IO Interactive’s episodic Hitman game is getting a closed beta this weekend, but the developer says you’ll need a constant internet connection to play. Eyebrows were first raised when an FAQ released on IO’s website detailing what to expect in the beta test confirmed that participants would “need an internet connection to download and play the Beta throughout the Beta period.”
Before we all go into meltdown and start accusing IO of using DRM features, publisher Square Enix have clarified to VideoGamer.com that the above is only half right. You will indeed need a permanent internet connection to play Hitman‘s closed beta, but not for the full game. You will, however, need that constant link to access “live elements.”
“Yes you can play the full game offline after you have downloaded an episode, but there are live elements which you will need to access online.”
Said elements were confirmed yesterday to include weekly and monthly Contracts and additional weapons. These will all be available free of charge to owners of the game.
If you’ve not yet registered your interest in, or don’t know how to enter the beta, you’ll need to purchase the Collector’s Edition of Hitman directly from the Square Enix store or pre-order a digital copy on PlayStation 4 or PC. The beta begins on February 12, just less than a month before the first episode is officially released on March 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The decision to make Hitman an episodic series rather than a full game has proved to be controversial for IO Interactive and Square Enix, but we’ll just have to wait for the first full episode to become available to see if the move has paid off.