Hitman 3s upcoming roguelike Freelancer mode, dubbed as the “next evolution” of the series, has slipped back into next year.
Freelancer will now arrive as a free update for existing Hitman 3 owners on 26th January 2023.
Before that, developer IO Interactive will run a Steam test for the mode in November – with details to follow later this month on exactly when it will start and how it will work.
Earlier this year, IO revealed the first rough details of Freelancer, which will see Agent 47 set off on a series of roguelike missions from a customisable safehouse.
“Early next month, well be selectively inviting Hitman 3 players on Steam to jump into the Closed Technical Test and put it through its paces,” IO wrote today. “From customising the safehouse, to eliminating syndicate leaders and unlocking mastery, youll be able to try the core elements of the mode – but were keeping some things under wraps too!
“The Closed Technical Test is all about putting our servers under stress to prepare for launch. We also want to get an early idea of player behaviour and do some economy / XP balancing in a real-life scenario on a big scale. These are the final checkboxes we need to tick off before we launch.”
Freelancer was originally set to arrive in spring 2022, when IO said it had decided to take longer developing the mode due to positive internal feedback and high hopes for its eventual impact. It was at this point IO pushed the mode back to “later this year”.
On this, IO acknowledged today that its ambition for Freelancer had grown.
“Weve decided to push beyond our original scope for launch and include almost all locations from the World of Assassination from day one,” it revealed. “Were continuing to work on making the launch experience as frictionless as possible for all players.”