Hitman: Absolution will ship with a Contracts mode that lets you compete with friends. Players will be able to create their own customized, scored challenges and then share them with other gamers.

Contracts mode doesn't give you a full map editor. Instead, you pick a level, enemies and weapons. Then you specify the requirements for success, such as a time limit and whether or not witnesses are allowed. The game will come with several Contracts missions designed by IO Interactive, in case you need a little inspiration.

After finishing a mission that you or a friend designed, you'll get reward money based on your performance. This money can then be spent on unlock new weapons, items, and abilities for Agent 47. You can unlock additional tools of the trade by playing Absolution's single-player campaign.

Completing single-player challenges and comparing your scores with friends isn't the multiplayer that some might've hoped for. Still, Contracts is true to the "lone wolf" style of the series. It makes the post-mission scoreboards - which I ignored in past Hitman games - much more important as well. Custom missions should give Absolution a lot of staying power.

IO is showing off Contracts mode at Gamescom this week. If you're not in attendance, you'll have to settle for the screenshots.

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