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Hitman 2 has an online multiplayer mode for the first time in the franchise’s history. This competitive game type has players racing to get to five assassinations in a head-to-head bout. The rules of this mode are convoluted and strict, and they lead to some intense moments. But it also seems limited, which makes sense considering Ghost mode (as developer IO Interactive calls it) is still in beta.

If you want to watch some Ghost mode gameplay, you can click play at the top. In that video, you can watch me take on a friend in two different matches. As of today, Ghost mode only works on the Miami map, and it only has its default rule set.

In Ghost mode, you want to get 5 points/kills before your opponent. You can see your rival in the world as a ghost, but you can not interact with their world (with one exception). Instead, the ghost exists to give you a sense of urgency and a vague idea of what your enemy is doing. The game chooses a target for you and your opponent to go after at the same time. You score a point by killing that target without anyone spotting you. If someone does see you commit murder, you will lose that point. If you kill an innocent civilian, the game subtracts a point from your score (you can’t go lower than zero).

Finally, if your opponent gets the kill before you, you have about 20 seconds to also get the kill on that target. Once that timer is up or both targets die, the game will randomly select a new target.

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Does it work?

This mode works for the most part. A lot of its quirks play to its favor. For example, having to rush to get a kill after your opponent has scored a point is very exciting. I also think the way this mode handles items is smart. Instead of putting stuff in the world, Ghost mode just has giant glowing boxed that have random items inside. You could get a new costume, a crowbar, or a silenced sniper rifle.

One of the best moments of my match was finding a sniper rifle and getting a kill from across the map. My opponent even noticed and asked how I got that kill.

But not everything works. For example, if you end up in combat with NPCs, it is best to let them kill you. You lose all your items and they will continue searching for you until you change your clothes, but it’s easier than just wasting time burning through all of your items and costumes trying to lose your “hunted” status. And it doesn’t feel good to just walk into bullets to kill yourself.

Ghost mode also has some inconsistencies with how it scores. For example, my last kill in the video above is with a sniper rifle. I killed a target as he was standing on the podium. I was really far away, but you would expect that wouldn’t count as a point because everyone watched him die. But instead, the match ended almost immediately and gave me the point and the win.

But overall, I enjoyed myself. The biggest issue I see with Ghost mode is that it forces people to play a style that not everyone enjoys. I hope that IO can fix any problems so it can introduce alternative takes on this gameplay type. I would like something that encourages more sloppy play. For example, who can knock out the most people with a fish without getting killed before time runs out.

Yeah — that sounds like a good time.

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