Hitman goes fully episodic, starting with the prologue and Paris map in March

Hitman is getting another delay, but only partially. Square Enix announced that it no longer plans to release the globetrotting assassination game's first three major locations all at once, instead parceling them out month-by-month in a more standard episodic format. The first big sandbox area, which includes that Paris fashion show, is still set to be released on March 11.

The Italy location will be released in April, and then the Morocco map will roll out in May. Areas set in Thailand, the US, and Japan will be released in that order throughout the rest of 2016, along with additional monthly content updates. IO Interactive is still planning a full lineup of live events throughout the year, on top of the usual story missions and player-made Contracts.

This also changes how the game will be sold, which explains why Hitman pre-orders were recently canceled across PlayStation Network. You'll be able to buy the Prologue (which flashes back to 47's first days with the assassination agency) and Paris levels as part of a $15 intro pack, then pay an extra $10 for each additional location. Or you can buy the Full Experience pack outright for the standard $60. The disc version will be released at the end of the year.

IO Interactive studio head Hannes Seifert said in a press release that the studio made the switch partly to ensure that each sandbox area has more time to meet its standards for quality. But it will also help "create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future - this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games.”

The studio also revealed the $139.99 Hitman Collector's Edition, which includes a 10-inch seated 47 statuette, an artbook, and, most importantly, a red tie and Hitman emblem clip. The Hitman beta is still scheduled to hit PS4 on February 12 and PC on February 19.

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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.