Props to whoever is doing the HITMAN trailer. I’m not sure about the episodic release schedule IO Interactive and Square Enix are going for, but every trailer I see is doing its job. I just want to be Agent 47 again. Here’s the trailer for the beta.
“Play the beginning,” teases the developer. The Prologue mission covers the exact circumstances of Agent 47 joining the International Contract Agency (ICA) and meeting his long-time handler, Diana Burnwood, for the first time.
This mission is all about introducing us to how gameplay is changing with the new HITMAN. And, it includes what IO-Interactive calls, “free-form training hits.” It’s just a fancy buzzword for ‘you can kill targets a number of different ways.’
Get beta access for $15
Because HITMAN is going the episodic route, you don’t have to pay as much upfront if you don’t want to. The ‘Full Experience’ hits the usual $60 price point. Or, you can go with the Intro Pack, which covers the content releasing on March 11th.
Why a beta?
It’s not every day a single-player game gets a beta. What’s different here? HITMAN is more of a connected single-player. Stuff like weekly events and live hits that are only available for a limited time. This week’s beta is all about making sure their infrastructure in place can handle the surge of players. It shouldn’t be an issue, but better to get them ironed out now than during launch.
IO also touches on how feedback from you can lead to tweaks in the game.
“We hope that you’ll take the time to sound off in the forums or on any of the places mentioned above with your thoughts, opinions and feedback on all aspects of the game. In Hitman Absolution, we patched the game with an adjustment to how quickly players were detected when wearing a disguise. This was based on feedback from our players. Feedback such as this is exactly what we want to hear as we will be able to review and adjust these matters before we release the game on March 11th. We cannot overstate how important and valuable this feedback will be to us.”
Nice. Most developers are great about listening to their fans, but it’s always good to see them go out of their way to encourage feedback.
What HITMAN will look like on March 11th
Ok, so you preordered the game – what should you expect on March 11th? You’ll get access to the Prologue mission (which is what you’ll play in the beta) and the Paris location. Besides that, IO hopes to keep players busy with time-limited targets and a new mode called Escalation. We don’t have any idea what this new Escalation mode is yet, but the developer promises to reveal it “very soon.”
If you want as much content as possible on day one, go with the PS4 version. Sony nabbed six exclusive bonus contracts called “The Sarajevo Six.” The first one, called “The Director,” goes live at launch.
When is new content coming to HITMAN?
I know. The amount of content at launch doesn’t sound like much. But, the developer won’t wait long to add more. The next location, Italy, will be out in April followed by Morocco in May. More updates will follow with Thailand, the U.S. and Japan.
If you decide to go with the Intro Pack, each new location will cost $10. You’re looking at $50 more to get every location. So, $65 for the full game versus $60 up front. Or, you can just wait for the disc version with all the content coming at the end of the year.[divider][/divider]
I’m still not sure about the episodic model. Especially on HITMAN. Imagine the wait for new content if the game turns out to be fantastic. Then again, $15 to try out a game is enticing. I know I’m not the only one who’s regretted dropping $60 on a game I barely played. Hello, Evolve.
IO’s biggest issue is going to be keeping HITMAN fans engaged. We’ll see if live events and the new Escalation mode will be enough. It’s going to have to be.
Let me know what you think about the episodic experiment with HITMAN.