GENETICALLY enhanced hitman Agent 47 isn’t exactly cuddly, but he has become one of gaming’s most iconic characters.
Eight Hitman titles have come out so far, but what are they and is there a linear timeline between each one?
Hitman games release order
Since Codename 47 was released in 2000, the Hitman franchise has built a huge fanbase with its complex level designs, semi open-worlds, and trademark ragdoll psychics.
But the gameplay has undergone some interesting changes over the years, and throughout the games we – occasionally – see a bit of the ICA assassin’s softer side.
Hitman: Codename 47 – 2000
Codename 47 was both the first game in the series, and introduced us to mysterious organisation the International Contract Agency.
It was also developer I0-Interactive’s first outing in the gaming industry, and introduced the world to Hitman’s stealth gameplay, and disguise system.
But the gameplay has undergone some interesting changes over the years, and throughout the games we – occasionally – see a bit of the ICA assassin’s softer side
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin – 2002
PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube
The sequel added a few more elements to the gameplay, like the use of the fibre wire, a compass and binoculars.
It also added ratings for player’s stealth and aggression.
By achieved the highest rating, Silent Assassin, players can unlock new weapons.
Hitman: Contracts – 2004
PC, PlayStation2, and Xbox
Contracts allowed fans to replay levels from the first game with improved gameplay and graphics via flashbacks.
It also features an improved – and highly suspicious – AI.
Hitman: Blood Money – 2006
PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, and Xbox 360
Blood Money was built on a new engine, an improved currency system.
Agent 47 was also noticeably more nimble this time around, with contact sensitive controls.
It also had an interesting narrative style, telling the story through a reporter, and a man on the inside, seeking him out.
Hitman: Absolution – 2014
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Absolution saw the game following more linear levels and dispensing with the larger sandbox missions associated with the franchise.
The disguise system returned, though this time NPCs in the same uniform can see through the ruse more quickly.
It also introduced “Contracts Mode”, which allowed players to build their own missions.
Hitman – 2016
PC, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Hitman marked the start of the new World of Assassination trilogy for the next generation of consoles.
There are more teased details about 47’s past, and the sandbox gameplay beloved by fans returned.
Hitman 2 – 2018
PC, MacOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, Google Stadia
The 2018 follow-up sees 47 trying to discover the identity of the “Shadow Client”.
It had various add-ons and DLC made available after it’s initial launch, including Hitman all of the first game’s locations, updated with the game’s latest features.
It was the first entry to the series after the rights to Hitman were bought by Io-Interactive from Square Enix.
Hitman 3 – 2021
PC (Epic Games Store, Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch
Hitman 3 marked the end of the WoA trilogy, and featured 6 brand new levels, whilst offering players the ability to “import” areas from the first two games.
Supported by Diana Burnwood, 47 continues his pursuit of The Partners.
It features lush, sprawling level designs, and challenging missions that can be completed in any number of different ways.
Whether the Agent 47 will return for another outing remains to be seen, but if Hitman 3 is the last we see of him, it will be a worthy send-off.
Hitman timeline order
Not all games follow a linear narrative from game to game.
Tomb Raider for example hops back and forth through time and is separated into reboots and trilogies.
Hitman, on the other hand, has a pretty clear historical timeline like Call of Duty.
There’s some ambiguity in terms of whether Blood Money or Contracts come first, but here are all the games in more or less the narrative chronological order:
- Hitman: Codename 47 – 2000
- Hitman: Silent Assassin – 2002
- Hitman: Contracts – 2004
- Hitman: Blood Money – 2006
- Hitman: Absolution – 2012
- Hitman – 2016
- Hitman II – 2018
- Hitman III – 2021
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