HITMAN 2 will launch in just over a month! It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone at the studio as we gear up to release of a game that we’re very proud of. As part of those preparations, we’ve recently invited media to IOI and we’ve traveled across the world to showcase our game.
As part of their preview coverage, we’ve given them (almost) unrestricted access to Miami and Colombia as well as a new game mode, all of which you’ll hear more about in the coming days and weeks. In fact, a lot of it has already been released.
Alongside all of that coverage, we wanted to give you some info on two of the areas that you’ll see for the first time now that the embargoes have lifted; progression and difficulty.
We’ve already seen lots of discussions about these two areas and so to give you the best insights, we’ve invited HITMAN 2’s Lead Game Designer, Andreas Krogh, to talk about our aims and ambitions for these two areas and what you can expect from them when the game launches.
HITMAN 2 Progression
Andreas: The HITMAN 2 progression system is centred around mastering locations. As you level up the Mastery track for each location, you unlock starting locations, agency pickups and new items that give you new options to take on each mission in new ways. Progress can be achieved by either completing Challenges or earning Performance XP.
Performance XP is a new system and acts as a second avenue to accumulate experience points. The Performance system awards a small amount of XP for doing moment-to-moment actions during a playthrough, like taking someone out silently, hiding a body or killing a target. By default, Performance XP will be displayed as you perform the action in-game, but this can be toggled on or off in Settings.
To visualize your overall progress and time investment into HITMAN 2, we created a Player Profile that levels up according to your total XP earned. There’s also a player badge that is the visual representation of your profile level. Both Mastery and Performance XP are funneled into the Player Profile as well as the Mastery Track, leveling both up as you progress through the game. Outside of those two systems, we’ve also added more items that can be unlocked by completing specific Challenges.
Both XP systems will also work on the Season One locations within HITMAN 2 if you own the Legacy Pack. Because of that, we’ve tweaked the mastery tracks for the Legacy locations so that they give a more directed progression of unlocks and the ambition is to give you something valuable whenever you invest time into the game.
HITMAN 2 Difficulty Levels
Andreas: Hitman has historically always been a hard game to pick up and we are taking steps to make the game more approachable while still keeping the core that current players like. We want our difficulty levels to offer something to both new players, experimenting players and veterans, etc.
For HITMAN 2, we will have three difficulty levels; Casual, Professional and Master to try and do just that.
- Casual is made to give new players an easier way into the game. It will also give all players an easier way to mess around with the world and see what happens without fear of failing.
- Professional is the default entry point and balanced to give players a feeling of being a true assassin, using all of the game’s intricate mechanics together with their ingenuity to assassinate their targets.
- Master is for the player that needs an extra challenge. Combat will be extremely hard and the NPCs will be more aware of their surroundings, making stealth gameplay a greater challenge too.
As with the progression system, all of our difficulty levels can be selected on the Legacy locations within HITMAN, 2 if you have them. There’s also some unlocks that can only be earned by completing challenges on specific difficulties to give you ways to show you’re a true Master!
There you have it. Three difficulty levels, a new Player Profile and a new progression system for HITMAN 2 at launch. Exciting stuff! You may notice from the screenshot above that we have re-named ‘Opportunities’ to ‘Mission Stories’. They’ve also been added to the above menu so that you can choose one to track before you launch the mission.
Look out for more details about HITMAN 2 coming this week and next! It’s all getting very real and we cannot wait to see the reactions!