Hitman‘s Professional difficulty is coming soon from IO Interactive and Square Enix, and unlike so many other titles, the difficulty isn’t cheap. The update is free, but the challenge won’t take an “artificial” direction.
You have probably played a lot of games and DLC where the difficulty is turned up to the point of making you wonder why you’re still playing it. Mortal Kombat‘s early years had a lot of it, giving the AI the ability to cheat as you watched in horror. Shao Kahn would often spam you with his special moves, Johnny Cage would sometimes grab you and throw you despite being about half the screen away, and sometimes your attack just didn’t register as the AI opponent simply slaughtered you.
Another offender was Perfect Dark, in which you simply had near-impossible objectives become mandatory. The Assassin’s Creed series did this at times, but often made the more difficult objectives optional, only worth achieving if you wanted a “perfect sync.”
Hitman has some things in common with Assassin’s Creed, aside from the obvious fact that you’re playing as a character who kills people. They both have at least one movie based on them as well, but that’s beside the point. Hitman‘s Agent 47 uses a more intelligent method of accomplishing his means, and it’s trickier. The basic idea is to get in, find a way to kill the selected target without being noticed, and leave. The method of death can vary greatly, from poisoning their drink to sniping them from the next building over.
Of course, there is also the method often used by gamers who didn’t really plan far enough ahead and got discovered. This usually results in a pile of dead bodies and a reduced payday.
According to Destructoid, Hitman never took the lazy route and simply gave the enemies more hit points while reducing yours ahead of time. The game never simply gave you endless enemies to kill off as you approached the target or a platform jump which you had to make at the exact right moment to avoid an instant death.
What the Hitman Professional difficulty does instead is make the missions more realistic. Enemy AI and security cameras are more aware of your presence. If guards suspect something is wrong, they will investigate, in essence forcing you to leave no evidence behind. This might mean taking off your shoes if you’ve been walking in a high-debris environment, cleaning up blood, or picking up shell casings. The number of game saves is more limited, so you can’t just save whenever you’re stumped by a minor problem. The map functionality is more limited, which might mean that enemies outside a certain range won’t appear. Your item usage will probably be more limited as well, so using poison too much will most likely cause you to run out of it.
The new difficulty level won’t be available until you reach at least Mastery Level 20 for a specific location, says Polygon. It also won’t be available in the Prologue or for Elusive Target or Escalation Target live missions, as those will be set at the normal difficulty by default.
Hitman Season One is slated for a January 31 release date on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, available for the first time on disc at the regular retail price of $59.99 ($49.99 on PC). Coinciding with the date which the Professional difficulty update happens, the game could lure many back in to play one more time and really prove to their friends who is the best hitman of them all. On that note, leaderboards will be updated with separate lists for different difficulty levels.
Are you ready to show the virtual world how deadly you can be without being detected once more?
[Featured Image by IO Interactive/Square Enix]