We've known for some time that IO Interactive was working on the follow-up to its latest Hitman reboot series. Now, though, we have our first official look at Hitman 3, and know much more about the game that will be launching early next year on Xbox Series X and many other platforms.
The final game in the rebooted Hitman trilogy will once again put players in the shoes of Agent 47 and is set to feature a ton of different locations, disguises, and crazy ways to take down targets, as well as likely featuring some boosts in performance thanks to it releasing on next-gen platforms. Here's everything we know about Hitman 3 so far.
What is Hitman 3?
Hitman 3 is the latest installment of the long-running Hitman series and the third entry in the trilogy of rebooted games under IO Interactive. Hitman 3 will also conclude the "World of Assassination" trilogy assembled over recent years.
It's currently unknown where the game will go in terms of plot, but an early trailer for the title implies that this could be the end of the road for Agent 47, especially with the tagline "death awaits."
Can I check out any Hitman 3 trailers?
So far, we've only received one trailer for Hitman 3, which is its reveal trailer from The Future of Gaming PS5 event. In addition to this trailer, IO Interactive also showed off a very brief gameplay trailer centered around what players can do in Dubai.
What's gameplay like in Hitman 3?
Much like the previous two Hitman entries, Hitman 3 will see players figuring out exactly how they want to eliminate a target and executing it in the best way possible. In a blog post explaining more of the game, Tavis Barbour, the senior community manager at IO Interactive, spoke about gameplay, saying that it "encourages players to explore and interact with the game world in new ways that will reward them in future playthroughs."
With this in mind, it's easy to expect the same type of stealth mechanics that appeared in Hitman and Hitman 2 to return in the third entry. Be prepared to sneak around, dress up in new disguises, or even use unconventional objects like a pan or briefcase to take down any potential enemy. As far as locations go, IO Interactive has detailed the six new locations found in Hitman 3 in a new blog post. Players will get to explore the following locations as they play Hitman 3:
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Dartmoor, United Kingdom
- Chongqing, China
- Berlin, Germany
- Mendoza, Argentina
- Carpathian Mountains, Romania
Will Hitman 3 support 4K and 60 FPS?
Welcome to Chongqing, a brand new location coming to HITMAN 3. Plus, get a closer look at our Glacier engine, the technology that powers HITMAN 3.
HITMAN 3 is available on 20 January 2021 https://t.co/XYtWCXKOb9 pic.twitter.com/ZnaRQlUAEIWelcome to Chongqing, a brand new location coming to HITMAN 3. Plus, get a closer look at our Glacier engine, the technology that powers HITMAN 3.
HITMAN 3 is available on 20 January 2021 https://t.co/XYtWCXKOb9 pic.twitter.com/ZnaRQlUAEI— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) November 24, 2020November 24, 2020
With the release of both the Xbox Series X/S and the PS5, fans may be wondering if Hitman 3 can properly harness the power of the new consoles. Thankfully, it seems as if they will be, as a new video released this week by IO shows off what the Glacier Engine can do. According to the video, Hitman 3 is capable of having up to 300 NPCs active at once, and next-gen consoles and PC players will be able to enjoy the game in 4K resolution, 60 FPS, and in HDR.
IO also mentioned that some of the rendering, animation, and AI upgrades found in Hitman 3 will also be available in Hitman 1 + 2, thanks to the trilogy of missions becoming available to players who own the third game.
Does Hitman 3 support VR gameplay?
During one of Sony's recent State of Play's, IO Interactive revealed that the Hitman trilogy, including the upcoming Hitman 3, would be playable in VR. According to a blog post shortly after, IO Interactive confirmed that Hitman 3 would be fully playable in VR, with VR support for every location from all three games coming to the series at some point. Currently, VR support will only be available in Hitman 3, with no plans to make a VR update for Hitman 1 or 3 in the works.
It's important to note that as of now, it seems like Hitman 3 will only VR support on the PSVR. According to a recent post from UploadVR, IO Interactive's Communications Manager Travis Barbour confirmed that Hitman 3 will include PSVR support at launch, with no other information on future VR support mentioned. From the looks of recent gameplay, it also looks like Hitman 3 won't be supporting the PlayStation Move Controllers just yet, as well.
