The first details about the next Hitman game have been revealed in an open letter from series creator IO Interactive.
Following recent confusion over the cancellation of a Hitman game by Square Enix Montreal, the studio has once again confirmed it is working on "the next triple-A Hitman games" for both PC and next generation consoles.
The team report that the next Hitman will feature Agent 47 "at the prime of his career", with levels set all around the world and support from both his handler Diana Burnwood and the International Contracts Agency.
The title is being built on the Glacier 2 engine, drawing on lessons learned from 2012's Hitman Absolution – a game that while highly rated by critics met with mixed reviews from long-time series fans.
IO promised that while the new Hitman will indeed draw from Absolution, it will also hark back to past titles – specifically Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money.
The team also promised the largest open, non-linear levels in the series' history, and that Absolution's popular contracts mode would return.
Here's the letter in full:
Dear Hitman fans,
We wanted to share this open letter with all of you out there eagerly awaiting more news about what’s happening next in the franchise.
At Io-Interactive right now, we are building the next AAA Hitman game for PC and next-gen consoles. It has our total focus and we wanted to take a moment to tell you a few things about it.
In the next game you will experience a globetrotting Agent 47 at the prime of his career – the apex predator stalking his prey across the world, with the support of his long-term handler Diana Burnwood and the whole of the ICA.
The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world. We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we’re packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We’ve adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves.
Contracts Mode is back – you will be able to create and build challenges by experimenting with the large levels and possibilities within them. And of course, you can share them with the world and challenge your friends or foes to complete your hits. Your rules, your Contracts.
You will also be glad to hear that we have removed 47’s magic pockets. We believe that’s all we need to say about that subject.
As we get further into 2014, we will reveal more and get into much closer contact with all of you. There are so many things we have planned and we are extremely excited for the future of Hitman.
Thank you all for your dedication. We will share much, much more in the coming months.
The Io-Interactive Team