During the gamescom week El33tonline attended an exclusive Hitman: Absolution event in Cologne, Germany. For those of us who had just emerged from Capcom’s press conference, we headed towards the Agent 47 poster and there were shuttles to ferry us across town to the Astor Film Lounge at Residenz, with each driver being kitted out in a suite and red tie.
As we wound our way through the busy streets, it was hard not to notice just how many signs for the gamescom fair were dotted around the city. But my eyes kept on being pulled to the back of our driver’s neck, double-checking that there wasn’t a barcode tattooed behind his neck.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when we arrived safely at the venue, knowing we were in the right place by the sheer number of folks wandering around in gaming T-shirts, most already with multiple lanyards hanging around their necks. After registering and having quick refreshments, we were ushered inside the theatre.
And what a theatre it was! Red velvet covered the walls, a Hitman: Absolution logo dominated the massive theatre screen, bringing a red ambience to the dimly-lit room, while Hitman music played in the background to complete the theme. We happily settled into the plush seats of the theatre, and took the opportunity to rest our weary legs on the fancy footrests.
During the presentation IO Interactive revealed the new Contract’s mode for the game. It’s an online mode where gamers can create and share their own custom hit challenges within Hitman: Absolution. The game will include many pre-set Contracts designed by the best assassin’s on the development team, but better yet, why not create your own contract? You’ll be able to choose a level, targets, weapons and set the rules for completing your contract based on time and style as you play to create. You can then share the contract, challenging your friends to find out who is the best Hitman.
Contracts mode was inspired by the community, the developers enjoyed watching videos of how fans tackled the different levels of the previous games in the Hitman series. They noticed how players tried to change the rules of the level, tried to set up their own mission parameters. Even though you were supposed to play a level in one of several different ways, the targets remained the same and players started setting up their own conditions for completion. The conditions would be hard to fulfil (for example, kill everyone with a particular weapon, or only wear the chicken outfit), but satisfying when completed. The result in Absolution was Contracts mode.
So, how does Contracts work? Once you’ve chosen a level, outfit and a load-out, you’ll play through the level and then tag and assassinate up to three different targets chosen from anyone within the level. You can use any weapon or disguise brought in or found in the level, but you must be able to complete the contract yourself if you want to save it and share it online.
There will be global, local or friend leaderboards attached to each individual contract. You’ll also earn in-game currency by playing and completing contracts, which you can use to unlock disguises, weapons and upgrades for specific weapons. In addition IO Interactive will set up featured contracts and select ‘best of the week’ contracts, which you can keep track of via the in-game notification system.
Hitman: Absolution was a big hit at gamescom, 258 journalists from around the world attended the Contracts reveal event, over 5000 people played The King of Chinatown (some waiting in line for up to five hours to get hands-on!) and 112 interviews were done in three days.
Hitman: Absolution will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on the 20th of November. Check out the new screenshots and watch the trailer for the new Contracts mode below, and feel free to browse through El33tonline’s previous coverage. Don’t forget that if you pre-order the game you will get the Sniper Challenge for free.