With spring now on the horizon, and the latest Hitman 3 update having recently been released, it feels like a good time to talk about the next ambitious content update to come: Freelancer.
Freelancer is a new game mode to be added to the latest entry in the World of Assassination trilogy and gives players the chance to experience the game in an all-new format to how they are used to. There are a lot of new features in this upcoming update, so here are 5 features to be excited about in Hitman 3: Freelancer.
1. SAFE HOUSES ARE BACK
After over a decade and a half, veterans will be delighted to know that safe houses are back! This deeply missed feature of the franchise has been absent ever since Hitman: Blood Money way back in 2006. The feature wasn’t game-breaking or anything, but it really made the player feel like a true badass assassin, being able to rest up in their own base of operations whilst they plan out their next mission and practice their marksman skills. Hitman: Contracts even gave the player the opportunity to fight against actual NPCs in order to engage in stealth in a non-mission setting.
There was a huge sense of accomplishment to be felt when unlocking a weapon to be hung up on the weapon display wall which gradually filled out over the course of the games. Nothing screams deadly assassin like using a jet black sniper rifle to obliterate a sole target practice cutout.
In cases such as Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, the safe house is even used in a scripted mission in which Agent 47 needs to fend off enemies using the weapons he has unlocked throughout the course of the game. It would be a very pleasant surprise if IO Interactive were to throw a surprise mission that involves 47 once again needing to protect his base. If nostalgia alone doesn’t get you pumped for this, the new safe house-related features surely will.
From what was revealed during the Hitman 3 year 2 reveal, players will be able to pick and choose the design of their safe house interior and some exterior areas. Of course, weapon display walls and target practice are a given, but it’s nice to see that there are other areas and features to explore such as a gym or garage, to name a few. It would also seem that there is an interactive world map display somewhere in the safe house, which is likely how you will tactically plot out your field operations.
2. NEW LEVEL OF CHALLENGE
The World of Assassination trilogy is by no means easy. Sure, to the untrained eye, any person could see that all it takes for a successful playthrough is to just save the game at every opportunity available and use the various mission opportunities to kill each individual target in a scripted method. However, if you really wanted to get the most out of Hitman’s difficulty, you would try to get the highest possible score available by completing criteria such as hiding all bodies, only killing targets, suit only, etc.
It should therefore be a delight for fans both old and new to hear that Freelancer will carry a whole new level of difficulty that players have never experienced before. As stated, Freelancer is a brand new game mode and will require more tactical thinking even outside of the field in order to conquer each target. Without going into too much detail for one of my next points, Freelancer carries new mechanics which drastically raise the stakes and consequences for every playthrough, so going back and reloading a save file won’t be an option here.
It was stated in the reveal video that the player will carry out a series of campaigns, each including a number of contracts to make your way up to the leader. Here’s the kicker though: as the player, you ultimately decide where the final confrontation takes place based on the order in which you complete the contracts, so you better think ahead about which maps you are more comfortable with in order to get by without any issues. Oh, and the leader will not be highlighted in red while using your instincts, so good luck.
Admit it, you have probably found yourself guilty of abusing items like the ICA Remote Emetic Gas Device, but it is a nice touch from IOI to create a new game mode that will players out of their comfort zone and forces them to think even more carefully about how they plot their next move.
3. PROGRESSION REFORM
When looking back on the base game progression system for Hitman 3 it is still enjoyable. Unlocking each individual level of mastery for each map provides a lot of incentive to go back and complete the various challenges provided. However, after more than five years, It can start to become a little repetitive.
It was therefore great news upon discovery that Freelancer will have a whole new progression system to be explored. As mentioned in the first point, as agent 47 you will be able to configure what your personal safe house looks like to your heart’s desire. With that said, the reveal stated that this is something you will be able to do “overtime”, indicating that you will likely need to unlock these customisable options through progression grinding. Want to have a grand piano in your lounge? Well, you might need to work for it.
Likewise, all of your weapons and gadgets that you have unlocked throughout the main game will not be transferred over, so you will need to unlock and/or purchase these weapons for you to hang them up on your walls with pride.
It is yet to be discovered whether or not there are other rewards and unlocks which can be earned throughout your progression, but presumably, they will not be as extreme or permanent as in the main game. I can only assume that suits/costumes will need to be re-unlocked as well.
There could very well also be rewards to be unlocked in the main game’s progression system for work completed in Freelancer, but we will have to wait and see.
4. MORE REPLAYABILITY
Replayability is bread and butter for the World of Assassination trilogy. There are few games that can hold up to the level of replayability of the three most recent Hitman games. Every level in the trilogy has been carefully crafted to encompass various different means of assassinating targets, from a falling statue to shooting a replacement heart before a terminally ill target’s medical procedure.
Not only this but the maps can be used in several different game modes which allow for even more diversity. Freelancer looks to take this even further, with new targets, objectives, difficulties, and mechanics to be explored. As is the case with the other game modes, the map locations are the same as in the main game, however, there will likely be some changes due to the new targets and NPCs.
The fact that all this is separated completely from the main game and your unlocks are not transferred over only adds more to the list of things you need to devote time to. I can already tell that people will be spending a lot of time with Freelancer, and the fun will no doubt continue well after their first playthrough.
This looks to easily be the biggest new game mode after the main story, so I can only predict that there will be lots to explore.
5. NEW MECHANICS
Of all the different game modes that Hitman has to offer, Freelancer is easily the most varied in terms of new gameplay mechanics. Whereas in the main game, each level would be fairly linear and you could pick and choose your gadgets at the start of each level, Freelancer works quite differently.
Weapons and gadgets are no longer permanent like in the other game modes, with consumable items such as poisons and explosives no longer able to be accessed after their use. Guns or melee weapons can also be lost if dropped and not retrieved before finishing each contract.
Do not worry though, as there is a new vendor system that has been added for Freelancer in which 47 can purchase or re-purchase any weapon or gadget to use and hold onto across his contracts. Obviously, with 47 needing to purchase said items, he will need money which can be obtained through completing contracts available to him and can also earn extra money by completing optional objectives/challenges. This could potentially be required to obtain some of the safe house customisation features as previously mentioned.
Each set of contracts consists of killing targets who are involved in criminal empires, with the final contract objective being to assassinate the leader. However, this will be different from how players are used to tackling targets in the game, as players will not know who the target is, and will need to use hints and information to figure it out themselves.
47 will need to overcome the threat of increased security throughout these final contracts, as not only will there be a larger quantity of enemies, but there are also hidden enemies that can catch the player by surprise if they are not careful, and NPCs which can spook the target which can lead to their escape. This will really force the player to think cautiously about how they will plot their next move.
Another thing that players will need to worry about is other assassins who are on the same mission as you, as they will likely not be too pleased to see you. Not too much is known about how they will specifically interact with the player and the world, however, it is likely that they will try to assassinate any competition…meaning you.
Which features in Hitman 3: Freelancer are you most excited for? Drop a mention in the comments below!