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Hitman: Absolution

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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 5">steam sale day five







The Steam Summer Sale is off to a good start this week. After good deals on The Wolf Among Us, Tomb Raider, and Skyrim over the weekend, a few more of our favorite PC games go on sale today.



Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.



5 - Surgeon Simulator 2013

75% off: $2.49 / 1.74 - Steam store page

To enjoy Surgeon Simulator, you have to like that the impossibly finicky controls and unpredictable physics game-breaking flaws anywhere else are by design, and that you ll occasionally stab your patient in the eye with a scalpel when you meant to pick up a saw. The jokes that endear us to Surgeon Simulator that QWOP-like surgery is hard, that throwing a heart into an open chest cavity qualifies as a transplant are used up pretty quickly, but there is some joy to mastering all the operations, especially when taking turns and laughing at the failures of your friends.

4 - Risk of Rain

75% off: $2.49 / 1.74 Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Where most roguelikes are slow and methodical, Risk of Rain is fast and frenetic. A constantly ticking clock increases the game difficulty every few minutes, until dozens of weak enemies turn into massive piles of bosses. Risk of Rain is a tough game, but it also strikes a great balance between skill and luck there are 9 playable characters, each with unique attacks and special abilities, and there are dozens of power-ups to memorize. Hunting for that perfect combination for a successful run is what a good roguelike is all about. Bonus: Risk of Rain's devs recently updated their blog to announce that they're moving the game to a new engine, which will fix some of the game's technical issues.

3 - Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

75% off: $4.99 / 4.99 - Steam store page

Dark Souls often gets discounted to $5, but if you haven't picked it up already, you're missing out on one of the best action RPGs of the past five years. It's brutally difficult but rewards the determined with a deeply interconnected world to explore, precise combat to master, and so, so many secrets to find. Dark Souls almost never tells you where to go or what to do, which is so uncommon these days that it's initially daunting. Dig in, and you'll realize how refreshing it is to discover and defeat everything yourself. Just remember to install DSfix, the mod that fixes Dark Souls' terrible locked resolution and other issues.

2 - Arma 3

50% off: $29.99 / 17.99 - Steam store page

The sandboxy war simulator has never dropped below $35, so this is the cheapest Arma 3 has ever been. Bohemia has done some good work augmenting Arma 3 with the free Zeus DLC recently, and over 7,700 mods and custom mission content await in Steam Workshop. Make sure you re close to the recommended spec, but this is absolutely one of the highest-fidelity, open-ended, moddable, and malleable PC games you can own.

1 - Hitman Collection

80% off: $8.99 / 5.99 - Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Hitman: Absolution wasn't exactly our thing, but this collection includes the game that made us disappointed in IO Interactive's latest stab at the series: Blood Money. Blood Money, released in 2007, is where it all came together: the elaborate maps, complex AI, arsenal of deadly weapons, and the incredible varied ways all those pieces can come together. Take Tom Francis' word for it: "Hitman is a murder simulator, and that might be a terrible thing. I don t know. But if you re going to make one, make it as beautiful as Blood Money. Make it a dark and complex work of interactive art, a working model of the mathematics of lies. Six years later, people like me will still be too enthralled with playing it to care." Unfortunately this collection omits 2004's Hitman: Contracts (it's also on sale separately for $1.99 / 0.99) but it does include the first two games, which are a fun nostalgia trip that show how far the series has evolved.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.



Castle Crashers (90% off) $1.49 / 0.99

Dungeon Defenders (75% off) $3.74 / 2.49

Saints Row 4 (75% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Rogue Legacy (75% off) $3.74 /

FTL: Advanced Edition (60% off) $3.99 / 2.79
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

An entire building of murder.

After the disappointment of Hitman: Absolution, developers IO Interactive came to the Internet with their collective hat in their collective hands. Without quite admitting that Absolution’s small levels, linear missions, wonky AI, more personal story, and bottomless pockets didn’t pan out, they did write an open letter mentioning that they plan to do away with all those things for the next Hitman game. Reminding people that it’s still being made and they really did mean all that, IO have shown off a little concept art including a building which, they say, “on its own is larger than any location in Hitman: Absolution.”

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to 4K Screenshot Showcase: Hitman Absolution">Hitman 4k header 2







Every Monday, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.



We were disappointed by several aspects of Hitman Absolution, but the visuals weren't one of them. The Glacier engine could render dank apartments with obsessive detail and handle crowds of hundreds in outdoor environments. The colour palette and environments shifted dramatically as the globe-trotting adventure progressed, all of which makes it a great candidate for a 4K screenshot showcase. Absolution is a fine looking game, and Agent 47's bald head looks even shinie in super high-res, as you'll discover in the 20 massive shots that follow.







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Announcement - Valve
Save 80% on the Hitman series during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Hitman: Absolution follows the Original Assassin undertaking his most personal contract to date. Betrayed by the Agency and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself pursuing redemption in a corrupt and twisted world.

