The partially episodic new Hitman game from developer IO Interactive has now gone fully episodic, with the publisher Square Enix stating that the decision will benefit both the studio and the gamer. Speaking on the announcement, Head of Studio at IO Interactive Hannes Seifert said that:
“We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience. 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.”
So, that all been said, what does that mean for the gamer? The game is still set to launch on March 11 right now, which is good, however now that first release will only include the prologue and the game's first proper mission, the Paris level as unveiled last year. From there, April will see an Italian level drop, followed by a Moroccan level in May. A series of other levels, set in Thailand, Japan and USA, should then follow, with further content planned but not yet revealed.
Here at T3 we're really very excited from what we've seen so far from this new Hitman, as it definitely seems to be a return to the freeform, mission-orientated structure of the series' high point, Hitman: Blood Money. However, very few IPs have so far managed to carry off the whole episodic release thing, so here's hoping that Square Enix hasn't just shot Hitman in the back.
Here's some pictures showing off a little of the first mission set in Paris: