Hitman's 'ICA Facility' location is now free

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The past couple of months have been a wild ride for Hitman studio Io Interactive. A split from parent company Square Enix led to layoffs and even talk of a possible shutdown, all despite the successful reboot of the Hitman series last year. But matters seemed to reach a happy ending last week when the studio announced that it had reached a deal with Square to go independent

For its first "hello" as an indie operator, the studio has made the introductory ICA Facility location, which essentially serves as the game's tutorial, free for everyone

The free version will include "absolutely everything" that's been released for the location, including two story missions with all cut scenes, two Escalation Contracts, more than 40 challenges, 17 achievements, and "thousands of player-created missions in Contracts mode." And as usual, if and when you upgrade to the full game, any progress you've made will carry over. 

"There is a lot of love out there for Hitman and with this offering we hope that many more will fall in love with the game," Io Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak said. "We believe that this is Hitman at its best. So jump in and give a try.” 

To try Hitman for free, just pop over to the Steam page and click the "Download Demo" button, midway down on the right. If you like it, this is also a pretty good time to buy it: The Complete First Season bundle is on sale for 66 percent off, taking it to $24/£16/€19. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.