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Hitman Live Content Explained

Don Parsons / February 20, 2016 at 9:28 PM / Gaming, Gaming News

Hitman has been one of the most confusing projects that’s been attempted to be explained to people. That’s because oftentimes Square-Enix doesn’t seem to quite know how to talk about it – with them at one point insisting it wasn’t episodic but having content packs, then delaying to launch with more content, then changing their mind and deciding to go episodic after all and then oddly referring to it as not an episodic game but a platform and in a new post called it episodic again…. Confused yet?

Well good because that’s the release so far. One thing though that hasn’t really been addressed until now is exactly what the Live component that Square-Enix and IO-Interactive kept referring to throughout the whole period on their episodic game/platform. There are apparently 4 different components that make up the Live component and they will be how IO-Interactive keeps the game updating throughout the year in-between episodes. 

Elusive Targets

Elusive Targets are one of the new additions and are about a limited time challenge essentially. Elusive Targets are all about putting you in the role of a hitman on the clock with a target you need to get to and eliminate them without being found out. To start on an Elusive Target mission you watch a unique briefing video which will tell you about who you’re hitting, something about them and why they are in the area they are. That information is in fact key for you locating them as they won’t appear on your map with a quest indicator or appear in Instinct as you follow those clues and the photograph you have. Once there you have to figure out how you want to kill them, because with Elusive Targets you only get one shot – there’s no saving and retrying here. If you kill the wrong person, or die trying to get away that’s it – the target escapes and you’ll have failed the mission.

Throughout the season (year) you’ll earn in-game rewards for completing multiple Elusive Targets in addition to what you get for each. The rewards will be suits from previous Hitman games and versions of those suits with gloves. All Elusive Targets are designed by IO-Interactive.

Escalation Mode

If Elusive Targets is IO-Interactive’s attempt to bring the assassination fiction to life, Escalation Mode is them putting in a silly challenge mode essentially. With Escalation Mode you are going into an area and given a challenge in a particular area with 5 stages of the challenge that will build on each other and it’s more about having fun then the realism attempt of Elusive Targets. The example provided is that the first stage could be to eliminate a target with a sabre, and then the second would be to do so while dressed as a waiter, removing any security camera recordings and within two minutes. Beyond that they might add things like laser trip-mine explosives to spruce up things.

Escalation Mode has a leaderboard and like Elusive Targets it turns off save game functionality while in it so that you can’t cheat the system there. You are free to replay it though as much as you want. All Escalation Mode challenges are designed by IO-Interactive.

Contracts Mode

Returning from Hitman Absolution contracts mode allows you to create your own targets, choose how to kill them and compete against others. While this is community based, IO-Interactive will be watching them and pick the best of them to go into the Featured Contracts list to help keep new things to do flowing towards you.

Live Challenges

One last bit that they are wanting to do for Hitman‘s live content is ‘live challenges’. Essentially these are challenges they’ll put in based on amusing, difficult, or creative things the community does that gain some traction. The example for one of the first ones they are working on is called ‘Hammer time’ and is based on a livestream done during the beta by ‘2AngryGamers’ where they used only a hammer to knock out the guards in the ‘Final Test’. Note: at this time they aren’t guaranteeing that Live Challenges will make it in, but are something they want to do and are testing out right now.

So there you go – that’s what Live means to Hitman. Two modes of gameplay feeding you with more to do, and a couple of alternative modes based on what the community does with them tapping it.

What do you think of Hitman‘s plans for Live Content? Are you interested in this Hitman game? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

More About This Game

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.



  • Nicki Ashley

    Eh, I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no faith in SE Montreal (or any Montreal based publisher/developer because they’re all fucking garbage.) And IO has done a lot of self fellating on how they’re “back to the roots” but “totally new and original”. I just don’t really expect this to end well.

  • Nicki Ashley

    I should however say good article though. You guys are definitely my favorite source for gaming news.

  • Galbador

    Let me get this right; they put stuff into the game, which will change or give the player different options to fishish the episode during a time window. Sounds kinda like BS Zelda to me, but I don’t think that this is a good idea for episodic games. BS Zelda was an open world, where you could go wherever you want, but if Hitman is episodic, this could confuse people extremely. I actually would love to see Hitman as an open world game, because it could give the player more oppertunities like in GTA, Just Cause and Zelda. In games like this, changing events are a great thing and give more replay volume to the game. But as an episodic game… ehm… not really.

    But when we talk about open world, when will we see an open planet game? Now this would be a cool idea =D

  • Cy

    Sounds like they’re counting on drawing in the FPS/MMO crowd that are happy with doing mindless busywork as long as it’s framed as some kind of hardcore challenge. Meanwhile, I have no confidence that they’ll even release all the episodes if their episodic-platform-whatever doesn’t sell the way they want it to.

  • coboney

    Thanks! We`ll do our best to keep doing well.

    As for how will hitman do – there are some ways it could potentially work in theory. A lot of my concern is how they keep changing it. How it needs to for it to work is basically have each of the main areas be basically large expansions and each area have a story that can work with a variety of challenges set there with the open world element beyond that and help build more and create opportunities, unlocking more to go and do as it goes through. Elusive Targets, in theory, could also help some in the story with minor points and fleshing out things and help connect points or provide optional hints.

    But I expect a trainwreck. I hope it turns out well but well…. not expecting it.

  • Nicki Ashley

    All fair points indeed!

  • Mr Snow

    Splinter Cell Blacklist’s devs were insistent on it being “back to the roots”.

    It was not. It was further down the same path the series was going. Which is fine, they can be more action stealthy call of duty esque if they want. But don’t tell me when it’s back to roots when it’s further from…

    So as soon as I hear “back to roots”, I’m thinking it’s a lie. If it’s “back to the roots” then show me developers, programmers, writers, etc. who were part of the original.

    (Like Bethesda giving Fallout New Vegas to Obsidian and mentioning some of the original crew who were back on it.)

    I’m saying this as a guy that actually really liked Hitman Absolution, because I thought it was a good mix of original style mixed with new style gameplay.

  • Nicki Ashley

    Well, I guess No Mans Sky is kind of like that. I too am looking forward to an open world game that is the entire world.