A new difficulty level is on the way to Hitman that could make the experience substantially more challenging, Square Enix has announced.
The publisher says the new Professional difficulty provides “extended replayability, new game features, a separate mastery track with unique rewards, tweaked game mechanics, and new AI behaviour that combine to create an entirely new experience for all players.” The image below highlights a number of other areas where Professional differs from the existing experience. To steal someone’s outfit, you’ll need a clean kill on them, and illegal activities noticed by security cameras can result in guards being dispatched.
Following the release of a free update on January 31, Professional difficulty will be available for all Season 1 story missions, save for the prologue. However, you won’t be able to jump right into it: You’ll need to unlock it for each mission by reaching Mastery Level 20 on it. Doing so also provides a separate leaderboard to distinguish between playthroughs on Professional and what’s now called Normal difficulty.
Professional won’t be available for modes like Elusive Targets and Escalation Contracts. Those will continued to be played as they are now, on Normal.
The January 31 release of the update coincides with the launch of the physical edition of Hitman’s first season. Full patch notes will be released sometime between now and then.