Hitman: Absolution on ‘Purist’ difficulty leaves you with just a crosshair. Good luck with that

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I count myself as a hard wearing individual: I can drink black tea without grimacing, my Moomin hot water bottle only stays warm for half the night, and I take my rice pudding without jam, but even I’m balking at the hardest difficulty setting conceived by IO Interactive for Hitman: Absolution: no guides, no help, no interface, just a crosshair.

We’ve got details on the other four settings too; we’re certainly being given a lot of choice.

Kotaku have done the arduous task of transcribing out all the different settings, but here they are for your waiting eyes:

Enhanced: Easy
Supreme training and a physique enhanced beyond ordinary human capacity mean that your enemies are no match for you. By cunning or by brute force, you are unstoppable.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Instinct regenerates
  • Instinct will provide hints
  • Enemies react more slowly than normal

Enhanced: Medium
You can rely on Agent 47’s superior training and instinct. Remaining completely unnoticed can be a challenge, but you can always rely on your guns to get you out of trouble.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Instinct does not regenerate
  • Instinct will provide hints
  • Normal enemy presence with normal reaction times

Professional: Hard
You like a challenge and your enemies will provide you with just that. They will be more numerous and with faster reactions. Evading your enemies will be difficult and you must strike with flawless timing.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints
  • Insting depletes when used and does not regenerate
  • No instinct hints
  • Additional enemies with improved reaction time

Professional: Expert
You fight for every inch of progress, often without firing a single bullet. You don’t rely on any help and accept trying many times before reaching your target…and perfection.

  • No player-activated checkpoints
  • Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate
  • No instinct hints
  • Maximum number of enemies with fastest reacton

Professional: Purist
This is a challenge for a true perfectionist. You know every rule, every detail, and all environments by heart. Even then you will die trying.

  • No Help
  • No guides
  • No Interface
  • Only a crosshair

Normally writing about difficulty settings would seem a little bland, but that purist mode is anintriguingprospect. As Steve said in his preview, the design of theHitman games has always repeated playthroughs – there are a multitude of ways to complete any contract, some gruesome, others hilarious, all valid – and the contracts feature is similarly encouraging that kind of play, but this ‘Purist’ mode seems to be a finely distilled form of that mentality: without the instinct power to help you predict guards’ paths or hide from pursuers you’ll have to learn learn their patrol routes, keeping a complex map in mind all the way through a mission; without an interface you’ll be aware of what you have in your possession, primed to switch the right equipment with the needs of the moment. I really want to see how it plays out, if it’s even enjoyable to play that way, or if it’s just a little too tough an experience to be satisfying.