It's a big day for splendid sandbox stealth stabber Hitman 3, now entering its second year of content and support. The developers, Io Interactive are going hard out the gate by adding the new Elusive Target Arcade mode and bringing VR support to PC. It's also ending Epic exclusivity today, hitting not only Steam but Game Pass too, with the full trilogy coming to Microsoft's subscription service. Busy busy.
So. Lots going on. Let's start niche. After VR support debuted on PlayStation, Hitman now lets you jack in with cybergoggles on PC too. You too can see through a murderer's eyes and murder with a murderer's hands. It works with a variety of Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift and Quest goggs, as well as several sorts of VR controllers. See Io's VR page for more info on systement requirements and supported hardware, including a warning of some controllers that "may not offer the best experience".
Far more accessible is Elusive Target Arcade, a new mode based on the controversial Elusive Target mode. While those murders were fleeting, only available on certain days, these are permanent. You can't permanently flub them either, you only get locked out of a contract for 12 hours if you blow it. They're more complex too, with each contract comprising a chain of targets. Io are starting out with three Arcade Contracts that'll hit 11 targets across 10 locations, and plan to add more contracts later in the year.
Stores! Hitman 3's year of Epixclusivity is now over. It'll hit Steam today at 6pm GMT (10am Pacific), for one. That Steam page will only go live once it's actually out. And the entire trilogy is due to hit Microsoft's Store and Game Pass at 1pm GMT, so it should be there rrright nnnow (I see different availability in different Microsoft apps and storefronts, which is unhelpful). A good Game Pass get.
Releasing Hit 3 as an Epic timed exclusive after the previous two were on Steam was a big stupid mess, especially when the import servers were busted at launch. But I do understand that Io are now an independent studio (after Square Enix ditched them) and that Epic offer giant sacks of cash. Did you suck it up, reader dear, are have you been waiting for this day?
See the Year 2 patch notes for more details, including info on carrying over progression between versions, a few bug fixes, store timings, and other odds and ends.
This is only the start of Year 2. Plans for the rest of the year include a new map, raytracing support, and a new mode with roguelike elements, named Freelancer.
In our Hitman 3 review a year ago, Brendy said: "As a final act, Hitman 3 is as capable and pleasing as its trilogy-siblings. As a trilogy, it is one of the most fun-loving games of the previous decade. It is like Ian himself - reliable, dry-humoured, uniformed. The best murderer money can buy."