At a press conference at gamescom today, a new Contracts mode was announced for Hitman: Absolution. Inspired by fans and how they would make anyone a target, this online Contracts mode lets you do this exactly. Fulfilling Contracts earns you money that can be spent on upgrades, weapons or disguises. Five user-created Contracts will be chosen each week for the leader boards, but all will be available for play online for everyone. On top of this, the game will ship with several preset Contracts from IO Interactive.
Players will create Contracts through gameplay in what IO Interactive calls Play to Create, where play style and execution set the rules. Moving through a game level in real time, and not in any kind of god mode, players are able to mark any character as a target, with up to three targets markable for each Contract.
In a live demo, we saw how the game watches how the player takes each target out, and then uses that information to create the contract's requirements. For example, a close-quarters takedown of a target with a knife would then become the requirement in the Contract. In fact, everything down to the player's exit method and location will be used to set conditions, so players wanting to create interesting Contracts will have to put some work into them.
Upon competition of this Play to Create session, the created Contract was uploaded to Hitman: Absolution's servers, and was made immediately available for play by everyone else online. From this point a Competition ccan be created, and friends can be invited to try to outperform the creator's performance in a Contact. The Play to Create tools are robust enough that the team at IO will use it to create Contracts themselves.
Just to show how the newly created contract could be played immediately, we saw a live demo of one of the dev team playing it in his own way. Using the contract information provided, the player was able to blow through it in a totally different way, completing the objectives much faster than the original player did. Previously unlocked costumes and techniques from the game's story mode are also available in his contract playthrough, giving this player even more of an advantage.
Contracts mode opens up Hitman: Absolution to some new content creation and gives competitive players even more content to work through in the game's world. It should also give the title tons of replayability. I'm betting that creative players will create Contracts that will make IO's preset ones look lame.