For Hitman 2, developer IO Interactive is once again bringing back “elusive targets,” the tough-to-assassinate characters that are only available for a limited time, and you only have one chance to kill them. If you fail, you don’t get another shot. Things are starting out with a bang for the sequel: the first elusive target in Hitman 2 will be played by none other than Sean Bean, an actor who is notorious for regularly dying in film and TV roles.
His new video game performance offers something very different, however, as the Hitman games are all about finding creative ways to kill. “In the films I’ve done, I know what’s coming. I know I’m going to die. I know in which way I’m going to die,” Bean tells The Verge. “Whereas with this one, I don’t know. It could be anything. The player can kill me any way they want. I don’t know what to say about that.”
Bean will play former MI5 agent Mark Faba, nicknamed “The Undying” for his uncanny ability to fake his own death. It’s a persona that fits snugly into the Hitman universe, and Bean says he really enjoyed taking the role on. “He’s rather unique,” Bean says of Faba. “He’s very much a loner, a very skillful assassin. And he just lives his life for that, really. He lives his life trying to create as theatrical assassinations as possible. I quite like him.”
The actor is no stranger to video games, but in the past, his roles have predominantly been that of a narrator, utilizing his distinct, gruff voice to guide players through Civilization VI or the terrifying underworld of the audio-only horror game Papa Sangre II. And while he says he was familiar with the Hitman name, he didn’t know much about the franchise before taking on the new role. To familiarize himself before slipping into the Faba character, he played for a bit, describing the experience as “very sophisticated and sleek.”
The elusive mission will be available on November 13th, a week after Hitman 2 debuts. Players will then have just 10 days to take out Faba, and they only get one shot. If they fail, the mission can’t be replayed. It’s a unique and distinguishing feature for Hitman, one that Bean didn’t actually know about when he first took on the role. “I only just found that out recently,” he says of the brief nature of the mission. “I’m not going to be around for long. That was quite unusual. I’ve never heard of that before.”
Given the unique nature of the role and the fact that players have so many different options for assassinations in Hitman 2, Bean says he’s excited to see what they do when the mission launches next month. “It will be strange to see people trying to get rid of me,” he explains. “I’ll be as interested as anyone to see how it turns out.” That said, when asked if he plans to play the mission and take out Faba himself, Bean laughs and says, “Yeah, why not?”