At least someone’s racking up their frequent flyer miles. Travel restrictions are once again unpredictable, flights are being canceled by the thousands, but Agent 47 is still giving his AMEX Centurion a workout. The bar-coded, Saville-suited assassin is taking another jaunt around the globe, as Hitman 3 is getting a slew of new modes as part of its second year. IO Interactive announced the news on a YouTube stream this morning.
“Elusive Target Arcade” is a new time-sensitive mode for Hitman 3. Elusive targets—marks who only stick around for a limited period of time—have been a mainstay of recent Hitman games. In the arcade twist on the mode, which is added free to Hitman 3 starting January 20, targets are permanent, but you’ll have to take out several in a row. Mess up, and you’ll have to wait a day to try again.
Hitman 3 will also receive a new mode called “Freelancer,” in which you take out targets in a chain of existing Hitman maps, jumping from one level to the next from a gorgeous, mid-century safehouse. Your goal is to take down an unidentified leader, eliminating their subordinates along the way; every target you take out gives you more intel on who the leader might be. Targets are randomized, so you can’t memorize a campaign’s layout. If you bring gear on a mission and die, you lose it. Basically, it’s Hitman by way of roguelike. “Freelancer” is currently slated for the spring.
IO Interactive also announced details about Hitman 3’s forthcoming VR debut on PC, first revealed last November. (Hitman 3 has been playable in virtual reality since launch, but only on PSVR.) The entire World of Assassination trilogy—the three most recent Hitman games—will be available on VR for PC on January 20, with support for any levels you can already access. On the same day, Hitman will receive ray-tracing support on PC, be available on the Steam storefront, and join the Xbox Game Pass library for both console and PC.
Hitman 3, released last January for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, is the culmination of the modern “World of Assassination” trilogy of Hitman games, and the first to be released independently by developer IO Interactive. Ostensibly, Hitman 3 is a stealth game in which you’re set loose in a sandbox and given a target (or three) to eliminate, but Hitman 3 plays a lot like a darkly funny puzzle game, as you spend time trying to concoct unexpected solutions. (See, for reference, the grape press.)
Many of the levels—including an Argentinian vineyard and a Berlin nightclub that flipped the Hitman script—were best-in-class. Others, however, left a sour taste with players, most notoriously the game’s final level, a lengthy shootout on a speeding train. (Though I initially lavished praise on the train level, and still stand by it, now that I’ve actually played through the modern trilogy I can totally see why some fans bristled at its action-focused structure.)
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This fun little adventure is a spinoff from a set of mini-levels found in Super Mario 3D World starring Toad waddling his way through small puzzle-box levels.
So far, Hitman 3 hasn’t received significant expansions, certainly nothing on the scale of levels that became instant standouts of, say, Hitman 2: a stately bank in New York City, plus a sumptuous beachside resort in the Maldives. Instead, Hitman 3’s post-release content has played out on existing maps, comprising a series of challenges inspired by the seven deadly sins.
That changes this year. On today’s stream, IO Interactive confirmed a new location—ten seconds of footage at the end of the stream panned over a tropical setting—but didn’t reveal any further details.
Sadly, IO Interactive was totally mum about the scant chance of adding the best-possible Hitman setting: a renaissance faire.