Last night’s State of Play was about as low-key as PlayStation had already stated it would be. Scant on reveals and with a heavy emphasis on gameplay, those expecting the world from it were likely going to be left disappointed.
For me, it was a solid showing that pretty much met the set expectations. There were a few cool segments, Alan Wake in Control being one of them, but overall it was a decent showcase for what’s on the PlayStation horizon. The best thing wasn’t the extended Godfall gameplay showcase — which looks a little…floaty? — or the apparent kitchen sink nature of Crash 4. It was Hitman VR.
It’s hard to undersell just how impressive Hitman in virtual reality could turn out to be, and it’s not just for the upcoming third game — it will be the entire nu-trilogy that will be compatible with PlayStation VR.
That means roughly 20 levels of stealth brilliance all updated to take advantage of virtual reality. What makes this even more impressive is that they will feature the exact same amount of detail as the standard third-person experience, meaning that you can be a giant pink bird who explodes F1 cars but in a first-person perspective. Imagine strutting the catwalk in Paris or infiltrating a cult in virtual reality, your hands firmly gripping 47’s iconic suitcase with you able to chuck it with the precision of a bald Robin Hood.
General gameplay itself will also benefit from the virtual reality integration. As mentioned in a blog post from IO, players will be able to pick up a frying pan and use it to deflect bullets. The mind boggles over the possibilities of Hitman VR, so whether you want to snipe from afar with precision or push people off of tall buildings for hours at a time, Hitman VR will probably allow you to do just that. I also don’t want to say that rocking up with dual Silverballers and shooting everything in sight would be psychotically great fun, but I’m not not saying that, either.
The same level of interactive, murderous storytelling will also be on offer, so players can weave their own assassinations stories within VR just as they would with a DualShock. According to a documentary series from NoClip, there’s a staggering amount of work that goes into simulating Hitman levels, coding every little thing to react to every player action and decision. The fact that IO Interactive are going to offer this same experience in virtual reality and all the additional coding that entails is just wild.
What makes this all even more impressive is that IO Interactive didn’t really need to put Hitman in virtual reality, and they probably could have sold VR as a separate thing and fans would understand. I mean, loads of people still bought Skyrim VR, after all. Since going independent, IO have shown time and time again that they put Hitman fans first with regular free content updates and their interconnected World of Assassination giving remastered levels without any additional fees for each new Hitman game.
There’s still a lot to be revealed when it comes to Hitman VR, whether it will make use of the Aim controller, if it will ever come to other VR platforms and just how well such a massive undertaking can really turn out being just some of the things I’d like it know. For now, though, I am already looking excitedly at a tailored suit for the authentic VR experience when Hitman 3 launches in January next year.
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