Hitman: Absolution was one of the games I was most looking forward to at this year's Gamescom. Did Hitman: Absolution actually meet my high expectations? From what I've seen at Gamescom, I can't honestly tell. The sole gameplay mode we got to play at Gamescom wasn't singleplayer, instead it was a sort-of multiplayer replacement named "Contracts", and no, this has nothing to do with the Hitman: Contracts game.
Contracts basically revolves around idea of challenging your friends and the world to become the best assassin, using integrated social functions such as leaderboards. Like I said earlier, this could be considered a replacement for multiplayer, a function that Hitman doesn't really need. Regardless, it is still a welcome addition to the Hitman game, and adds a ton of replayability to the game.
In Contracts, the player is basically able to load up any mission, and select up to three characters the player then has to assassinate. This can be a random citizen, but also a well protected dignitary you may encounter in a mission. The goal is to take out this single target as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to get the highest score. After completing a contract, you can invite your friends to try and beat your score, or even publish your score online to see if anybody can beat it.
However, the targets aren't the only things the player can customize using the easy-to-use contracts editor. The player can also choose a specific disguise that must be used when killing the target, or the player will lose valuable points. The same goes for equipment - if the target is not killed with the specified piece of equipment, points will be deducted from the total score.
There are also other smaller goals the player can set up, such as the requirement of not being spotted by the enemies, or hiding all the bodies in safe positions. None of these requirements are required though - all the player has to do is kill the target and escape.
If the player does manage to complete any or all of the objectives, they will receive a higher total score, which will result in more "Contract points". These points can be spend to buy new weapons and disguises for Agent 47 to use. The player can also unlock specific attachments for their weapons, such as a more effective silencer or a larger magazine.
Contracts does not have the same "feeling" as the single player mode for me though. One of the things I love to do in the Hitman series is try to get the Silent Assassin score, and make my kills look like an accident, which requires you to be completely undetected. As the targets in the contracts are often, for example, random police officers, there are far less options to kill them, which makes it far less satisfying when you finally manage to get the kill. Contracts is still a great addition to Absolution though, an addition that will likely keep me addicted to the game for a long time!