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Professional Difficulty Mode Sneaks Into Hitman Next Week

For over a year, Square Enix's experimental episodic game, Hitman, has kept fans busy by continually adding content, and the stealth-based assassin sim doesn't look like it'll be letting up anytime soon. In addition to the steady stream of new Elusive and Escalation targets that've kept players hunting over the past 13 months, developer Io Interactive will add a new difficulty level to the game as part of next week's free update.

Players who have a Mastery level of 20 in any of Hitman's story missions (earned by completing various in-level challenges) will be able to replay that stage in Professional mode, which remixes the mission with "unique rewards, tweaked game mechanics and new AI behaviour," according to Io Interactive's official announcement. Changes to levels at Professional difficulty include stricter rules governing item consumption, advanced security cameras, and a limited number of saves.


All season one story missions—except for the Prologue—will receive a Professional difficulty upgrade. Live content, including Elusive and Escalation targets, will not be affected.

Professional difficulty joins Hitman as part of the January Update, which will arrive alongside Hitman: The Complete First Season on January 31. In addition to the latest update, Hitman: The Complete First Season collects all of Hitman's downloadable content on a single disc, which comes in a collectible steelbook case. A soundtrack, a "making of" documentary, and exclusive digital items are also included. Fans who buy the game for PlayStation 4 will also receive that platform's previously released exclusive content.


Hitman's second season is currently in development, although IO Interactive has yet to announce a release date. Despite fans' initial misgivings, Hitman's episodic, a-little-bit-at-a-time release structure has proved quite successful for Square Enix—so much so that the studio will be using a similar approach for the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake.