released on Mar 11, 2016

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released on Mar 11, 2016

Become the Master Assassin in an intense spy-thriller story. As Agent 47, you perform contract hits on powerful, high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world. Gameplay focuses on taking out targets in huge and intricate sandbox levels with complete freedom of approach. Where to go, when to strike and who to kill – it is all up to you.

HITMAN is an expanding and evolving world of assassination. The experience began with a Prologue and Paris location in March, continued with Episode 2: Sapienza in April, Episode 3: Marrakesh in May, the Summer Bonus Episode in July, Episode 4: Bangkok in August and Episode 5: Colorado in September. The season finale in Hokkaido, Japan arrived on October 31st.

HITMAN also features a major live component, which is made up of Elusive Targets, Escalation Contracts, Community-inspired Challenge Packs and Contracts Mode.

An Elusive Target is the closest thing to the Hitman fantasy that we’ve ever created. These targets will be custom-created characters that are added to existing locations and are only there for a limited time in real-time. You’ll only have one chance to take them down. If they escape, they are gone for good. If you kill them, that’s the way that you killed them. There are no do-overs and no second chances. When an Elusive Target leaves the game world (one way or another) they never return.

Escalation Mode is something else completely new for HITMAN and was created as a way to regularly provide a fresh challenge to players. You’ll need to master the location as well as the gameplay mechanics to complete a hit that will escalate in difficulty by adding new elements. This mode has a strong focus on having fun with the game mechanics and mixing them up. It’s more about being playful than realistic.

Contracts Mode returns from Hitman Absolution; Play-to-create, mark your own targets, choose how to kill them and compete against your friends. We will also pick the best of the bunch and put them in the Featured Contracts list so you’ve got something fresh to play whenever you load up the game.

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At the time it came out there were a lot of emotions tangled up in this. It had been 10 years since we saw a game that lived up to the Hitman name, but it was served to us as an always-online, episodic release. Paris was good, sure, but we had no idea what the upcoming levels would look like and whether IO would ever let us carry over our unlock progress when offline.

It's strange to look at now because it's obvious that everything turned out fine, that the World of Assassination trilogy ended up being even better than Blood Money was, that the QOL features imported from Absolution provided new depth instead of simply making the game easier, and that the entire trilogy when taken as a single, massive game would be one of the best games of the decade (perhaps ever?).

The gameplay core of the trilogy begins here, remaining relatively untouched throughout the three games. There are additions of course - it's strange to go back and play this game without briefcases, without bushes, but you really only notice these now that they've been added in later games. There are other minor changes of course, things that don't really sound big until you've put some time into the levels - enemies won't notice your reflection in mirrors, emetics send them to toilets instead of trash cans more often than later entries, etc.

All in all, there are a number of reasons why I would recommend people get Hitman 3, purchasing the older levels and playing them there. Not only is the entire trilogy in H3 roughly the same file size as H2016 is alone, but little convenience features and performance optimizations have stacked up over 5 years. If you're getting H2016 for free and have never played a Hitman game before, play it and have a good time. But if you're looking at these games in 2021 and are trying to figure out how to best spend your own money, getting the complete trilogy inside Hitman 3 is by far the safest bet.

Abandoned as levels imported to Hitman 2

Just a fantastically designed game
The levels are so rich and vivid with detail
The only downside I can think of is that some k*lling scenarios can be a bit obtuse and with a lot of running around to find one thing and where to use it