IO Interactive earlier announced that they would be revealing what Year 2 of Hitman 3 would look like in a video that would be "packed full of announcements, reveals and never-before-seen footage of new content" on January 13. They seem to have duly delivered on that promise.
The Reveal Stream ran a little over thirteen minutes and showcased "new game modes, new maps and new ways to play" coming to the game. This significant update will be free with Year 2 beginning on January 20. The full trilogy will also be released on the Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC.
What to expect with the Year 2 update in Hitman 3
Elusive Target Arcade
The first addition, which will be available on January 20, is the Elusive Target Arcade. Kevin Goyon, Live Game Director, states:
"Elusive Targets has always been about recreating an experience that is both tense and impactful. You get one chance to take down your target and there are no second chances where failure is permanent.
Gushing over their work to accentuate the concept, Goyon further states:
Elusive Target Arcade is our way to take this concept to the next level ... We are ready to mix things up without sacrificing what made the Elusive Targets so exciting in the first place."
Players will take on the ultimate Elusive Target challenge and earn rewards all along. This is no longer about taking down a single target, but one after another with new objectives and complications thrown into the mix.
Upon completing the trial, the player will win exclusive rewards that can be used throughout the game.
The Elusive Target Arcade will be permanently added to the game and players can access it at their leisure. Upon failing a trial, they will have to wait for the next to give it another go. Throughout Year 2, the Elusive Target Arcade will be updated with more trials and Arcade Contracts.
Freelancer Campaigns and the hint of a new map
This is going to be a new single-player mode on Hitman 3 that will introduce "roguelike elements, strategic planning and a customizable safehouse." Agent 47's Safehouse will be a playable space and comprise of unique elements.
It will act as the base of operations and will be customizable. Furthermore, it will allow the player to carve their ideal version of Hitman. Progressing through Freelancer will unlock more of the Safehouse and open up new customisation options. The developers state:
"Whether you want to pick out a new suit, browse and test your weapons at the firing range or make changes to your décor, it’s all possible. The Safehouse is also an important space because all of your pre-mission planning takes place there."
Once the prepping is done, players will have access to the "mission hub" where they can check all the available Freelancer campaigns. These campaigns will reflect the criminal enterprises in the game and players can choose whichever one they want.
Freelancer missions will also feature unique NPCs who will impact the player's tactics and their execution. To complete the campaign, they have to eliminate the Leader of the enterprise. Unlike the main campaign, gear lost in a mission will remain lost.
The developers have promised more details leading up to its release in Spring 2022. They have also stated that a new map, codenamed 'Rocky', will be revealed later in 2022.
Hitman VR on PC and technological Improvements
For the PC, Hitman 3 will also arrive with a Virtual Reality version. Players can dive into it on January 20. The aim, according to the developers, is to add "more physicality to the game." The VR possibility will allow one to truly experience and immerse themselves in the world of assassins as the iconic Agent 47.
Year 2 will also feature a number of technological improvements, focussing on visual fidelity like better reflections and shadows. The option to enable Ray Tracing on PC will be added to the game later this year. IO Interactive will also be one of the first development studios in the world to use Intel's XeSS technology.