May 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM ET
Agent 47 is back, for the fifth time, in "Hitman: Absolution." His long-awaited reappearance will take place on November 20, 2012.
"Absolution" is being developed once again by IO Interactive, who made a name of themselves from "Hitman" franchise. But this time, Square Enix is the publisher; their previous publishing partner, Eidos Interactive, was purchased be and absorbed into SE three years ago.
The previous title, "Blood Money," came out in 2006 and is still considered the best in the series, so anticipation and expectations regarding a follow-up has been high ever since.
Though diehard fans have mostly been intrigued by the promise of series protagonist Agent 47 hitting a low-point, with the need to rebuild himself in part five, especially since part four ended on a relatively positive note.
The new game has also been promised to be familiar, yet notably different from previous installments. It was also just announced that those who pre-order the game via GameStop will also get an exclusive bonus, "Hitman: Sniper Challenge."
The downloadable offering will be a stand-alone "sniper experience" according to Square Enix. All the action takes place from a balcony, where Agent 47 must perform an assassination assignment. Score multipliers and unlockables are all promised.
A strong emphasis on replayability is also being pushed, in the form of online leaderboards and monthly prizes. Additionally, the high-powered sniper rifle that is used in "Sniper Challenge," along with all the upgrades offered, will cary over into "Absolution."
The pre-order promotion begins on May 15.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.