For all that its bugs and underwhelming online features do Hitman a disservice, the PCG team is in agreement that Escalation contracts make for the finest hits the series has ever commissioned. Kicking its ‘live service’ into high gear, Io has already added two more Escalations to the line-up.
Escalations, as the name suggests, get tougher in five stages, adding twists like ‘no pacifications’ or ‘hide all bodies within 90 seconds’. Live now, The Holmwood Disturbance sends 47 after one Faustin D’Aoust with a gun—disguised as a vampire magician. Phil and I have yet to even see a vampire magician. As the difficulty ramps up, you can expect an extra target and the faithful ‘no pacifications’ rule, but in an intriguing twist, more security cameras will be added to the building. That’s the sort of structural change to the level I didn’t know Hitman was capable of.
Also in-game, The Mandelbulb Requiem (great title) sends you after sheikh Al-Ghazali’s bodyguard, has you hacking a laptop and incorporates “deadly laser tripwires”. Smashing.
If Hitman keeps up this sort of pace with its contracts and Elusive Targets, we’ll be well entertained until its second level, Sapienza, appears in April.