IO Interactive seems keen on making Hitman 2 the franchise’s most expansive entry to date. According to Lead Game Designer Andreas Krogh, Mastery points from Hitman Season 1 are making a return. However, the progression system will add something new to the mix–“Performance XP.”
Krogh explained the Performance XP feature as follows:
Performance XP is a new system and acts as a second avenue to accumulate experience points. The Performance system awards a small amount of XP for doing moment-to-moment actions during a playthrough, like taking someone out silently, hiding a body or killing a target. By default, Performance XP will be displayed as you perform the action in-game, but this can be toggled on or off in Settings.
Mastery points in Hitman’s 2016 release functioned by rewarding players for completing specific mission challenges. For example, the “Suit Only” challenge asked players to enter certain levels, assassinate the target, and exit without changing 47 out of his classic black suit. In completing these challenges, players earned XP to spend on gear, weapons, new starting locations, and more.
Hitman 2 will also feature three difficulties—Casual, Professional, and Master. The former two difficulty modes are pretty straightforward. However, Master is designed for players that want “an extra challenge.” Based on the mode’s description, an extra challenge it will offer indeed. [In the Master difficulty,] “combat will be extremely hard and the NPCs will be more aware of their surroundings, making stealth gameplay a greater challenge too.”
Both the new Performance XP system and the three difficulty modes are to feature in Hitman’s 2016 release, thanks to the Hitman Legacy DLC Pack.
Agent 47 returns later this year on November 13, 2018.