Xbox Game Pass might not be losing a lot of games at the end of January, but the most significant loss is a big one. On January 31, the subscription service is losing Hitman: World of Assassination, which is one of the best stealth gaming experiences out there. Technically, it is a collection of three games’ worth of content, plus an excellent roguelike mode.
Few games can make you feel as clever or as idiotic as IO Interactive’s Hitman games, so World of Assassination is a must-play if you enjoy stealth gameplay and want to see those mechanics explored to their fullest. While the base games are short enough to blaze through in a few sittings, there’s way more content here than you could reasonably get through in a week. You better get cracking if you want to try it without paying for the full package.
This Hitman saga technically began in 2016 with Hitman, a reboot of the classic stealth series. Published by Square Enix, this game was released episodically over the next year, but underperformed. As a result, IO Interactive decided to buy itself back from Square Enix and take the series’ future into its own hands. Those efforts paid off with the release of Hitman 2 in 2018, Hitman 3 in 2021, and Hitman Freelancer in 2023.
Hitman: World of Assassination bundles all of that together into one package. The campaigns of all three Hitman games are blended together into one experience that follows Agent 47 and his handler as they take on a powerful organization called Providence. This meaty campaign provides over 20 different missions, which all take place in different parts of the world and force players to take out their targets in different ways.
In one, you’ll infiltrate and sabotage an F1 race in order to kill a driver. Later, you’ll disguise yourself as a detective and solve a Knives Out-style mystery in order to get the information you need to kill a target. Although the missions direct players down certain routes to complete objectives (and I recommend players stick to those their first time through), the true beauty of Hitman comes from how each of these levels is a malleable sandbox.
There are a wealth of ways to kill a target, down to just walking up to them and shooting them — it’s messy, but effective. Of course, the exhilaration of Hitman comes from the moments when something doesn’t go according to plan, and you must adapt. With so many disguises, weapons, and methods of assassination to choose from, it’s possible to spend dozens of hours mastering every level in World of Assassination.
And that’s not even counting the other game modes. Sniper Assassin lets players complete sniping challenges across three maps. Arcade has players assassinating special Elusive Targets that were previously part of limited-time events for the trilogy. For multiplayer, Contracts lets players create and share their own assassination targets with each other, enabling a near infinite amount of replay value.
Finally, there’s Hitman Freelancer, which can basically be considered a full game in its own right. Using the levels from the three included games, this is a roguelite epilogue to this rebooted Hitman series where Agent 47 must complete a series of campaigns made up of four assassination contracts. Starting with just a pistol, players have to build up 47’s arsenal and adeptly take out their targets. If they fail a mission twice, then the campaign is failed and players will have to start from scratch.
While every campaign level tends to end up having at least one “right” solution, the roguelite nature of Hitman Freelancer truly emphasizes emergent gameplay moments and forces players to adapt their strategies based on what tools they have at their disposal. Tools used or left behind during a mission won’t replenish when you get back to 47’s safehouse, so it’s a mode built for hardcore players where playing smart is key. It’s the ultimate endgame for Hitman: World of Assassination.
If that seems like a ton of content for just one Xbox Game Pass title, that’s because it is. Even when purchased at retail price, Hitman: World of Assassination offers the most bang for your buck in the stealth action genre. If you’ve never played a Hitman game before, give World of Assassination a shot before it exits Microsoft’s subscription service.
Hitman: World of Assassination leaves Xbox Game Pass on January 31. It’s also available on PC, PlayStation 4, and PS5, with a cloud version also playable on Nintendo Switch.