UPDATE: Hitman 5 is indeed called Hitman: Absolution. According to the official blurb: "Hitman Absolution follows Agent 47, a cold blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he trusted and hunted by the police, he finds himself at the centre of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world, in his search for the truth."
Absolution has been built "from the ground up" by IO Interactive using its new proprietary Glacier 2 technology. "Boasting a cinematic story, distinctive art direction and highly original game design, Hitman Absolution combines much-loved classic gameplay with completely new features never seen before in the Hitman franchise," Square Enix said.
"For the first time we are taking Agent 47 on a personal journey which allows us to explore other parts of the Hitman fantasy," said game director Tore Blystad. "This is both a familiar and yet significantly different experience from other Hitman games; something our silent assassins will relish, as will all those new to the Hitman world."
ORIGINAL STORY: Square Enix has released the first teaser trailer for upcoming action game Hitman 5.
The teaser depicts a gloved hand affixing a silencer to the end of a pistol. It's Agent 47 – the Hitman series' star.
Then, a rattlesnake sits coiled around the pistol.
And then a barcode: 110706 040147
The 47 turns red – obviously pointing towards Agent 47.
And 110706 – or 7th June 2011 – the day trade show E3 kicks off good and proper.
Square Enix told Eurogamer this evening that an official announcement will be made tomorrow.
What do we know about the IO Interactive-created game?
The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 title has been in development for quite a while. It could be called Hitman: Absolution, judging by a new trademark listing filed by publisher Square Enix last month.
An IO source told us last year that the game was in development and would be out by Christmas 2011 "at the very earliest".
An ARG game hosted on the series' forum earlier this year threw up a possible screenshot from the expected sequel. We now know it was taken from today's teaser trailer, below.
Five images have been uncovered, four of which reference Toronto's CN Tower - the world's tallest building and freestanding structure – in some way. Fans have speculated that the reference could mean Hitman 5 is set in Canada.
The last game in the stealth series, Hitman: Blood Money, came out in 2006 on PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360, scoring 8/10 from Eurogamer's Kristan Reed.
"Blood Money is a fine addition to the Hitman series," he wrote, "boasting significant improvements that make it not only a more rounded, slicker affair, but a more enjoyable one in the long run."