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Next Hitman game detailed in open letter to fans">Hitman







The next Hitman game was cancelled. Then it was uncancelled. Now it's being talked about in an open letter on the Hitman website. "Dear Miley," it reads. No, wait, that was the other one. "Dear Hitman fans," it begins, before outlining, in some detail, what Io's next sharply dressed bald assassin simulator will entail.



If Hitman: Absolution converted you from a Hitman fan into a lapsed Hitman fan, there's good news: you can read the letter anyway. Also: I have a feeling the missive is meant for you most of all. I'll quote the highlights, but the highlights are talk of "open, non-linear level design" and "huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels". Those were some of things we moaned about it in our review. I don't see any mention of "non-excruciating nun-based trailers", however, so Io may still have a way to go yet.



Io say that "the game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves."



Promising words. Io have also "removed 47 s magic pockets" and brought Contracts mode back - which is nice. As letters go, it's certainly a lot better than the Council Tax bills and pizza coupons I generally get in the post. Now, Hitman fans - what are you going to write in reply?



Thanks to Blue's News.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Hello there. Things have sounded a little unhappy at Hitman and Kane & Lynch devs IO Interactive for a while now, in the wake of 2012′s Hitman: Subtitle achieving neither the acclaim or the spondoolies it was hoped to. Last year, the Square Enix-owned Danish studio saw half its workforce removed from their jobs, along with claims that the remainder would get to do nothing but Hitman games. Yesterday, reports circulated that the Next Jennifer Hitman game had been quietly garotted. That claim, despite being made on a Square Enix Montreal senior game designer’s LinkedIn profile, has now been denied. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Square Enix Montreal’s Hitman game seems to have been canceled [Updated]">hitman







Square Enix has issued the following statement to clarify today's news about the cancelation of a Hitman game that was being developed at Square Enix Montreal:



"There's a bit of confusion around the Hitman projects currently in development at Square Enix-owned studios and so we wanted to take the time to clarify what each studio is working on to clear up some of this confusion. Io-Interactive is developing a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles and Square Enix Montreal is fully focused on mobile development of games some of which are related to the Hitman franchise," A Square Enix representative said. "We look forward to sharing more details about these titles later this year."







All is not well with agent 47, the eerily hairless protagonist of the Hitman series. The LinkedIn profile of senior game designer Richard Knight indicates that the next-gen installment in the series he was working on at Square Enix Montreal was recently canceled, Videogamer first discovered.



The LinkedIn profiles of other employees at Square Enix Montreal indicate that the game was a re-imagining, and that it would have featured some form of microtransactions.



In late 2012, we first reported that the next-gen Hitman game was being developed by the then newly formed Square Enix Montreal, and not the original Hitman developer, IO Interactive. Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad said the franchise would be handled similarly to how Activision handles the Call of Duty games.



It s like with Treyarch and Infinity Ward, Blystad told OPM. You have an IP that has been developed. They will feed off each other, as well as somethings that stand out. I think with these big franchises it takes a long time to develop just one game. If you can, work a little bit in parallel at least and help each other out.



The plan was to let IO Interactive begin work on a new franchise while Square Enix Montreal took the lead on a new Hitman. But following a devastating fiscal year for Square Enix, IO halved its workforce and went back to Hitman, which, as far as we know, they re still developing now.



So it s not like we ll not get another Hitman game, it just might take a little longer until we do, and we won t be seeing the one Square Enix Montreal was working on.



We weren t the biggest fans of the most recent Absolution, but the Hitman series has had some amazing moments, especially in Hitman: Blood Money, which we ve recently reinstalled.
Announcement - Valve
Save 75% on Hitman: Absolution™ during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Hitman: Absolution follows the Original Assassin undertaking his most personal contract to date. Betrayed by the Agency and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself pursuing redemption in a corrupt and twisted world.

*Offer ends Thursday at 4PM Pacific Time

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

So many layoffs. When will the carnage end?

After the gaming industry went on a dubstep-and-Dew-fueled vacation to E3 last week, it’s now back to business as usual. By “business,” I of course mean layoffs, and goodness gracious, figurative business is booming. However, literal business – the part where people make money – isn’t faring so well because, well, layoffs. This time, the sobering specter took its scythe to Hitman developer IO Interactive, reducing its workforce by “almost half”. Yeesh. The plan to get things back on track? Er, make more Hitman. Which is to say, make nothing but Hitman.

(more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Hitman studio lays off almost half its staff, taking another swing at franchise">hitmanabsolution







Dark clouds may have formed over Square Enix’s financial future months ago, but that doesn’t make the storm of layoffs at IO Interactive any less surprising or disheartening.



In a statement to Develop, Square Enix confirmed that almost half of IO Interactive's staff has been laid off. What makes this news particularly depressing is Hitman Absolution actually saw decent sales, but 3.6 million units sold (and that’s only physical copies) still wasn’t enough to hit Square Enix’s lofty expectations.



So what does this mean for IO? The studio has cut production on all non-Hitman projects while attempting to refocus on the next Hitman game.



"The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new AAA Hitman project,” Studio Head Hannes Seifert said. “However, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today's market."



Hitman Absolution may not have scratched our homicidal itch, but we still wish everyone affected the best of luck.
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