Hitman 3's roguelike 'freelancer mode' has been delayed yet again, this time getting pushed all the way into next year. The mode, which has already been delayed once before, will release on January 26 as a free update for Hitman 3 that includes "almost all" of the locations from Hitman 1, 2, and 3.
The good news—at least for a select few players—is that IO will be running a "closed technical test" for the mode in November. Some players will be "selectively" invited to participate in a test run for the mode that will let them experience a tasting plate of some of the freelancer mode's new features, such as the customisable safehouse and a few assassinations. Curiously, only Steam players seem to have the privilege of taking part in that test, even though Hitman 3 released on the Epic Games Store a whole year before it hit Steam.
Hitman 3's freelancer mode was revealed as part of the game's "Year 2 Update" in January this year. From its name, you might think it's a mode that simulates not getting paid on time, but it actually sees everyone's favourite hairless assassin set up in a customisable base, picking through a list of available missions and waging war against nefarious criminal organisations. Or, I guess, organisations even more nefarious and criminal than the semi-mythical contract killer you play as. Look, morality gets weird sometimes, okay?
Once you've chosen the criminal enterprise you want to take down, you pick out your consumable, finite gear and go on your merry, murdery way. You start out whacking low-level rubes before making your way to the top of the organisation's food chain. If you fail, that's it. Your progress through your chosen campaign is wiped and it's time to pick a new organisation to take down, and new missions with which to do it.
Speaking as someone who functions as a kind of itinerant preacher for the wonders of Prey: Mooncrash, I'm very excited to see another big and brilliant game get the roguelike treatment. It's a shame we won't be seeing the freelancer mode for an extra few months, but I'm pretty sure I can handle the wait. Better to do a thing right than to do a thing quickly: a lesson Hitman has taught me a thousand times over.