I don’t really have enough time to do in depth exploration of all the differences, but to start :
I played through the story mission “How The Mighty Fall” in Dubai.
It’s for all intents and purposes a tutorial. It’s also pretty easy to modify into a SASO, so easy that it must be intentional to nudge the player into it. Level Design !
So I think it’s a good start to look around.
So : a camera was added in the corridor of the Staff Area. What was before an easy route for saso is now under surveillance. It’s still possible to avoid the camera’s line of sight with good timing, but since Master Difficulty disables the camera grid, it forces the players to actually look at the camera to know its safe. It’s quite pleasant to do.
Also, and I think this part is unintentional : if you start with the Meeting Room location you are now automatically spotted at the start of the run. If I understand correctly, the placement/walk in of NPCs at the start causes the door behind you to be open, and the newly added camera spots you directly, even if you skip the opening.
As far as I can tell, the corridors near the Server Room are unchanged. The maintenance staff in the server room will still wait gently his back turned to you. No new enforcer for the Maintenance Staff Disguise, but there is a brand new camera in the Ventilation Area if you continue that route.
Finally, the penthouse and the Elite Guard disguise. The roaming guard in the Penthouse Reception is now an enforcer, and a camera was added in the entry of the Penthouse.
Overall, it’s rather interesting. But I think it’s missing a “gotcha” factor. If I remember correctly, when Professional Mode was made in H2016, the new enforcers/cameras were tailored with the metrics to cripple the most common strategies, and I feel like it’s missing here. Or maybe I just haven’t explored enough.
Currently it feels more like “here are a few more bumps in the usual road”, and not “hey you, I need you to completely change your approach, now”. Maybe because Hitman III level design is in general smoother. I don’t know.
I also did a quick tour of the keys and key-cards around the level, and apparently they are all still at their usual place. And not, as it was done in Professional Mode/Master Mode in H2016 in the pockets of chosen NPCs.
Part of me was hoping for the same level of change made for The Ascensionist ET : new NPCs, new routines, a bunch of gotcha. But I also understand that doing this for all the maps could have been too much.
Will need to look at the rest of the maps to give a good assessment of the changes.
Still fun and novel to play though
I’m tagging @Clemens_IOI for the Meeting Room start automatic spotted. Because I think it’s unintentional and could be frustrating for some players. (even if I have no idea how it could be neatly resolved looking at what happens). remark do not apply if intentional, sadistic