Next Hitman to feature larger sandbox levels, Contracts mode returning

The next Hitman game may not have been formally announced or given a title, but that isn't stopping IO Interactive from talking openly about it. In an open letter to fans, the team explained its goals and design approach for Agent 47's next adventure, along with a few tweaks to the long-standing formula.

The letter was posted on the official site with plenty of details, and the promise of more in the coming months. This one will take Agent 47 back to the ICA, in the "prime of his career" (of killing people) with Diana Burnwood as his handler. IO promises the largest levels yet for a Hitman game, with "living, breathing and believable" sandbox levels that don't rely on checkpoints. It promises that they've rethought the "magic pockets" that let Agent 47 carry so much gear, so this would seem to be a bit more limited. Contracts Mode will be making a comeback, after its debut in Absolution.

IO Interactive cut its team to half the size last year, and announced it would be focusing exclusively on Hitman. Earlier this month Square Enix noted that its Montreal studio is working on a mobile Hitman game while IO works on the next-gen effort, in response to rumors of the game's cancellation.