Hitman is about to get a whole lot more difficult at the end of this month. As part of a free update on January 31, all players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC will have access to a new Professional difficulty level, developer IO Interactive has announced, which imposes strict rules on what Agent 47 can and can’t do during his travels around the globe. Along with item restrictions – Agent 47 can’t carry items which would look out of place as part of his current disguise – IO says Professional mode will introduce new AI behavior as well as advanced security and camera logic and limited saves.
Set to be retroactively fitted to all existing content, Professional mode can be selected for all six Season One episodes, with the exclusion of the Prologue included with the Intro Pack. However, you’ll first need to prove you have what it takes to endure Hitman‘s toughest challenge yet by reaching Mastery Level 20 on each individual level in order to unlock its corresponding Professional version. That’s a lot of time spent skulking through corridors and playing dress-up for new gamers, but we imagine those that played each episode on release will already be well prepared for the trials that await.
As an aside, all live content (Elusive Targets and Escalation Contracts) will remain unchanged but be re-categorized under the banner of Normal Difficulty. A good decision on IO’s end, considering the already tough limitations imposed on those modes. Additional changes and tweaks will be made to the core game as part of the patch, by the looks of it, with IO asking players to keep an eye out for the full notes before the update goes live.
Hitman‘s episodic model was viewed with a great deal of skepticism when it kicked off at the start of last year, although it turned out to be a perfect fit for the series. As for Season Two, we know it’s coming, but when exactly remains to be seen. A physical copy that contains the entirety of Season One will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on the same day as the patch.