Hitman 3 developer IO Interactive is celebrating the game’s first anniversary on January 20 in a big way, starting with the release of The Hitman Trilogy, which will debut in the Game Pass library on Windows PC and Xbox, the studio announced Thursday.
The pack includes all three games of the World of Assassination trilogy – 2016 Hitman, 2018 Hitman 2, and 2021 Hitman 3 – and it will also be released the same day on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The PC version of the trilogy (and of Hitman 3 itself) will be available through Steam as well as the Epic Games Store, as the game’s one-year exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store ends on January 20. IO has not announced a price for the trilogy; we’ve reached out to the studio to ask, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.
Hitman 3 Also coming to another new platform on January 20: PC virtual reality. VR mode was previously available exclusively on PlayStation VR, which support is limited to the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Hitman 3 PC gamers – whether on Steam or the Epic Games Store – will be able to experience the entire World of Assassination trilogy in VR (if they own the first two games on PC as well as Hitman 3).
IO didn’t provide details on the headset’s compatibility, saying only that it “will support the most popular hardware to provide the best experience for as many gamers as possible.” This likely includes headsets such as the Oculus Touch, which use separate controllers in each hand, allowing players to use both hands to throw objects in Hitman VR: Aim with the left and throw with the right. For more details, including VR gameplay footage, check out the Hitman 3 year 2 reveal video.
In addition to new platforms, January 20 will mark the start of Hitman 3‘s second year of content. On this day, IO will release the first of two new game modes coming in 2022: Elusive Target Arcade. This expands on the fan-favorite Elusive Target mode by requiring players to take down targets in succession, completing multiple contracts simultaneously, and unlocking rewards along the way. The biggest change from the existing version of the mode is that Arcade Contracts will be permanently available, unlike the limited-time events that are Elusive Targets. However, failing a stage of an Arcade Contract will result in a 12-hour lockout, so there is still an element of time to access the new mode.
This spring, IO will follow Elusive Target Arcade with an all-new mode called Freelancer. This single-player mode features an array of campaigns for players to tackle, each comprising a series of missions – playable in any order – in which Agent 47 must take down a criminal organization. As a freelancer, 47 does not work with ICA support in this mode; his equipment is not permanent and between missions he will have to return to his home base to resupply.
Here’s how IO describes Freelancer campaigns:
Campaign missions have been reworked to accommodate Freelancer mode. For example, locations will have new NPC types, which can either help or hinder your progress. Vendors will offer a selection of weapons and items you can acquire to increase your chances of success, while other NPCs will alert Leaders and make your job more difficult. In addition to these NPCs, there are several other elements that will make Freelancer campaigns unique. You’ll be able to find safes, hidden hideouts, and even other Assassin NPCs…
This location, simply called Safehouse, is one of two new maps announced by IO so far for Year 2. It’s not a traditional Hitman map – it’s a customizable space with areas that players will unlock as they progress through the Freelancer campaigns. There’s a shooting range to test out weapons, a closet to try on new outfits, and even decor to tailor the place to your own tastes.
Finally, IO mentioned a few updates that will arrive “later in 2022”. They include a number of PC-specific visual upgrades such as real-time ray tracing – for reflections and shadows – which will be available for the entire World of Assassination trilogy in Hitman 3. Another is support for XeSS, Intel’s competitor to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), which debuts this year alongside Intel GPU Arc. (You can see a brief demo of XeSS in Hitman 3 in this Intel video from October 2021.) IO will also be adding variable rate shading to the game later this year, which improves performance by spending less rendering resources on parts of the image that are less important.