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Hitman release date announced

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Screenshot 2015-06-16 10.57.07

Why yes, Io, lines like, "it is a high definition sandbox where every NPC has a name" are going to get me interested in a new Hitman game. The studio has been on stage at Square Enix's E3 press conference, talking up the latest in their assassination series. And it sounds like they're trying some new things.

First up, there's a release date: December 8.

It sounds like it's Hitman-as-a-service, with Io promising new locations, missions and hits that will appear at "regular intervals". It's not quite clear how this will work; whether it will be free updates, DLC or a more episodic style, but there are some interest ideas planned. For one thing, certain targets will be available only for a limited time, and will give players just one chance to take them down. "If your target escapes, he's going to be gone forever," Io says.

It's not clear from the trailer if the new Hitman will fix the problems of Absolution, but the promise of a more sandbox approach is promising. Also returning is one of Absolution's redeeming features: Contracts mode. Placed in bigger and more freeform levels, that has the potential to be an effective way to pass the time between official hits.

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.