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The new Hitman begins Dec. 8 with a digital release

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

IO Interactive's new Hitman commences with a digital release on Dec. 8, introducing players to a a "live and ever expanding world of digital assassinations," the developer said at Square Enix's E3 presentation. The game will launch on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

IO will roll out a schedule of missions, hits and other objectives for the Hitman community at the launch and thereafter. Christian Elverdam, the creative director for Hitman, described a scenario in which all players will be given a shot at an objective, with the outcome permanently recorded. "Every NPC has a name," he said. The nature of the new mode makes the new Hitman into a sandbox game, he said.

"It is up to you to use brute force, or orchestrate a genuine masterpiece of assassination," he said. The new game will bring back the community-created Contracts — assignments that anyone can try to complete.

A trailer accompanying the announcement showed 47 tracking a target and deploying various methods of eliminating the target, who always has it coming, of course.

World travel and a variety of settings are promised, and when a target is taken out, they're gone for good. One was shown being drowned in a toilet.

The next level of puzzles.

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