The intriguing new Hitman game will get a beta/demo in February. It will arrive first on PlayStation 4 on 12th February, then on PC a week later on 19th February. There will not be an Xbox One beta. The PS4 and PC beta will be available to those who pre-ordered the game.
The demo is an origin story set 20 years in the past, and shows how Agent 47 - a man with stats "off the charts" and no apparent weaknesses - was recruited into the secretive International Contract Agency (ICA). The mission shows him meeting his handler Diana Burnwood for the first time.
Square Enix also announced that the PS4 version of the game will feature six exclusive contracts dubbed The Sarajevo Six. "These are self-contained contracts that see Agent 47 travel the world in pursuit of six former members of a paramilitary unit called CICADA," says the game's website. "Each target was a private soldier guilty of committing brutal war crimes. Many years later, fate is finally catching up with them."
The contracts will take place in a variety of global locations - France, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, United States and Japan - and the first three will be available when the game launches 11th March. The others will be available "during 2016".
The Hitman reboot is a new kind of blockbuster for Square Enix - a kind of content service that begins 11th March but continues throughout the year. If you pay full price ($60) for the game you get all the year's content included in that fee. But if you don't want to fully commit up front you can put down $35 for an Intro Pack that gives you the launch and March content with the option of upgrading for $30 at a later date if you wish.
The idea is to release more sandbox hubs filled with missions/contracts as the year goes on. At launch there will be Paris (France), Sapienza (Italy) and Marrakesh (Morocco) locations, and the plan is to add to that with Thailand in April, United States in May, and Japan in June. In addition there will be weekly live hits and events.