In a brand new Developer Insights video released this week, IO Interactive dove more into what Hitman 3 on VR might look like. The video also showcases the developers using a DualShock 4 controller to move about, which is something that Senior Game Designer Eskil Møhl confirmed in a Reddit AMA held this week. While the company hasn't ruled out Move support in the future, it seems that the company is happy with the hybrid control scheme on which they've landed.
Recently, Travis Barbour - the Communications Manager for IO Interactive - detailed more of what players can expect to find in Hitman 3's VR in a blog post over at the PlayStation Blog. In the post, Barbour highlighted four things to expect to find in Hitman 3's VR:
- Point of View: In Hitman 3, players who play in VR will be playing in first person, which Barbour noted was accomplished thanks to IO Interactive reconsidering where all the aspects of the game and camera would be. Things like Agent 47's height and what parts of his body will get detected have also been tweaked to make sure things feel good in VR.
- New ways to play: Because of the "high level of fidelity and realism" in Hitman 3, the crew at IO Interactive had to make sure that holding certain items didn't leave a trail of evidence in your path. Because of this, Hitman 3's VR will allow players to "prime" an item, meaning players can freely carry anything but only attack someone with it when they choose to. This is accomplished by holding the R2 button on the DualShock 4 controller.
- Deeper immersion: One of the biggest pluses to VR gameplay is the immersion, and IO Interactive seems to have gone all in here. When playing in VR, they've added new reactions and trigger dialogue for when players interact with people. For example, tapping someone on the shoulder will cause them to turn around and acknowledge you or can help you create diversions needed to sneak around.
- Blending in: Hitman has always been a game about taking on a disguise and being stealthy. If you play Hitman 3 in VR, you'll take this to a new level, as players will be able to play out their disguises actively. This means if you're dressed as a waiter, you can actually go and clean tables or help out patrons at a restaurant as you wait for the perfect time to strike.
What's the story so far in Hitman 3?
Not too much is known about the story in Hitman 3 so far, but IO Interactive did detail some on their website. Hitman 3 will be "the dramatic conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy," according to the studio, and will take players all over the world to six "sandbox locations." Like Hitman 2, the newest game will launch in its entirety, meaning players won't have to wait for new chapters to release to finish the story.
More information from IO Interactive also suggests that Agent 47's will be joining forces with long-lost ally, Lucas Grey. According to the developers, their ultimate mission is to take down the partners of Providence, but things that happen along the way will force them to adapt. With this being the final entry in the trilogy, expect IO Interactive to pull out all the stops when it comes to delivering a thrilling conclusion.
Is Hitman 3 coming to Xbox One and PS4?
Yes. Not only is Hitman 3 coming to next-gen consoles, but it will also be releasing on current generation platforms as well. To make things even easier for players, IO Interactive has confirmed that players who own the original two games can import all 20+ locations into Hitman 3, and if you play the entire trilogy within Hitman 3, your progression will carry over. For example, if you unlock an item in Dubai, you can bring it with you to Paris for another mission.
Hitman 2 weapon progress and unlocks will also be carried over to Hitman 3, meaning that players who have done a ton of work in the past won't have to worry about not having the best gear when Hitman 3 launches.
What's the release date?
Hitman 3 is currently set to release on January 20, 2021. When it does launch, it will be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Epic Games Store).
The final entry
A master refinement
Hitman 3 doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it refines on an already-great formula, which is looking to be a great way to go out.
Xbox Series X/S
They seem to have copied the logo for Evolve. But meh, what I don't forgive them for is to make a feature of the game exclusive to effin' Playstation. what is this crap of partial exclusivity? Same that happened with Avengers and Spiderman. It's utter BS. Also, PSVR is the most primitive and limited of all the VR systems. But PS can buy anyone, it seems. Let's see them in a few years.
Eh? Pretty minor gripe if you ask me and I would not be surprised if VR support came to PC down the track. It'll obviously never come to Xbox, but PC it will.
Plug in VR headsets will soon be a thing of the past, other than for development and for PC nerds (me). Standalone is way more practical and enjoyable. Perhaps an Xbox standalone VR headset some day