When Hitman launches next month, developer IO Interactive promises it’ll launch with a “major live component.” That’s quite the vague statement, so today, the studio has cleared up what that means, exactly.
According to a Steam community post by IO Interactive Community Manager Travis Barbour, Hitman’s live component covers many things. First is the Elusive Target, which is being considered to be the closest thing to the Hitman fantasy the studio has ever created. The targets will be custom-created characters that have been added to existing locations for a limited time in real-time. Would-be assassins will only have one chance to take them down, and if they escape, they’re gone forever. There’s also no do-overs, so you better be happy with how you kill them.
Elusive Targets will not appear on the map nor in Instinct. To find them, you’ll have to pay attention to clues from a custom briefing video and a photograph Agent 47 can review. Players will need to explore, find your target, and learn their patterns in order to come up with a plan to eliminate them. As the season continues, players will earn in-game rewards for completing multiple Elusive Target contracts, which will vary from signature suits from previous Hitman games.
Escalation Mode is another piece of the live element puzzle as it will regularly provide a fresh challenge to players by increasing the difficulty by adding new elements to the mission. This game mode focuses more on having fun with the game mechanics and mixing up what needs to be done. This game mode will include five stages where you’re free to replay them as you wish, although save-game functions have been disabled.
Both Elusive Targets and Escalation contracts will be released between location releases.
The last two pieces of the Live Component puzzle include Contracts Mode, which those who played Absolution will be familiar with, and Live Challenges. Contracts Mode allows players to create their own contracts, mark their own targets, choose how they should be killed, and compete with their friends. Live Challenges are expected to be added to the game periodically and will often be inspired by what IO Interactive sees the community doing in Hitman. For example, one challenge will be called “Hammer Time” and will require Agent 47 to use only a hammer to knock out nearly every guard in the Final Test.
Hitman is scheduled to release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 11, 2016.