IO Interactive’s Hitman franchise has always been a single player experience. It’s always been about throwing Agent 47 into a large map filled with AI and allowing players to improvise as they work to assassinate targets. That remains true with Hitman 2. As experienced at E3 2018, the core tenants of the franchise remain intact. This year, however, IO Interactive is trying something new by introducing multiplayer into the stealth-focused game.
Hitman isn’t the first stealth-based game to get a multiplayer component. Back in 2010, Ubisoft introduced competitive multiplayer into the Assassin’s Creed franchise. In it, players take on various avatars as they try to blend into the environment and assassinate each other. While many were wary of its implementation, the multiplayer was successful and became a mainstay of the franchise until Unity, where it was dumped in favor of co-op. It was a unique addition and that’s something IO is going for here.
Hitman 2’s Ghost Mode is a 1v1 multiplayer mode, but players aren’t hunting each other. Instead, both players are thrown into the map and must use their skills to assassinate as many targets as possible. Players begin each match standing side-by-side and from there it’s up to them to find the most productive ways to rack up assassinations.
The big twist is that the pool of targets is the same and compete to see who can take out each the fastest. Players appear as ‘ghosts’ on each other’s screens. Both exist in separate realities where your actions have no consequences on your opponent’s world. Still, there’s a chance you’ll run into the ghost during the match and have a good comparison of what your opponent is up to in the game. The first player to eliminate the five targets wins.
Ghost Mode has no impact on the game’s single-player campaign. As Agent 47, players travel to six unique locations from around the world and assassinate members of the mysterious Shadow Client. Ghost Mode is merely an additional game mode fans can enjoy upon launch. At release, however, only the Miami location will be playable in Ghost Mode. It’ll be implemented into the other Hitman 2 locations, as well as World of Assassination locations, in the months after release.
Despite the one launch location, Ghost Mode sounds like it’ll add an additional layer of challenge and experimentation to Hitman 2. The base game already challenges you to come up with inventive ways of taking out a target. With different weapons, items and outfits, there’s already no shortage of ways to approach each situation. The addition of Ghost Mode adds a layer of uncertainty thanks to competition. With a focus on time, speed and precision, Hitman 2 is bound to get tenser as each player works to accomplish the mission before the other.
While we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out, Ghost Mode sounds like an exciting addition to the Hitman franchise. Hopefully, matches won’t descend into chaos as the competitors attempt to outdo each other. Hitman requires patience and an understanding of the environment and there’s the chance that the mad dash for victory could pry loose the foundations Hitman is built on. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to get our hands on the game.
Hitman 2 is out November 13 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.