The roguelike Freelancer mode planned for murder ‘em up Hitman 3 has been bumped back until the second half of this year, IO Interactive have announced. The delay was shared as part of Hitman 3’s May roadmap. Luckily, IO have brought forward the release of the tropical ‘Rocky’ map they showed off in January. There’s Ian Hitman for you, always improvising.
IO explain that the delay to Freelancer stems from its expansive nature. Calling the decision “luxurious”, they say that the success of Hitman 3 means IO can afford to give their team more time to “tighten the bolts”. Normally that wouldn’t sound so ominous but this is Hitman we’re talking about. Playtests of Freelancer have already included members of the Hitman community, and IO are taking into account their feedback to improve elements of the mode before its launch.
So what’s filling the place of Freelancer mode? Well, ray tracing and the Elusive Target Arcade mode are coming to Hitman 3 with the release of patch 3.110 on May 24th, so there’s that. In the run up to the patch, there are reactivated Elusive Targets like ‘The Bookkeeper’ and ‘The Fugitive’, as well as the ‘Space Conflict’, ‘Food Fight’ and ‘Rubber Duck’ Featured Contracts.
The ‘Rocky’ map, now renamed Ambrose Island, is being given out for free in July too. It’s a stormy-looking tropical island, and fits chronologically before Hitman 3 begins. IO say the new map will “fill in a few gaps from the World of Assassination storyline”. Again, how do they make these things sound like they mean gaps where hatchets are thunked down?