Hitman 2016

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Hitman is a 2016 stealth video game that was developed by IO Interactive and was released episodically for Microsoft WindowsPlayStation 4 and Xbox One from March to October 2016. The game, which has six episodes, is the sixth mainline entry in the Hitman franchise, the first installment of the World of Assassination trilogy, and the successor to Hitman: Absolution (2012). The single-player story follows genetically-engineered assassin Agent 47 as he goes on a worldwide adventure and solves a mysterious series of seemingly unconnected assassinations. Hitman features a number of large, open-ended sandboxes that Agent 47 can freely explore. The game presents the player with various assassination opportunities, many of which are unconventional. IO Interactive introduced a “live component” to the game with new content being regularly delivered in downloadable form.

Hitman
The cover shows Agent 47, a bald man in a suit carrying a pistol and a briefcase as he walks towards the viewer, with a grayscale map in the background

Cover featuring Agent 47
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Publisher(s) Square Enix[a]
Director(s) Christian Elverdam
Producer(s)
  • Markus Friedl
  • Ole Mogensen
  • Søren Raadved Lund
  • Alex Hillman
Designer(s) Jesper Hylling
Artist(s) Jonathan Row
Writer(s) Michael Vogt
Composer(s) Niels Bye Nielsen
Series Hitman
Platform(s)
Release
11 March 2016
  • Episode 1
  • 11 March 2016
  • Episode 2
  • 26 April 2016
  • Episode 3
  • 31 May 2016
  • Episode 4
  • 16 August 2016
  • Episode 5
  • 27 September 2016
  • Episode 6
  • 31 October 2016
  • Linux
  • 16 February 2017
  • macOS
  • 20 June 2017
  • Stadia
  • 1 September 2020
Genre(s) Stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

Square Enix Europe set up a Montréal studio to work on the next Hitman game, but IO Interactive returned to lead the game’s development following the under-performance of Absolution. The title was conceived as a re-imagining of the franchise as the team attempted to integrate the gameplay of Absolution with the open-endedness of earlier installments of the series. According to the team, Hitman is a puzzle game with action and stealth elements; the developers refined the simulation and artificial intelligence of each level. The game adopted an episodic model and the team envisioned the game as a service. It was marketed as a “World of Assassination” and provided a platform that would expand and evolve over time, and inspire a trilogy of games.

Upon its release, Hitman received positive reviews; critics praised the game’s episodic release format, locations, level design, and its replayability but criticised the always-online requirement and excessive handholding. The game under-performed commercially and caused publisher Square Enix to divest from IO Interactive in May 2017. Following a management buyout, IO retained the rights to the series and partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to produce a sequel titled Hitman 2, which was released in November 2018. The World of Assassination trilogy was concluded with Hitman 3 in January 2021.

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