HITMAN (2016) 3 (2021) Notes

Continuing Agent 47’s story from the 2016 reboot-ish HITMAN, HITMAN (2016) 3 (2021), the all-caps sequel to HITMAN (2016) 2 (2018) from io interactive, is out. It’s still just as endearingly ridiculous as HITMAN (2016), but supposedly puts a cap on this trilogy.

There is a terrific game in HITMAN (2016) 3 (2021), some of the levels have fundamentally new modes of play that are surprising in what was for me just the constant ridiculousness of trying to make Agent 47 act normal as he fulfilled his mission objectives.

HITMAN (2016) 2 (2018) had the good idea of letting you play the 2016 game’s levels inside of the upgraded engine in addition to the new levels. That worked out well. Unfortunately, the third game in the trilogy is only available through the Epic Game Store on Windows and thus far the developers at io interactive have been unable to come up with a solution that lets player’s transfer their purchased game content from Steam. A solution is supposedly in the works, but until then the older games content is locked behind incredibly expensive DLC purchases of $60 for the base HITMAN (2016) 2 (2018) or $100 (!) for the “Gold” version of HITMAN (2016) 2 (2018) that includes all of the extra content from that game.

When a game is ported to another hardware and software platform there is always work involved to make the game work well, but frankly it is infuriating to boot up the latest HITMAN and be immediately with the opportunity to buy access to a game I already own that’s just on a different store on the same hardware platform.

I hope io interactive can fix this situation soon, Hitman (2016) 3 (2021) deserves to be evaluated for what it is, and right now the business deals the companies involved have made are ruining some of the fun.

Hitman (2016) 3 (2021) is available now on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X, Playstation 4 & 5, as well as a streamed version to the Nintendo Switch, and the aforementioned Epic Games Store on Windows. It costs anywhere from $60 to $90 depending on the edition.

Hitman (2016) 2 (2018) is Ready for Disguises and Murder

The all-caps sequel to the all-caps Hitman (2016) is out, Hitman (2016) 2 (2018) is io interactive’s first murder simulator post-expulsion from Square Enix and apparently this iteration has a magic briefcase. It also has all of the missions from the first (2016) game upgraded a bit for people who already owned that. If you don’t, they’ll make them available for a twenty.

There’s a freely-downloadable prologue on Steam for Windows that lets you play those upgraded Hitman (2016)’s campaign missions, if you have access to them, as well as redone training missions from Hitman (2016) that include the new features like vegetation you can hide in.

I loved Hitman (2016) for all its quirks, it’s the best goofy action game where you can dress up and get shot for pulling a fire alarm. Although this game drops the episodic format, Hitman (2016) 2 ( 2018) still includes the scheduled elusive targets that were the reason I returned for many more silly one-off assassinations every month.

PC Gamers’ Phil Savage likes this sequel well enough:

Mumbai is like a better version of 2016 Hitman’s Marrakesh, with large, bustling crowds that border more restricted areas that, crucially, are more enjoyable to traverse. A construction site that doubles as a movie set is a particular standout, with a clever placement of guards that ensures that—even with the right disguise—you’ll need to take a circuitous path or scale the unfinished elevator shaft. A great Hitman level forces you to adapt and respond as you go, and Hitman 2’s environments excel at providing the routes and options needed to adjust your plan on the fly.

Hitman (2016) 2 (2018) is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam for Windows at $60 all the way up to an eye-watering $140 for the ridiculous edition that includes a briefcase with a rubber duck inside.

There was a version of the previous Hitman game for Linux and macOS but I haven’t seen anything promising those ports for this sequel.

Hitman’s Elusive Targets Are Coming Back

Io Interactive has their first announcement since going independent and getting ownership of the Hitman license. There’s a GOTY edition of HITMAN (2016) coming, it’ll include a new “Patient Zero” campaign and other stuff, as well as reactivating any missed “elusive target” missions starting in early November.

I loved these elusive target assassination missions, and missed out on a bunch of them before I got the game last August. It’ll be good to get a second chance at the ones I missed out on. Any that were attempted already won’t be available again.

The GOTY edition is going to be out on November 7th for $60 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The new campaign and other stuff included in this edition will be $20 for existing players who have the rest of HITMAN’s first season already.

The Hitman That Owned Himself

Square-Enix recently decided to drop IO Interactive from their portfolio of development studios, which left IO’s series of Hitman (and other games) up in the air. Good news. IO is now the company that owns themselves  and also owns the Hitman “Intellectual Property” according to the CEO’s statement. I have a few questions as to who owns the previous games and the right to publish those, and what this means for the remaining staff at IO after they recently had to lay off some, but I’ll be looking forward to playing the next elusive target.

IO Interactive Dropped From Square-Enix

Square-Enix put out the amazing Hitman (2016) last year, I love that game and it’s disappointing to hear that Square-Enix is dropping IO and probably will end up keeping IO’s creations:

To maximize player satisfaction as well as market potential going forward, we are focusing our resources and energies on key franchises and studios. As a result, the Company has regrettably decided to withdraw from the business of IO INTERACTIVE A/S, a wholly?owned subsidiary and a Danish corporation, as of March 31, 2017. This decision has resulted in booking of the extraordinary loss amounting to 4,898 million yen, including disposition of the content production account related to the business and impairment loss of intangible assets, in the financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

As a result of this the Company started discussions with potential new investors and is currently in negotiations to secure this investment. Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.

That loss is almost 43 million in US dollars. To paraphrase Moe Szyslak, you don’t leave the lid off of a pickle-jar like IO Interactive.