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Hitman: Absolution's Five Difficulty Levels Should Make Everyone Worry Less

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The new Hitman game probably has the right difficulty level for you. After all, it's got five of them... one for the person who likes to shoot first and sneak sometimes, one for the person who doesn't want to bend one blade of grass en route to murdering his virtual prey, and three for the rest of the world.

Here they are, transcribed by Kotaku from a preview build of IO Interactive's latest Agent 47 adventure. Hitman fans/worriers/newcomers, you'll probably all be pleased. Yes?

Enhanced: Easy
Supreme training and a physique enhanced beyond ordinary human capacity mean that your enemies are no match for you. By cunning or by brute force, you are unstoppable.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Instinct regenerates
  • Instinct will provide hints
  • Enemies react more slowly than normal

Enhanced: Medium
You can rely on Agent 47's superior training and instinct. Remaining completely unnoticed can be a challenge, but you can always rely on your guns to get you out of trouble.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Instinct does not regenerate
  • Instinct will provide hints
  • Normal enemy presence with normal reaction times

Professional: Hard
You like a challenge and your enemies will provide you with just that. They will be more numerous and with faster reactions. Evading your enemies will be difficult and you must strike with flawless timing.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Insting depletes when used and does not regenerate
  • No instinct hints
  • Additional enemies with improved reaction time

Professional: Expert
You fight for every inch of progress, often without firing a single bullet. You don't rely on any help and accept trying many times before reaching your target...and perfection.

  • No player-activated checkpoints
  • Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate
  • No instinct hints
  • Maximum number of enemies with fastest reacton

Professional: Purist
This is a challenge for a true perfectionist. You know every rule, every detail, and all environments by heart. Even then you will die trying.

  • No Help
  • No guides
  • No Interface
  • Only a crosshair

A note about "instinct" and what it is: Hitman games encourage and sometimes require that players slip into places they shouldn't be and assassinate targets without being detected. Hitman: Absolution 's lower difficulty levels make this easier by letting the player press a trigger button on their controller to go into "instinct" mode. This mode looks like Detective Vision in the recent Batman games or Eagle Vision in Assassin's Creeds. It drops most of the color from the game's levels, darkening the scene while highlighting enemy guards and other personel. It also draws their predicted patrol routes on the ground (in a line of small flames!) and may even place flashing hint beacons on items in the environment that can be used to aid all this sneaking around. Instinct mode may also cool down a hot situation. For example, if Agent 47 is in disguise and draws suspicion, holding down the instinct trigger can cause 47 to shake some of that concern. At the easiest difficulty levels, this is all in play and is metered by an Instinct gauge. As you can see from the difficulty descriptions above, sometimes that Instinct meter can be filled back up; sometimes it's not even there.


Hitman: Absolution will be out for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on November 20.