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New HITMAN Game to Be Episodic Release

It’s been a bit quieter on the news front today, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that we lost two icons (David Bowie and Alan Rickman) in the span of a few days. With that being said, there were a few noteworthy things that happened in the gaming world. In today’s Gaming Daily, upcoming Hitman game goes the episodic route, DICE Awards nominations were announced, new Dying Light: The Following trailer shows how players can weaponize their ride, Bayonetta 2 is getting a standalone release, and ESPN added an eSports section to their site.


Hitman is going to be an episodic game

Though the Hitman franchise hasn’t always been the greatest, we’re pretty excited for IO Interactive’s upcoming title, which is set to release on March 11. What we’re downright baffled by, however, is the game’s troubled release schedule. Square Enix previously reported that they would be utilizing a service-type model, which includes post-release updates, essentially meaning that we’d get a portion of the content on launch, and more later on down the road. Today, they dropped the news that it would actually follow an episodic release schedule.


“Starting with a Prologue Mission and a Paris location on 11th March, followed by the next location, set in Italy releasing in April and then Morocco releasing in May.” Square Enix explained in a recent press release. “From there Hitman will deliver regular monthly content updates, including three additional locations: Thailand, the US, and Japan, until the season concludes in Japan later in 2016.”

At the time of writing, there’s no explanation for why they opted for this route. Many are speculating that the developer wasn’t done with the content, and didn’t want to delay the entire game. If that’s the case, my excitement has been stifled a bit.

“A new Intro Pack which contains the Prologue and Paris levels and will release at the new price of $15,” they further elaborated. “Each subsequent location will be priced at $10 as an add-on item to the Intro Pack. Alternatively, players can buy the Full Experience up front for $60.”

According to reports around the web, folks who purchase the $15 intro pack will be granted the “full experience” for the low, low price of $50. So, basically you’re paying for a whole game.

HT: Push Square

Rise of the Tomb Raider

DICE Awards nominees announced

With The Game Awards already out of the way, it’s time to start preparing for the 19th Annual DICE Awards, which is set to take place on February 18 in Las Vegas. For those who aren’t in the loop, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announced the nominees yesterday. Rise of the Tomb Raider, and The Witcher 3 snagged the most nods–which doesn’t come as a surprise as they were great games. Metal Gear Solid V, on the other hand, was oddly underrepresented with only one nom. Heck, even The Order: 1886 had more nominations. I was sure Kojima’s final Metal Gear title would have at least been nominated for Game of the Year, but I guess I was wrong. Until Dawn sadly didn’t make the list at all.

With that being said, 2015 was a great year for gaming, so it should be interesting to see how things pan out. For the full list of nominees, check out our full post (linked below).

HT: Nerdist

Weaponize your vehicles in Dying Light: The Following

Techland released a brand new tailer for the upcoming Dying Light expansion, The Following (due out February 9) and we’re pretty excited. In the video, they demonstrate how you’ll be able to upgrade your buggy with things like flamethrowers, UV headlights, ramming bars, and more (oh my!). Check it out in the video above.

“Your buggy is going to be crucial to surviving out in the open, so we want to create an emotional connection between players and their ride,” said producer Tymon SmektaÅ‚a.

“On top of the lethal weapons and upgrades you’ll be able to add, there are a lot of cool paint jobs, a number of unmistakable bobble heads, and little charms to put inside, so you can really make the buggy your own.”

The title will be launching on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 individually for $20, as part of the $30 season pass, and as part of the Dying Light Enhanced Edition, which launches on the same day. Will you be picking it up?

HT: Techland, GameSpot

Bayonetta 2 to get standalone release

If you read Edwin Garcia’s post on how Bayonetta 2 and Die Hard have more in common than you might think, you’re probably aware of how much we love Bayo. If not, stop what you’re doing and read it right now. Seriously.

With that in mind, we were pretty excited when Bayonetta was revealed as a future Smash Bros. character earlier this year. To bank the hype of her addition to the mega-popular fighting game this month, Nintendo made the exciting announcement on Thursday that Bayonetta 2 would be getting a standalone release. When it originally launched on the Wii U back in 2014, it  was sold bundled with the first title (in North America, at least).

It’s odd that they’re dropping the first Bayonetta from the title, but it will be retailing for a measly $30, which isn’t too bad if you ask me. The original bundle is currently listed at $40 online, so if you’re not interested in playing the first game, or have already played it, you’re saving a bit of money and getting a fantastic game. It’s a win-win.

HT: Nintendo Life

The growth of eSports The continued progression of eSports is something that could have been included in lists like these for the past few years. But 2015 marked a historical leap for competitive gaming, as the first ever nationally televised collegiate eSports event aired on ESPN2. Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm competition was many fans' first exposure to high brow gaming competition, and it sent the internet into a frenzy. Many detractors denounced the idea of video games becoming a relevant form of sports entertainment, but the fact that so many people were compelled to tune in and stick around until its conclusion should serve as proof of the potential viability of eSports. Activision-Blizzard is attempting to get ahead of the television networks and start producing their own eSports broadcasts. In October, they announced a new eSports network and hired Steve Bornstien (the former CEO of ESPN and the NFL Network) as its inaugural chairman. No information has been announced on where this network will live, but given that it has StarCraft II, Call of Duty, Heroes of the Storm, Destiny, and many other Activision-Blizzard properties at its disposal, I doubt it matters whether this network ends up on television or not--people will tune in.

ESPN gets eSports section

ESPN has slowly been welcoming eSports into its stable over the last year or so. They’ve already hosted a few competitions on the network (much to analyst Colin Cowherd’s dismay), and it’s great to see. They took another step today by launching a dedicated eSports section to the site. There’s already a fair bit of content, so if that sort of thing is your jam, head on over.

HT: GameSpot

That’s it for today everybody! Keep Nerdist tabbed for upcoming gaming news, reviews and features. Feel like discussing what you read? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send me a tweet on Twitter: @Samantha_Sofka.

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