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Hitman 2016’s Episodic Rollout Explained
By now, the new Hitman, which is titled only Hitman, thus be referred to as Hitman 2016 here, has now been released. Sort of. When announced, developers Io Interactive were pushing it as an odd amalgamation of episodic-style release and an Early Access-esque rollout as the game will be shipped with half the promised content, with the other half trickle down on a monthly basis post-launch. However they have now went with a full-on episodic structure. Let us explain what it now means.
The current content you will be getting in Hitman 2016 is several small levels that serves as a tutorial. These levels are presented as training challenges Agent 47 goes through before becoming the Silent Assassin he is known for. Then you will also get the first level of six. The six locations are Paris, Sapienza (Italy- available in April), Marakesh (Morocco- available in May), Thailand, Japan, and the United States (available in “late 2016”).
(Fun fact: Malaysia was a location for several levels in Hitman 2. )
Before you go on to see six levels is a small number, do check out what one level is defined in Hitman 2016. The first one is in Paris during a fashion show and it is huge. The level is more of an open sandbox. Lively and fun to explore with many assassination opportunities, bringing back memories of the level designs from previous games like Blood Money and the non-linear levels of Absolution.
The shift to making just six open sandboxes in episodic releases also emphasises the new focus on how Hitman is played. Instead of aiming to getting through all of the levels to finish the game, the emphasis has gone to replayability. Plenty of features both old and new are focused to make you see other alternative ways to do your job of killing the targets. They are also adding challenges in certain days where you have to figure out who the target is, so knowing the level inside and out is key to accomplishing these. Looks like some of it has started to roll out.
Hitman 2016 is currently only available digitally, though there is no sign it is available to purchase it via Asia’s Playstation Store. So you need to have a PSN account of a different region, or buy it for the Xbox One or from Steam for PC users. The price for the current content- dubbed the intro pack- is RM48 on Steam. An ok price if you just want to see if the current content is good enough. You can buy an upgrade later on for the current price of RM160, or just buy the whole thing for just RM190. That’s roughly the amount of a AAA game is usually price. Once all the content has rolled out, Hitman 2016 will be available as a physical copy in 2017. By then it should have a proper Asian release.
Hopefully that’s a thorough explanation of the situation. But is the game any good? If you’re interested to know, send us some feedback and we may check it out for ourselves for some impressions, or a full review in the future.