Hitman 2 has a release date and a cool pre-order bonus: a co-op sniping game out now

Hitman 2 is official, and it's coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 13, 2018. The next entry in the assassination series will pick up where Hitman 2016 left off in terms of story and mechanics - but not so much in release plans. IO Interactive confirmed that the sequel will drop the episodic model that defined/complicated the first game, arriving with a full game all at once and continued live events and updates after that. But you don't have to wait until November to try some of it out - IO's giving away Hitman: Sniper Assassin as a pre-order reward. Like, now. You can play it now.

This is actually the second standalone Hitman sniping spinoff after Hitman: Sniper (a mobile game that was arguably better than Hitman: Absolution, its inspiration). But Hitman: Sniper Assassin is the first time you can play a Hitman game in co-op! Weird! And also clever, since you and a friend can work together online to coordinate your takedowns and generally cause havoc from a half mile away. You can also play on your own if you prefer. In either case, you can complete a bunch of in-level challenges to unlock more equipment and things to try in the level. 

Going back to the main game coming in November, IO says Hitman 2 will offer players more ways to take out their targets (of course) but it'll also offer more ways to evade detection when things go wrong. You'll be able to lose pursuers by blending into foliage or crowds, which should shore up some of the overlong chase frustrations of the first game. Speaking of crowds, one mission will send 47 to a busy racetrack in Miami, and the overall narrative will push events uncomfortably close to 47 and his handler Diana Burnwood.

To be honest, I've been playing Hitman games since the first one and can only vaguely remember the story from any of them. Something about a cloning facility in Eastern Europe, a church, and… a chicken suit? As long as it serves as an excuse to visit interesting places and kill bad, expensive people, I'll be happy.

The reveals are just getting started - stay glued to our E3 2018 games list for more updates as they arrive.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.