A post from IO in the Hitman Steam community hub goes into detail about some of the “live” aspects and modes planned for the game.
This new Hitman will feature some limited-time, one-shot ‘Elusive Targets’, who only appear in a level for a set period, and won’t allow any re-attempts. It’s effectively going to be Hitman in “Iron Man” style, with no reloading available. If you screw up and the target gets away, too bad.
“Each Elusive Target will have a custom briefing video, a backstory and a unique reason for being in that location,” say IO. “When you’re actually playing in the location, the Elusive Target will not appear on the map and will not appear in Instinct. In order to find them, you’ll need to use clues from the briefing video and a photograph that you will be able to review. You’ll need to explore, find your target, learn their patterns and come up with a plan to eliminate them.” All of which sounds extremely promising as an idea.
Successfully completing Elusive Target missions will reward you with “signature suits from previous Hitman games and versions of those suits with gloves”.
Another mode that’ll be new to Hitman is being dubbed ‘Escalation’. By the sounds of things, this will provide you with a standard contract (“kill this guy with a sniper rifle”) and then gradually ramp up the difficulty through several stages until you’re at (“kill this guy in under one minute while dressed as a reporter, oh and also use a swordfish from the kitchen to do so”).
“For each Escalation Contract, there are five stages and you’re free to replay them as you wish to climb the leaderboards,” apparently. As with Elusive Targets, saved game functions will be disabled throughout.
Finally, Contracts mode from Absolution will be making a return, and IO have some plans for community-inspired challenges too.