You may have picked up in Tim's preview that we're a little excited for Hitman: Absolution's new 'Contracts' mode. The main reason is it's a really clear sign of the creativity and dark humour that there earlier Hitman games brought and that seemed to be lacking in many of the previews and promotional material so far released by IO.
Well, below I've collected together a few things that should should feed the sparks of confidence into a small flame.
First up we have the trailer of the new mode:
It lays out the basics of the mode: Play through the level selecting three people to be killed and then which exit to make your escape through. You have to make the kills and getaway to prove it's possible. If you, or your friends, or - if it's popular enough - other players manage to complete the contract, then they're rewarded in cash that can be used to unlock equipment and outfits that they can incorporate into their own contracts.
Next, there's this video interview from VG24/7:
The depth of alteration that you can add to a contract, as gameplay director Christian Elverdam explains, looks to be fairly in-depth. Once you've established the ground rules of who you are killing and where you are exiting from, then what order the kills are committed in, what weapon with, whether you were seen or not, can all be attached to the instructions as bonus conditions, ramping up the difficulty and changing the tone of the mission.
I dearly hope this leads to a whole sting of contracts where you must dress as a clown.
Besides further information about Absolution, the footage that's being spoken over is the most calm stuff we've seen of the game: there are no nuns blowing things up with rocket launchers, there's none of that run and gun police shootouts, it just looks like the old Hitman games, but with a great deal more incidental detail. Even if the singleplayer turns out to be a little pants, this mode of the game is looking extremely promising.