Now fully episodic
Could someone put a contract on the suit who thought that staggering Hitman’s PlayStation 4 release was a good idea? The game looks like a real return to form – seriously, we’re excited for it – but its rollout seems to get worse and worse. Originally, publisher Square Enix suggested that the game would employ a service-like model, with regular updates fleshing out the murder simulator post-release. But it clarified things a little later down the line, stating that we’d get half of the content at launch, with the rest to follow thereafter.
Now, after cancelling a bunch of PlayStation Store pre-orders, it’s decided to go full-on episodic. Here’s what the press release says: “Starting with a Prologue Mission and a Paris location on 11th March, followed by the next location, set in Italy releasing in April and then Morocco releasing in May. From there Hitman will deliver regular monthly content updates, including three additional locations: Thailand, the US, and Japan, until the season concludes in Japan later in 2016.” If this was an RPG, there’d be a ‘Can you say that again?’ dialogue option.
Essentially, it sounds like veteran developer IO Interactive couldn’t get all of the content done in time for the originally intended deploy date, so instead of delaying the game, it’s decided to break it into even smaller chunks instead. “A new Intro Pack which contains the Prologue and Paris levels and will release at the new price of $15,” it continued. “Each subsequent location will be priced at $10 as an add-on item to the Intro Pack. Alternatively, players can buy the Full Experience up front for $60.”
If you don’t fancy any of that, then there’ll be a retail release with everything included at the end of 2016. Please do excuse us while we figure out how the fudge we’re going to review this freakin’ thing.
Update (20:15PM GMT): Just to add, if you buy the $15 Intro Pack and want to graduate to the Full Experience, there’ll be a $50 upgrade option. Are you keeping up? Sigh.