IO Interactive is now completely independent, striking out on its own after Square Enix decided to part ways with the company. The studio is still updating Hitman and the first major changes were in the business model of the first season, which is now primarily purchasable as a single game. Today, the developer announced that the tutorial mission for the game is available for free on all platforms.
"I'm proud to announce that our first hello as an independent studio is to invite all gamers to play the beginning of Hitman for free. 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. We believe that this is Hitman at its best. So jump in and give a try," said IO Interactive CEO Hakan Abrak.
Players who download the ICA Facility mission today can expect the original mission, plus everything IO Interactive has added since launch. As the studio notes, that's "two story missions (including all cut-scenes), two Escalation Contracts, more than 40 challenges, 17 achievements and trophies, plus thousands of player-created missions in Contracts Mode." Progress made in the mission will carry over to the full game if players decide to upgrade.
And the upgrade should be pretty cheap by time the demo launches today. (It doesn't seem to be up at the time of this writing.) IO Interactive is promising discounts "up to 60%" for all versions of Hitman.
It's an absolutely amazing game, so I urge you to give it a shot if you're interested in the game at all.