Hitman: Absolution lead producer, Hakan Abrak promises that there will be a hardcore difficulty level in Absolution and that playing non-violently (except for, you know, the actual targeted murders) is still a viable option. He also hinted at a mysterious multiplayer mode.
Trying to allay hardcore fans' fears in a conversation with Eurogamer (opens in new tab) , Abrak said, "We appreciate our fans and we know way back from Blood Money, there are YouTube videos of different ways of solving a hit, coming up with very smart ways of doing it the developers probably think of, even. That freedom we really want to have in Absolution as well. "
He did say that IO want to allow for clearer and more satisfying choices in Absolution. As an example of what he meant, Abak explained, "Before, when you screwed up the stealth path, then it all went into action and then it was very hard, or the controls weren't up to spec. ...[Now] if you want to do the extreme stealth assassin, it's very much still in there. You get a compelling experience from that as well. If you want to switch, there is a possibility to do that as well. So you can mix your play style, which wasn't possible in the earlier games."
Abrak was also very cagey about multiplayer possibilities for Hitman: Absolution, saying, "We do have something very, very interesting coming up in Hitman: Absolution on the online side. We're not ready to talk about it right now. Hitman is an assassin who works alone, but you never know in what form or in what way we could give you an online experience. It's unfortunately not something I can talk about right now, but I can say, in the story part, Agent 47 definitely works alone."