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Next Hitman will feature Contracts, open design and largest levels yet

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The next installment in the Hitman series will feature "a globetrotting Agent 47 at the prime of his career," according to an "open letter to all Hitman fans" published on the series' official site.

The unnamed game from IO Interactive will provide the bald assassin with backup from the "whole of the ICA" and his longtime companion Diana Burnwood.

"The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world," the letter reads. "We are building this game on the backbone of the Glacier 2 engine, using the best parts and what we have learnt through Hitman: Absolution and drawing inspiration from past titles like Contracts and Blood Money to fulfil the core Hitman fantasy. That means we're packing in an extreme level of detail on the largest levels we have ever built for a Hitman game. We've adopted an open, non-linear level design approach to the game, ensuring the game will play out across huge, checkpoint-free, sandbox levels. Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves."

Contracts Mode, which made its debut in Hitman: Absolution and allowed players to create their own missions, will return in the next Hitman game.

IO wrote that Agent 47's "magic pockets," a phrase that appears to refer to the barcoded assassin's ability to store more items and weapons on his person than humanly possible, will not return.

"You will also be glad to hear that we have removed 47's magic pockets. We believe that's all we need to say about that subject."

The letter closes with a promise to "reveal more and get into much closer contact" with fans in 2014.

Earlier this month, amidst rumors that the next Hitman game had been canceled, a Square Enix representative told Polygon that IO is developing "a new, AAA Hitman game that will be coming to PC and next-gen consoles."

For more on the most recent installment in the series, Hitman: Absolution, be sure to read Polygon's review.