Hitman (sometimes stylized as HITMAN) is the 6th game in the Hitman series, released on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. It was the first Hitman game to release through an episodic method rather than traditional release. The first episode was released March 11th, 2016, with the sixth and last on October 31st, 2016.
A retail release with the first season is expected to release January 2017.
Initially, development of the next Hitman game was to be helmed by the newly created studio Square Enix Montreal. However upon numerous layoffs for veteran Hitman developers IO Interactive, they were once more given control of the next Hitman game, although all of their other projects were also cancelled in the process. Square Enix Montreal still continues to be involved with the Hitman franchise, but only for developing smaller, tablet-based entries within the series, such as Hitman Go.
IO Interactive updated their website on Jan 16, 2014, detailing the direction they intend to take with the next Hitman game. Due to the feedback after the release of Hitman: Absolution, Hitman 6 was said to be a lot more open in scope and more in line with the older games of the series. Locales were said to be much more diverse as well, and feature Agent 47 'at his prime' as his work takes him across the world.
On May 28th, 2014, IO Interactive stated that their next Hitman game would not make an appearance at E3. However to reassure fans they released a concept image depicting Agent 47 in Central Europe showing one of the locations in the full game. They further stated the player will be able to explore the entire building shown in the image, and that its size will be larger than any level from Absolution.
Come E3, 2015, Hitman was given an official trailer during Sony's conference, now rebranded as simply 'Hitman'.
A new feature which sees new targets added to maps with only a certain time to complete them.
Escalation Contracts are five-part contracts that progress in difficulty and are designed to test the player's mastery of different parts of the level. A new objective, target, or rule is added on with each subsequent level. For example, level 2 of an Escalation Target may require the player to assassinate the target detailed in level 1 but with the additional requirement that they avoid being spotted by security cameras. New Escalation Contracts are frequently added to each episode.
Players may create their own contracts in any of the game's levels with up to five targets. Featured and most recently published contracts can be browsed and played.
Each episode of Hitman contains a story chapter linked to at least one contract within each map. Backstory is given for each one, and upon completion a cutscene details the progression of the story's overarching narrative.
The prologue begins in the year 1999. Agent 47 steps off a helicopter in the mountains which leads into a secret International Contract Agency recruitment base. Diana Burnwood greets him and speaks about the agency. 47 is lead to his quarters and is told his training will begin the next day.
47 starts his training with a simulated test, he completes the test with great effectiveness prompting Burnwood to give him more time with free-form training.
47’s final test is a recreation of the agency director Erich Soders own legendary mission, where he had to kill Jasper Knight at a Cuban military base during the cold war. Soders believed 47 was a threat to all the agency stood for and because of this made the final harder than it once was. 47 overcame Soders challenge with the help of Burnwood and was accepted in the agency under the title of “Agent”.
The prologue finishes with a conversation between Burnwood and 47. Burnwood tells 47 to lay low until The Agency contacts him. 47 leaves the mountains.
The game starts after the events of Hitman: Absolution, it is the year 2019 and Agent 47 has been given contract for Viktor Novikov and his acquaintance Dalia Margolis. IAGO, an intelligence agency has smuggled top secret information about MI6 agents in the middle east. Novikov and Margolis are part of a smuggling operation and it is Agent 47’s mission to kill them both and retrieve the information.
Agent 47 completes his mission and escapes Paris.
A day earlier Novikov and an unnamed man and a Shadow Client hold a meeting. The Shadow Client takes a notebook off of Novikov and claims it’s “The Secrets of the Global Elite”.
After Paris, Agent 47 travels to Sapienza, Italy where the ICA has been contracted to eliminate a DNA-specific virus capable of infecting anyone and leaving no evidence of ever being infected. Also 47 has been tasked with the job of assassinating the creator of the the virus Dr. Silvio Caruso and his company appointed assistant Dr. Francesca De Santis.
A week later an unknown agent who was investigating the virus is ambushed in his car. The ambusher reveals that he has been following the agent since the Italy after using agencies IAGO and the ICA to arrange for the destruction of the virus. He threatens the agent into giving him "the key", whilst the agent replies with a threat of the organisation from "Providence". The ambusher mentions Cobb had made similar warning, takes the key and then shoots the agent.
Seven separate episodes were announced that would comprise a season. These were released over the course of 2016.
This was the first release and was launched on March 11th, 2016. It consisted of two tutorial levels, which made up the beta, and a fashion show located in Paris.
The second episode took place in a small coastal town of Sapienza and was released on April 26th, 2016.
The third episode, Marrakesh, came out on May 31st, 2016.
A special non-canon episode released July 19th, 2016. This saw Sapienza repurposed for a film shoot and Marrakesh repurposed for another contract.
Episode 4 was released August 16th, 2016. The destination sees 47 traverse a luxury hotel on the Chao Phraya River.
Episode 5 takes place in Colorado it was released September 27th, 2016. This destination had four targets in the main campaign.
The final episode to round out season one was released October 31st, 2016. The location is a remote, high-tech mountaintop private hospital in Japan.
The Wildcard Gary Busey
A new addition to the Hitman games is the "Elusive Target". Elusive Target contracts add a unique character to one of the game's episodes with their own backstory and briefing cutscene. Changes are often made to the level, such as additional security around the target.
The Elusive Target must be killed within a specified amount of real-world time, often between 53-72 hours. The player gets one attempt at taking out an Elusive Target, though they may restart and replan the contract as long as they haven't died. If the player does die, they may not replay the contract. Additionally, if the target is successfully killed the contract may not be replayed. Elusive Target contracts cannot be attempted once they expire.