate to the World Cancer Research Fund if they want to pay it forward.
The Holiday Hoarders mission will be released for free on December 13th.
Hitman, the celebrated stealthy faffing about simulator from IO Interactive and Square Enix, has had one big issue holding it back. While the episodic release schedule has been a boon for the self-contained locations like Paris, Bangkok, and Colorado, a constant irritant has been the game’s online requirements. Since release, Hitman has required a connection to the home servers for players to access their unlocked mission rewards. No internet access? Sorry, Agent 47. No alternate starting points, no nifty outfits, and no optional weapons. With the latest patch, that’s all changed. The November Update features an offline profile that will allow players to use their unlocked bits and bobs while the servers are inaccessible as long as the items were unlocked while online. Hitman’s license to kill has been upgraded!
Hitman will be available in a physical retail release on January 31st with all first season episodes bundled together.
Gary Busey, the famously manic actor from The Buddy Holly Story, Point Break, and Under Siege, will be the seventh elusive target in Hitman. Players will be able to hunt Gary Busey’s virtual likeness in the Sapienza level starting on Thursday, July 21st. He will be available to hunt in the game until the next Thursday, the 28th.
Elusive targets are time-limited special assassination challenges in Io Interactive’s episodic Hitman game. Each player can attempt an elusive target once, and if they miss, the chance is gone forever. Special in-game rewards are available to those that complete elusive targets. Unfortunately, the prize for killing Gary Busey is not a pair of thick Buddy Holly glasses or a weekend bender.
It’s no secret that last year’s Hitman: Absolution didn’t do as well as the publsiher wanted. The assassin with a barcode on the back of his head sold 3.6 million units as of the last Square Enix investment data, but that was well short of the target the publisher projected. Sub-par sales means it’s time for a change in direction! In an open letter posted to fans, Io-Interactive spells out some of the ways they’re going to mix things up for the next installment. Contracts mode is coming back, and the protaganist’s “magic pockets” will be done away with. More importantly, the structure of the game will be more open-world than ever.
We’ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves.
We can only hope that the next Hitman won’t have flashbacks to an alien invasion conspiracy.
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