Agent 47 is getting spooky in the latest Hitman 2 update. The Halloween themed Escalation Contract starts today and brings some tricks and treats for players. It takes place in the Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand level, so even players of the free “starter pack” edition of the game can take part in the ghoulish activities.
Agent 47 has new toys to play with. In Hitman 2’s latest update, the Hokkaido Legacy Pack location is being graced with a time-limited Snow Festival setting, and Season Pass owners will be able to access a Winter Sports Pack.
The Snow Festival event involves killing an unscrupulous fireworks manufacturer in the Hokkaido medical facility. The level is decked out in multicolored lights and glittery snowflake ceiling hangings, but it’s all very tasteful as befits the jet-setting Hitman universe. The free limited event is actually available now for Hitman 2 Legacy Pack owners and will continue until February 12th. People that don’t own Hitman 2 will also get to try the level for free, starting on the 22nd. That progress will carry over to the main game once you upgrade.
The Winter Sports Pack will also become available on the 22nd of January. It’s the first installment of the Season Pass and gives owners access to a sporty cold-weather outfit, a gaudy arctic suitcase, a stabby piton, a set of climbing gear that also kills people, and the deadly snowball. It’s supposed to just be “annoying” but we all know that everyone is going to try to kill people with it as soon as they get their hands on it.
Sean Bean plays the role of Mark Faba in Hitman 2’s first elusive target mission, The Undying. It’s Sean Bean, so we know how this one will turn out, especially with Agent 47 involved. Faba’s somewhat of an inventor according to the video. You even get to vote on which one of his weapons the developers should unlock. (Of course, the right answer is the pen.) Players will be able to hunt Bean’s digital alter ego starting on November 20th, and he’ll only be available as a target for ten days.
Hitman 2 launches on November 13th.
Every location from 2016’s Hitman will be returning to Hitman 2 as DLC. The Legacy Pack of locations will be free to owners of Hitman Season 1, and they will be updated with Hitman 2’s improvements. That’s Paris, Sapienza, Marrakesh, Bangkok, Colorado, and Hokkaido free if you already own the full first game. There’s no price announced for the DLC if you don’t have the first game, but it should be available at launch.
IO Interactive and Warner Bros call their games-as-a-service strategy World of Assassination which they say will offer “a continuous experience that will never stop growing” for players. Big words for a game about knocking people out and stealing their clothes.
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.