Hitman now has an actual release date in 2016, following last week’s news of the game being bumped from its initial December 2015 slot. IO Interactive will be letting (parts of) the title loose on 11 March.
That announcement also brings a few more details about how, exactly, the game is going to be divided up into release and post-release bits, plus information about some segmented pricing as well.
On 11 March, Hitman will appear with six campaign missions across three sandbox ‘locations’. Although it’s not entirely clear, I’m fairly sure a ‘location’ means a level. Like the Paris mansion/hotel one they’ve been showing off. So three sandbox levels at release, basically, but with a pair of missions set in each area.
This initial release also has “forty signature kills”, the online Contracts mode (as seen in Absolution), and various weekly special events organised by IO. If you want this stuff (and only this stuff), you can buy it for $35.00 USD.
In April (Thailand), May (US) and June (Japan) respectively, however, additional sandbox areas will be added to the game. These will come with new campaign missions, kill-styles, Contracts and so on. If you want to add these bits and bobs on to your initial $35.00 outlay, you can do that for another $30.00.
If you want to risk it and buy everything up front, it’s $60.00 (so a $5.00 ‘saving’, over buying in two stages). Pre-ordering gets you some beta access too, as tends to be the fashion these days. There’s an infographic below spelling this stuff out. Clicking makes it bigger (and you can download a copy too).
The low number of unique sandbox levels (especially at release) is disappointing – though if they’re all the size of the Paris one, there is pretty broad scope for some very different assassination missions utilising different areas of the level. That size is what IO will be relying on to keep things novel, it seems.