Hitman 3 PlayStation VR Review
When it first launched, Sony’s PlayStation VR headset was considered a relatively low-end virtual reality device. Today’s PlayStation VR is a dinosaur compared to more recent virtual reality headsets, and this is very clear when playing the recently released stealth action game Hitman 3 in VR. PlayStation VR struggles to recreate the game’s impressive visuals, with players having to contend with blurry textures and a shockingly bad draw distance. Pop-in is a major issue when playing Hitman 3 in VR, especially in the Dubai mission. Drinks and appetizers found throughout the room at the beginning will pop in and out depending on the player’s distance, and the same goes for NPCs. It’s hard to get immersed in the game when hordes of similar people keep coming in and out of the game world. Hitman 3 looks rough in VR. It’s ugly as can be, not to mention awkward-looking as Agent 47 keeps his hand outstretched, a symptom of the control scheme. Oddly enough, Hitman 3 in VR doesn’t allow players to use the PlayStation Move controllers for input, instead forcing them to use the DualShock 4. This in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing; there are many great VR games that use more traditional controls instead of motion controls. But Hitman 3 still has motion control inputs, even if it uses the DualShock instead of the PlayStation Move. Everything from aiming to strangling victims with fiber wire is accomplished by physically moving the DualShock 4 around. The combination of motion controls and traditional inputs is a bit clunky at first, though the motion controls themselves show what could have happened if the developers had decided to assign them. It takes some getting used to and it feels weird with a DualShock 4 controller instead of the PlayStation Move, but the motion control aimed mixed with the first-person perspective adds an extra layer of intensity to the shootouts. which is not found in the base game. It’s a shame that Hitman 3 in VR doesn’t fully embrace motion controls by including PlayStation Move, as it’s easy to see how they could have improved the experience. When it comes to playing Hitman 3 in VR, IO Interactive dropped the ball a bit with the controls and graphics, although in all honesty, these shortcomings are more likely due to the hardware limitations of the PlayStation VR itself. It’s about as good as a PlayStation VR version of Hitman 3 could be expected to be, and hopefully it will have some time to shine on more powerful VR headsets. But once one gets past the game’s limitations, they’ll find one of the more content-rich VR experiences available, with some genuinely entertaining core gameplay. Hitman 3 VR is the entire experience of the base game, modified for a VR setup. Players still complete the same globe-trotting Hitman 3 missions as they did in the base game, with the same objectives and the same tools at their disposal. It’s essentially the same basic experience, but with a first-person perspective and a few minor tweaks to accommodate VR gaming. So all that great content that Hitman 3 reviews rave about is there for PlayStation VR players to experience. All of this extends to previous games in the series as well. For the uninitiated, IO Interactive made it possible for Hitman 3 players to access all the missions from the previous World of Assassination trilogy games, and all of these missions are also playable in VR. This is an impressive feat and means that Hitman 3 offers more playtime than most other VR games on the market. It should also be emphasized that the VR version of Hitman 3 is a bonus for PlayStation owners, not something that needs to be purchased separately as a standalone product. Hitman 3 players on PS4 and PS5 can safely ignore VR if they choose and play the entire game the old-fashioned way. And that’s really the best way to experience Hitman 3, because players can take in the full extent of its graphics and appreciate the game as a whole. Not to mention those playing it on PlayStation 5 in non-VR mode will also enjoy Hitman 3’s use of the DualSense controller features. Unfortunately, it is not possible to play the PS5 version of Hitman 3 in VR. Only the PS4 version has virtual reality support, so players will have to download that version of the game, sacrificing perks like the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback. PlayStation 5 owners will also need to pick up their free PSVR adapter from Sony if they haven’t already, as otherwise the device won’t work with the next-gen hardware. Again, IO Interactive cannot be blamed, as these things are out of the developer’s control. And to IO’s credit, Hitman 3 does a few things on PlayStation VR that many other games completely fail to do on the headset. For example, Hitman 3 load times in VR are near-instant, whereas many other PlayStation VR games, and VR games in general, tend to have longer load times. Once players load into one of Hitman 3’s destinations, they are free to explore it to their heart’s content without further delay. The PlayStation VR head-tracking and everything else is also great, and so gamers will spend more time playing the game than wrestling with their setup. However, no one knows that Hitman 3 on PlayStation VR is not the ideal way to experience the game. Better to play it the traditional way, on a next-gen console if possible. But even so, the VR version can be a fun distraction, and properly explore the world of Hitman in VR. Many of the game’s drawbacks are due to the PlayStation VR itself and not the game’s design flaws, and in all fairness, the core gameplay can still be a blast in VR. It would be one thing if it was a standalone release, but as a fun bonus for PlayStation players, Hitman 3 in VR is simply icing on the cake. Hitman 3’s VR mode is exclusive to the PlayStation VR version of the game. Today Technology was provided with a PS4 code for this review.