Hitman 3 developer video shows off new VR gameplay

There were several exciting reveals during PlayStation’s most recent State of Play digital showcase, but none were quite as intriguing as the announcement that Hitman 3 will be fully playable on PlayStation VR, along with the rest of the missions in the “World of Assassination” trilogy.

Thankfully, developer IO Interactive has just released a new video that dives just a little deeper into how Hitman will work in VR, as well as revealing a few new snippets of gameplay.

While most of the information in the new Developer Insights video rehashes what we already knew about the game, the included gameplay footage gives us a practical sense of how mechanics like melee weapons, firefights, and stealth will work.

IO previously stated that melee weapons will be physics-based, but the dev video shows the player as Agent 47 first tapping an enemy guard on the shoulder with a crowbar to get his attention. The guard then turns around slowly, and the player smacks him in the face with the crowbar, knocking him out cold. While you can obviously distract guards with coins in standard Hitman games, being able to tap one on the shoulder to get their attention creates a level of interaction that is quite surprising and immersive.

Another moment in the video that shows how IO is adapting Hitman’s mechanics for VR is when Agent 47 is in a firefight. The footage shows the player reaching around a corner and blind-firing a pistol at enemy guards. Again, you can blind-fire in standard Hitman games, so it’s good to see that IO is retaining this mechanic for the VR version and giving players even more control of how they move in and out of cover.

Using vegetation as stealth cover is also a mechanic that’s coming over to VR, as you might expect. Footage shows the player stalking an enemy soldier through the tall grass in the Hawke’s Bay level from Hitman 2. There’s also a clip of the player hiding in a bathroom closet in the Hawke’s Bay beach house while the target and her husband enter the room, confirming that hiding will also be a key mechanic in the VR version of these missions. NPCs will also react to the player depending on what disguise they are wearing, specifically if they are wearing disguises that pertain to Opportunities or Mission Stories, it seems.

While any new gameplay footage is welcome, these moments raise even more questions than they answer. Will players press a button to crouch, or will they be able to physically crouch? Similarly, will players actually have to open a closet door or a dumpster and step into it to hide, or will they just press a button and the game will do it for them?

We’re also curious about Agent 47’s different traversal methods and how that will work. Will players be able to grab a drain pipe and shimmy up it, or will this again be accomplished via a button press on the Move controllers? There a still a lot of questions that we’d like to see answered prior to Hitman 3‘s January 2021 release.

The biggest question that still remains is whether Hitman 3‘s VR will remain exclusive to PlayStation, as the marketing at the end of the dev video only references PSVR. IO hasn’t said anything about other platforms like Oculus Rift or Valve Index, and fans who want to play Hitman in VR on PC are starting to worry.

Still, there’s a lot of time for more dev videos between now and January 2021, when Hitman 3 launches for PlayStation 5 and 4, Xbox One and Series X, and PC. Hopefully we’ll get to see a full Hitman 2 mission played out in VR before then.

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