Amidst the excitement for Fallout 4 and how pretty Guerrilla Games’ Horizon looked, it was very easy to overlook the most exciting thing at E3 this year: a game about a bald assassin with piercing blue eyes.
Yes, Agent 47 is back. He may part of a franchise that is older than Ubisoft’s run-down assassins, but he’s back, and he’s showing that age can triumph over beauty.
The latest entry promises to open up its world, giving players ample opportunities to commit their devious act and get away with it. It’s the same promise that made many fall head over heels for the series to begin with. By using open environments without being open world, players must become familiar with their surroundings as they discover the multitude of weapons or environmental hazards at their disposal. With that comes the need to be precise and calculating, bringing back the focus of what the original games were secretly about: solving a puzzle.
While contracts mode will remain, allowing players to create their own assassinations and challenge friends, Hitman appears to have dropped it’s lacklustre story from Hitman Absolution for a more modern narrative. Players will be able to play the first part of the narrative on 8th December, with the rest of it following throughout 2016. It also grades the completion for each ‘hit’, offering rewards for success.
Most exciting, is the the promise for unique, one-off assassinations, which pits players from all over the world to race against one another, with only one player in the world – or gaming network of your choice – taking away the glory. It’s a very bold approach, and the bow on what should be a focused package fit for modern players. IO Interactive have locked on to their target and air aiming pretty high, but it’s a back to basics approach that is very much appreciated at E3, with yet another Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty failing to intrigue.
The game is releasing on 8th December 2015, which is a short enough time to maintain interest and be available just in time for Christmas. It’s a brave release window, but is also the perfect opportunity for Hitman to win over old fans and welcome new fans.