Hitman's July update changes combat, Professional Difficulty, and death by toilet

Hitman is one of the funniest games I've ever played: the dialogue spouted by the various NPCs, the goofy costumes Agent 47 employs in his mission, the chaos of a silent assassination gone wrong. So it seems only fitting that the game's update notes have a little humour to them as well.

Hitman's July update has launched on PC, and as updates are apt to do, it tweaks the game in various ways. But before I get into the more serious sections of the release notes, I need to point out the bathroom fix.

"We've fixed an issue that could cause the toilet in the Marrakesh school to behave erratically after 47 kicks it onto Zaydan," the post reads. "This could occasionally result in 47's death. Seriously."

Excellent. Now, onto the real meat and potatoes. The July update brings some pretty significant changes to the combat, making it easier for players to fight back when every guard in a five-mile radius has a blood lust for the bald dude with a bar code on the back of his head. The fire rate of NPC pistols has been reduced, while the speed at which the aim assist snaps on to targets has been slightly increased—of course, this only matters if you toggle aim assist on. Damage taken at mid-to-long distances has also been reduced, in addition to the increase of health regeneration speed. These changes don't affect Professional Difficulty, but IO Interactive will take player feedback into account to make further changes.

Speaking of Professional Difficulty, IO has lowered its unlock criteria. Previously, you'd have to reach Mastery level 20 on a location to access the hardest difficulty, but now you only need Mastery level 5. Anyone who's somewhere between level 5 and 19 will have the difficulty unlock automatically. Personally, I love this, as I don't have the time to max out every location.

Other fixed issues include guards repeatedly dropping weapons they discover on the ground; the Opportunity Marker disappearing after a save/load; and the 'Trespassing,' 'Hostile Area,' and 'Unconscious Witness' status messages displaying incorrectly. Lastly, there should no longer be a problem with inadvertently cancelling the 'Connecting' prompt and entering Offline Mode.

To cap off the post, IO reminded everyone of July's content plans. The Hamartia Compulsion Escalation contract arrived on July 7, in addition to 15 new featured contracts. The final Elusive target for season one is also available right now. Unlike most Elusive targets, you'll have ten days to take them out—most of the time, they only stick around for 48 hours.