Hitman III sees Agent 47 return for his toughest outing yet, in the conclusion of the ‘World of Assassination’ trilogy. We were briefed of his exploits by IO Interactive’s communications manager, Travis Barbour.
So, what has Agent 47 been up to while we’ve awaited his next assignments?
47 is a man of many skills. We’ve previously seen him master playing the drums, practice yoga, earning a living as a barber – and even top the leader boards of dancing-rhythm games. He’s probably also been learning a few new tricks in case he needs them in the near future…
You’ve previously claimed that Hitman III will be “a lot more mature, serious and darker”. With this in mind, can you please give us more of an idea what’s in store?
It was probably me that actually said that, so hopefully I can give you a good answer! Hitman I was all about introducing the world and characters, Hitman II was about building on the foundations and expanding the story and now Hitman III is the conclusion to everything that came before it. There’s a real sense of closure and finality about the game, in many different aspects, including the story.
We want you to get a lot closer to your targets and get to know their motivations and intentions more than you have in the past. Every action that 47 takes will have an impact and, as it’s the last game in the trilogy, every open narrative needs to reach a conclusion.
What’s your favourite new feature introduced in Hitman III?
There’s a few; I really like the new camera, which 47 now has with him as a default item in his inventory – and has a few different uses besides letting you take photos. I also think that ‘Playstyles’ are great. They’re post-mission ratings or rankings that you earn based on how you completed the mission. Of course, we have the classic Silent Assassin, but there’s a ton of other cool ones to earn if you want to branch out in different styles. We always say that Hitman is a game that lets you play however you want, and now the game will acknowledge that too. You might end up as a Hired Gun, Henchman or Sharpshooter amongst many others. It all depends on how you choose to play. For a game that’s built on replayability, it’s the perfect addition.
Have the new generation consoles allowed you to add anything really special to the PS5 and/or XSX versions of Hitman III?
The next generation consoles have allowed us to push the limits and make the game look, sound and play better than before. We’re able to support 4K visuals, 60 fps and HDR as well as doing some really cool things with the PS5 DualSense controller. For example, we’re using the Adaptive Triggers to simulating firing weapons and the Haptic Feedback will give you precise vibrations and rumble for each individual gun.
On all platforms, loading times will be much improved and very fast, which is ideal when you want to save and load frequently to perfect your playthrough. Of course, it’ll also get you into the game faster too. That’s always good.
“We always say that Hitman is a game that lets you play however you want, and now the game will acknowledge that too.”
Can you please tell us more about the PS VR component of Hitman III?
Hitman in VR is incredible. The team has done an awesome job to have a first-person POV when you play in VR and it’s difficult to put into words quite how immersed you can get into the missions and locations. Even just exploring, looking at the finer details, picking items up and observing what’s going on around you is really enjoyable.
There are a few cool things you can do in VR that aren’t possible with the non-VR version. For example, you can lean around a corner to check where your target might be, stick your hand out to fire your pistol and then quickly throw it away before calmly walking away.
Alternatively, you could also keep the gun in your hand and use it to smash open a window and stick your hand through the glass to blind fire into the room. A lot of the items, such as the glass windows and weapons already had these physical properties built into them and they became a natural fit into the VR game.
Oh, and the first level of the game takes place at the very top of a skyscraper in Dubai and the sense of vertigo is very, very real in VR. You can only imagine…
What do you most hope that Hitman fans get from this conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy?
A true sense of satisfaction. I want them to be happy with how things end, knowing that they’ve been following Agent 47 for more than 20 years. I also hope that they come away with a sense of pride for being part of an incredible journey, especially over these last five years. From the episodic launch of Hitman I, IOI becoming independent, Hitman II bringing multiplayer to the franchise and then having IOI self-publishing the final game on a new generation of consoles (and in VR!) – it’s an incredible story. Our fans have been there through every step, good or bad and I want them to look back on it all and think that it was worth it – and that they’ve got some of the best Hitman missions ever to play.
With Hitman III being the conclusion of the ‘World of Assassination” trilogy, will Agent 47 be retiring to a nice beach somewhere?
You could say that we tried that at the end of Hitman II by sending him to a luxurious resort in the Maldives where they specialise in forging new identities. Instead of taking his chance to retire there, 47 insisted on shutting down the entire operation. For the end of Hitman III, you’ll have to wait and see…
Hitman III is available now on PS5, Xbox and PS4.