If you want to play the new Contracts Mode introduced in Hitman: Absolution, you won't need a new copy of the game. Publisher Square Enix has decided against using an Online Pass.
An Online Pass is a one-time-use code included with new copies of a game. If you buy a used copy that doesn't have the code, you need to buy a code online. It's become an increasingly common tactic among publishers who are trying to curb the sale of pre-owned games.
Square Enix's choice not to include a premium Online Pass seems to have been made at the last minute. Copies of Absolution issued to press for reviews actually came with a one-time-use code for Contracts. The same goes for copies arriving to stores outside of North America tomorrow. Regardless of whether your game came with a code or not, though, it won't affect your access to the mode.
"If you’re in North America you’ll see the mode automatically appear in the game menu," says the official Absolution blog. "If you’re elsewhere, you can redeem the code inside the box, or you can simply select the BUY CONTRACTS PASS option. From there, head to the store where CONTRACTS will be free to access."
In Contracts mode, players create custom missions that they can share with other players. They can select the assassination targets and other conditions of these missions. Players can then tackle these missions and try to get as high of a score as possible. The money earned in this mode can be used to unlock new items and disguises for use in other Contracts.
Absolution will launch in North America, Europe and other PAL regions on November 20th. If you're not sure whether or not you'll make a purchase, read our review.