The reboot of the Hitman franchise featuring the bald silent assassin is going to be completely episodic. This comes after PS4 players discovered that their preorders had been cancelled due to a behind the scenes revision.
This change of plans is surprising because the team behind Hitman stated that the game wouldn't be episodic in a Q&A they did last year, saying that they weren't planning on asking for a price for each individual content update. They also said that the game wasn't going to be released as an early access type game, opting to call it a "live experience" instead of episodic. With this change in development, all of this has obviously changed.
The first episode of the game, which will launch on March 11th, is called the "Intro Pack" and features the game's prologue as well as a location sandbox set in the French capital of Paris. developer Io-Interactive is planning on releasing a new episode every month which are all set in different locations around the globe, including Thailand and the US with the game ending in Japan. The developer is also planning to implement weekly live events and as of yet unknown extra content in between major episodes.
“We decided to take the full leap and publish HITMAN as a truly episodic game experience,” said Hannes Seifert, Head of Studio at Io-Interactive. “Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a HITMAN game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future – this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”
This intro pack will set you back $15 (or your local equivalent), with each subsequent episode costing you a further $10. Players have the option of buying the "Full Experience" pack which includes all the content coming out throughout the year. If you don't want to pay $60 up front you can upgrade to the full experience from the starter pack for an additional $50, which makes the game a little more expensive if you buy it in parts instead of buying the entire season in one go. Players won't be able to buy a physical copy of the game at launch but will be able to acquire one "at the end of 2016".
Playstation 4 users will also be getting access to exclusive content in the form of the "Sarajevo Six" pack, which adds a special set of 6 contracts players can complete in the game's locales.
If you decide to preorder the game you gain access to the PS4 beta on the 14th of February, with PC preorders getting a beta on the 19th of February. If you want to read what the devs are planning for the future, you can go here to read a blog post on the official website.
Hitman got announced at last year's E3 and will be available on the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC platforms. The game got hit by a delay last year, pushing the release of the game from November 2015 to March 2016. Some of the content that was promised to be in the launch portion of the game has now also been delayed until a later date, which means that the game launches with less content than was originally planned for the March 2016 release.
What do you think of this move to an episodic format? Let us know in the comments!