Likely the highest profile game coming out this month is Hitman 3 by Danish game makers IO Interactive.
The Copenhagen-based studio is now putting the finishing touches on the game, which is slated to hit shelves on January 20 this year. Actually, and like most modern video game releases these days, there will be a digital release too – even if sadly for some people the PC version won’t be coming to Steam until next year.
Also, those playing on PC (and Xbox consoles) won’t be able to enjoy the virtual reality or VR version of the game, which is only available for those who get hold of the PS4 or PS5 version of the game.
Aside from featuring enhancements like upgraded 4K visuals and smoother frame rates, the PS5 version of the game also comes with a copy of the PS4 version. This is because the PlayStation VR (PSVR) version of Hitman 3 runs in backwards compatibility mode, as developer IO Interactive explained back in December.
And it’s likely that many Hitman fans as well as newcomers are looking forward to playing Hitman 3 in VR. After all, the recent Hitman games (2016’s reboot and Hitman 2), were some of the best-looking games at the time of release.
Hitman 2016 had sumptuous locations like a Paris manor where a fashion show was taking place, and an impressive looking, high-tech hospital on the Japanese location of Hokkaido, where you’ll be able to “hang out” as the game’s VR trailer below says…
One of the big differences when making the leap to VR (as can be expected) is that you’ll be swapping the game’s traditional third-person view for a first-person perspective, seeing the world through Agent 47’s eyes.
I can’t help but notice, though, that some bits in the trailer above look like a game from 2010, and that this VR perspective simply doesn’t look as good as the third-person viewpoint I’ve enjoyed in the Hitman games so far.
It will definitely be more immersive and surely a trailer viewed on a 2D screen doesn’t do justice to the VR experience – but the not so impressively detailed backgrounds, textures and character models on show here are not a great ad for the VR version of what could be one of 2021’s biggest games.
Some of the limitations of PSVR might be on evidence here: Sony’s VR headset was designed for use with their PS4 consoles, so its bound by the limitations of hardware which is more than seven years old now.
Hitman 3, though, definitely has a chance to take the limelight this year. With no other major AAA releases scheduled for January, this last entry in the “World of Assassination” trilogy could really grab gamers attention in the dawn of 2021.
And this would certainly be a good thing, as 2016’s Hitman reboot did not get the attention it deserved, despite it being the best Hitman game in years. This had to do with the episodic format IO choose for the game. Its failure led to Japanese publisher Square Enix dropping IO Interactive, with IO later hooking up with Warner Bros. for the 2018 sequel Hitman 2. This likely did not get as much attention as it deserved due to launching in that year’s busy holiday season too (and despite some clever ads featuring Sean Bean).
Here’s hoping, then, that Hitman 3 can shine in 2021, and that both the standard and VR version leave gamers happy in what could be another great year for gaming.