"We're logging absolutely everything," said Hitman: Absolution director Tore Blystad speaking to VideoGamer.com back in November. "We haven't shown any end of levels yet, so obviously it's going to be a question. But it's a central part of the game - it's one of the things that makes the Hitman games."
Now, with the benefit of having played the first hands-on demo, we have a solid understanding of how end-of-level scoring works. The main thing to note is that Hitman's levels have been designed with repeat playthroughs in mind. In Hitman: Blood Money - and prior entries in the series - scoring was solely based upon your performance during any given attempt at a level: the more professional and subtle your were, the better your final score.
In Hitman: Absolution, professional play will still result in a high score. However, completing a level under specific challenge conditions will also yield additional bonuses and multipliers. For example, the 'Chameleon' challenge demands that you acquire and wear the Chicago Police, Store Clerk, Drug Dealer and Chicago SWAT outfits, all within one stab at the mission. Conversely, the 'No Suit' challenge demands that you complete the hit without adopting any disguise at all.
But here's the crucial point: once you complete a Challenge, the bonus modifiers are carried through to each subsequent playthrough of the level. In other words, Hitman: Absolution rewards you for being a completionist, as well as for being competent. To net the highest scores you'll need to finish an assignment several times, under different conditions, and then pull off a super-professional playthrough. If you've been playing the pre-order DLC Sniper Challenge, this format should be familiar.
As for the bread-and-butter scoring, points are split between two categories - Infiltration and Professionalism. Below you can see the score breakdown for the demo of The King of Chinatown. Apologies for the fact that I don't have numbers for every category - my hands-on time was limited.
- Silent Assassin bonus
- Target bonus - 30,000
- Objective bonus - 50,000
- Undetected - 20,000
- Civilian penalty
- Non-target penalty - 5000
- Pacification penalty - 2500
- Target accident bonus
- Silent kill bonus - 2500
- Body Hidden - 2500
It's worth bearing in mind that the demo has clearly been designed with E3 in mind; the final version of The King of Chinatown may prove to be slightly different.
For detailed impressions of the demo, check out our latest Hitman: Absolution preview.
Hitman: Absolution will be released on November 20 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.