The most comprehensive Hitman 3 VR game review.

The control scheme and gameplay change.

After removing all of the logistics (which are necessary for planning a proper murder), it's time to discuss how Hitman 3 has implemented the use of VR. For starters, the perspective is now in the first person, and there is no way to modify it. This restricts our area of vision while also removing the cover system.

Loss of Mini-map.

This already complicates things, but there are more changes, such as the loss of the minimap (the map is still available from the pause menu), a brief fade to black when there is climbing or jumping animation, and areas where 47 used to be hung now have a small ledge so that we can go close to the wall while standing up. Even the double screen has been removed, adding a layer of complication when they uncover a corpse or catch us on a security camera. The most noticeable difference will undoubtedly be the Instinct mode, which now simply marks the position of the objective with an icon, but we won't have this detective vision to uncover where the crucial NPCs are or anything like that, having to rely on our own instincts instead of 47's.

The attention of the NPCs.

Fortunately, not all are losses, as some unique Virtual Reality features are there. For example, now we can get the attention of the NPCs by tapping on their shoulder (I admit I've done many times to hit them on the right shoulder and then stand on their left, as stupid as that is), if we see a glass or showcase we can break them of a blow when we have a weapon, or dropping objects (not to be confused with throwing) can cause some noise in case we have run out of coins and only have weapons.

Although these problems can be overcome with bodily motions, we cannot use the PS Move to play. Instead, the Dualshock 4 is the only supported control mechanism, with its light bar allowing the PS Camera to read our movements. As a result, if you're using a PS5, we won't be able to use Dualsense.

As a result, the control mechanism functions as a cross between a native VR game and adaptations like Resident Evil VII. We still use a lot of buttons on the gamepad to interact with the world, but we also make a lot of physical interactions with our movements. It seems like a good balance to me, providing us the accuracy of movement of the sticks and buttons while allowing us to mess around with the NPCs a little bit thanks to our gestures. Would it be preferable to have conditional controls and more physical aspects? Of course, given PSVR's restrictions, I believe it has done its best.

Tracking in Hitman 3.

Tracking in Hitman 3 isn't ideal because it relies on the Dualshock 4's light bar, but it's more than adequate for the sort of play at hand. The precision of a Beat Saber isn't required here, therefore we won't have any difficulty playing. It may appear unusual when aiming, but because we can activate a laser beam in all weapons by slightly pressing the trigger, we may have incredible precision with the immersion (and extra strain) of aiming manually by moving the control. Although I've largely played stealth, I've had a few firefights, and it's a joy to be able to shoot blind from cover or feel like John Wick chaining many headshots like the pros we are.

At the implementation level, I believe I just have two disadvantages. The first is when employing sights on sniper rifles or any form of camera. When we use them, instead of operating inside the item, the game will enter cinematic mode. It's an instant change, but it requires a significant amount of immersion on the whole. I understand why the cinematics had to be that way (including some unique kills), but it might have been done much better. Another thing that may be improved (but is easily patched) is the blue grid that marks the position of the PS Camera. It's supposed to help us if we turn, but it's always on when the camera isn't at viewfinder level. In my experience, tracking is best when the camera is pointing up and down, so I already have it set up in the room, and I've had the grid active almost all of the time. It would be wonderful if we could deactivate it if we so choose.

Game Sensations - Becoming Agent 47

What counts once you've described how the controls work is how you feel while playing, and Hitman 3 excels at this. It may sound corny, but you truly become Agent 47, allowing you to experience each level in a wholly fresh way. I've completed all of the missions in the first Hitman, and I'm currently working my way through the tasks in the second (I hadn't played the trilogy before, so I had to start from scratch), so I still have a lot more murders ahead of me.

The crucial thing to note is that when replaying several missions later in the plane in the PS5 version (which is extremely fantastic and makes good use of Dualsense), the sensations are completely different. Crowds and NPCs are just covered in the third person, but in VR, I was monitoring what the citizens/passersby or whoever they were doing. I'd genuinely gawk and goof around with people, taking photos and following NPCs to their interactions to imagine their own stories, such as covert couples courting or hustling, and so on. Also, I felt like the NPCs interacted with me more in VR because their eyes follow you well, which really boosts immersion.

I also like how the tension builds up so quickly. Because you don't have the third-person camera, minimap, or other tools that I described earlier, you're tense every time you do something illegal. I once knocked someone unconscious while moving the body, and I was terrified that anyone might see me. When I got caught and had to use sticks or shoots, I felt tremendously wonderful, flashing a good smirk at a good strategy that worked.

In this sense, even if the objectives are identical, playing them in VR encourages me to approach them in completely different ways due to changes in gameplay, viewpoint, and immersion. In VR, I literally prefer to do things in a more personal manner, whereas in a shot, I'm more apathetic, seeking efficiency above all else.

Technical sacrifices, but looking great

Hitman 3 suffers from visual compromises in order to run on PSVR, so it clearly looks worse than the flat versions. To begin with, shadows and reflections have been removed, which impacts both mechanics by which opponents might identify us, but this is something sensible and usual in VR. The texturing is also a little flatter, as is the overall lighting.

The image resolution, on the other hand, is pretty high, which is surprising. In exchange, there is a lot of popping, with distant components seeming worse or disappearing entirely. We'll observe this with crowd NPCs or little ornamental objects like bottles in pubs. We will notice it a lot if we start rushing around the stage, but we will not notice it as much if we proceed at a reasonable pace. Furthermore, we will always see the primary item, and while it may be unusual to see NPCs in the distance without feet until we get closer, or crowds that do not exist but are the target behind the group of people, the outcome is still stunning. It's one of the reasons why the immersion when investigating the scenarios is so strong because there's nothing that pulls us out of the missions too much.

Sound effects. 

The sound also helps, and because of the 3D audio, it's a joy to hear where the NPCs, foes, and others are coming from. It is true that it shocks me that in the first Hitman, everyone has a perfect British accent despite being in Paris, Morocco, or similar places, but that is something that already happened with the original game.

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