After saying last month that Hitman would have a “major live component” on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC when it releases on March 11, developer Io-Interactive has revealed exactly what the live content will be.
Taking to Steam, Io-Interactive Community Manager Travis first discussed Elusive Targets, which are Contracts available for a limited time. Saying an Elusive Target “is the closest thing to the Hitman fantasy that we’ve ever created,” you’ll only have one chance to take them down when they’re added into the game. Pass or fail, they’re gone for good and will never return to the game.
Designed to be a challenge, Travis went in-depth with Elusive Targets:
Each Elusive Target will have a custom briefing video, a backstory and a unique reason for being in that location. When you’re actually playing in the location, the Elusive Target will not appear on the map and will not appear in Instinct. In order to find them, you’ll need to use clues from the briefing video and a photograph that you will be able to review. You’ll need to explore, find your target, learn their patterns and come up with a plan to eliminate them – all whilst playing. The pressure will be on when you’ve got the target in your sights. If you miss the shot and chaos breaks loose, you will need to have a plan B, because the save-game is disabled during an Elusive Target. If you kill the wrong person or die when trying to exfiltrate, that’s it. Game over, the target escapes.
As the season unfolds, you’ll earn in-game rewards for completing multiple Elusive Target contracts. The rewards are signature suits from previous Hitman games and versions of those suits with gloves. There’s also a version of the signature suit from the new HITMAN with gloves.
Moving to Escalation Mode, Travis explained that it has you trying to a complete a hit that escalates in difficulty by adding new elements. Focusing more on fun than realism, each Escalation Contract has five stages you can replay to reach the best spot on the leaderboards:
As an example, the first stage could be to eliminate your target with a sabre. Then, the second stage could be to eliminate your target with a sabre whilst dressed as a waiter and removing any security camera recordings within two minutes. We are able to change where the security cameras are and also add additional ‘security’ measures to the locations, such as laser trip-wire explosives that you’ll need to avoid.
Just like Elusive Targets, the contracts in Escalation Mode are created by Io-Interactive, will be available between the location releases as part of the live content, and don’t allow for save-game functions.
There will also be Contracts Mode from Hitman: Absolution, which lets you mark your own targets, choose how to kill them, and compete against friends. The best ones will then be chosen by Io-Interactive and put into the Featured Contract list.
Finally, there’s Live Challenges. These are Community-inspired challenges Io-Interactive hopes to have in the game, but aren’t a guaranteed feature as they are currently testing and trying it out:
As you’ll have seen from the recent Beta period, the game is full of challenges you can complete to prove your mastery of a location. We are looking into creating new challenges that we can periodically add to the game. These challenges will be an homage to some of the more elaborate, amusing, difficult or creative feats that we see our players complete. As an example, one of the first ‘live challenges’ we are looking at creating is called “Hammer Time” and was inspired by a ‘2AngryGamers’ livestream of our PS4 Beta, where they used only a hammer to knock out almost every guard in the ‘Final Test’.
What do you think of Io’s live plans?