Hitman Trilogy VR Review - A Good Game With a Not-So-Good VR Port

Updated: Jun 24

The Hitman World of Assassination Trilogy contains three solid games that have unfortunately made a rough transition to VR.



VR ports of big triple A titles are an interesting concept. They are not crafted for VR, but games with good VR ports are some of the biggest on the platform, even over VR exclusive games. After all, who doesn’t want to play Skyrim or Borderlands 2 in VR? Unfortunately, the fact that these games aren’t crafted for VR means that a VR port could run into issues not seen in the base game. Hitman Trilogy is the newest game to receive a VR compatibility mode, and in many ways it falls short of its VR port brethren, and of its flat screen version.


Overview


The Hitman Trilogy hit Steam last week after a year of timed exclusivity on the Epic Games Store, and with it came PC VR support for all three games in the trilogy. The Hitman series itself is well established, and the first entry in the series came out all the way back in the year 2000. The three newest games are dubbed the “World of Assassination” trilogy, and were an attempt to reboot the franchise after the controversial and linear Hitman: Absolution. All three games also already had VR ports, but they were previously PlayStation VR exclusive.



Gameplay


The core gameplay of Hitman is about finding targets and assassinating them, as a bald assassin named Agent 47. These assassinations take place in massive sandbox environments, where many different things are taking place at the same time. While you are tracking down your target, an NPC on the other side of the map might currently be trying to find a bottle of whiskey that your target specifically requested. Each mission has a main “story” to follow that will allow you to complete all objectives, but creative players can find these side stories and use them to find creative ways to kill their targets.


The core Hitman experience translates well to VR. The ridiculousness of walking down a runway while impersonating a famous male model and then using that to get a meeting with your target, only to strangle them later, is fun, and definitely provides an experience currently unique to the VR world. The weird side stories are fun to execute, and killing your target in first person is mildly disturbing, but satisfying.


Unfortunately, the Hitman Trilogy VR adaptation carries a lot of problems with it as well. IO Interactive clearly did not take their time with the VR port, and while the core gameplay is fun, it has a lot of VR-specific issues that hold the port back from being great.


The very first issue I encountered was before I even completed the tutorial, where one section of my tutorial was bugged and locked me in place, which stopped me from completing the tutorial. Fortunately, I believe I was at the end anyway, but there were some things I figured out after at least five hours of gameplay that were probably in the tutorial anyway.


The most annoying issue overall is the lack of an autosave in VR. This is just baffling, as the regular version of the Hitman Trilogy autosaves after certain events to ensure that one bad move doesn’t ruin all of the progress made in your mission thus far. VR makes you manually save each time, so if you forget to save and make a mistake, you can lose a lot of progress. Considering missions in Hitman – for an unskilled player like myself – can take an hour or more, this leads to frustrating re-treading of all the actions you’ve taken in the past half hour.


The controls also feel pretty off, such as with sprinting. You can only sprint forward, and not forward in terms of where your headset is pointed. The game decides what “forward” is, and in order to fix this, you need to hit the recenter button to recalibrate what forward is. This leads to you constantly recentering in order to sprint in the direction you want to.


The grip feature also feels really janky. Even if you’re pointing and looking at the specific object you want to interact with, a lot of the time the game just randomly decides to have you interact with a different object instead. Look down, press RG to grab a body to pull it into a hiding space, then all of a sudden you have a screwdriver in your hand that you accidentally picked up from six feet away somehow.


The inventory system also suffers from the same issue. You have an inventory pouch on your chest that picked up items can be dropped into to save for later. Half of the time though, the circle indicating where you can drop your inventory doesn’t recognize that you want to use it, so you drop an item close to your chest and then your item just drops on the floor. If you’re hiding around a corner, this will alert guards to your presence. If you just have a screwdriver or hammer in your hand – which does not alert NPCs while carrying the item – and then drop it while trying to store it in your inventory, all of a sudden everyone around you is now suspicious, and your cover is blown.