Formerly a subsidiary of Square Enix, IO Interactive regained independence last year shortly after E3 2017 and were able to bring with them the Hitman IP which they created 18 years ago giving players the choice between a brutal rush or stealth operation for each mission. One of the main features the game promised and delivered on was excellent gun-play, the ability to disguise one’s self with costumes and props, and a variety of ways to complete the objectives each level laid out for the player.
Over the years we’ve seen many Hitman games across a few different publishers but IO Interactive has always wanted to get back to their roots while evolving the original game’s premise further. Under Square Enix, Hitman has seen some interesting titles such as Hitman: Absolution and Hitman Go.
In a new partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive publishing a title that IO Interactive has announced today, called Hitman 2, we hope to see this vision truly realized. It would seem the deal with WB Games could be a one-off, with IO Interactive praising their new independence. The game has a lot to live up to by bearing the same name as Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the 2002 release on PC, PlayStation 2, Original Xbox, and GameCube (and my personal favorite in the series).
Hitman 2 will launch on November 13, 2018 for Xbox, PS4, and PC with IO Interactive stating that the game “will not be episodic, it will be a full game” referencing the disappointing strategy Square Enix opted to take with “Hitman”, a reboot released in 2016 and developed by Square Enix Montreal as episodic content rather than a full game. The title will feature Xbox One X and PS4 Pro enhancements including 4K graphical resolution.
The game is available as a Standard or Gold Edition, and a Collector’s Edition has been announced as a Gamestop exclusive featuring a midnight black suite, rubber duck (with concussive damage), Agent 47 gun-case, bullet key-chain, and Agent 47 signature coin. That’s in addition to the ability to play the later expansions coming to the game four days early, a Sniper Assassin game mode, and a bunch of in-game objects resembling the physical bonus items including an extra pistol and suite unlocked. There’s even a Silver Edition for some reason, which is confusing as hell. Here’s IO’s breakdown on the differences between Gold and Silver:
Of course it’s disappointing to see so much content and physical goods locked behind a retailer-exclusive pre-order and downloadable content already announced for an unreleased game. It could be seen as understandable since IO Interactive has a lot of ground to make up for after leaving Square Enix, but this could just be WB Games greed leaking through. With all of this pre-order nonsense going on, if the game has problems caused by business models or publisher strain IO Interactive could become the boy who cried wolf.
It’s potentially a situation of jumping from one abusive relationship to the next. And all of the good faith they would regain by starting again on their own could easily be lost by repeating the same mistakes, with a much smaller chance of blaming their problems away on the publisher. We will remain cautious and don’t recommend you run out and buy this game just yet, let’s see if it’s good first.
Agent 47’s origin story may be further explored in the upcoming Hitman 2 game which claims to feature locations all around the world and delve into the true identity of his targets, known as the Shadow Client. For the first time ever in a Hitman game, co-op is going to be implemented. There’s also new game modes being added to the formula. We really hope for the best with Hitman 2, and look forward to seeing more at E3 that can give hope and positivity to the narrative, but we are prepared for the worst after that assault of pre-order beggary.