A new way of playing Hitman: Absolution was revealed today by I/O Interactive, and for the longest while I couldn’t properly figure out how it worked. Now, I think I have it down. ‘Contracts’ is an asynchronous (in other words, you’re not all playing at the same time) multiplayer mode in which you set up challenging hits for other players.

Here’s what you do. Play through a section of the game you’ve already completed (but this time in ‘Contracts’ mode) and kill someone. Or maybe two people. Or hey, why not three? Try to locate some targets that will be fairly tricky to take down, and do so with some style. This sets up a ‘Contract’ that another player can then pick up and attempt.

If you complete a Contract suitably well, Hitman will reward you with some cash to spend on various upgrades that’ll make your next Contract set-up even more devious. And thus the cycle continues.

“Contracts mode finally delivers a way for Hitman players to fully realize both their creativity and competitive nature,” says I/O Interactive’s Christian Elverdam, as he toys with some piano wire.

Absolution will be released for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on 20 November.

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