Hitman 2 shines on all major platforms.
Agent 47 is back and he is back with a bang! Hitman 2 is one of the finest games of the year as it pushes the series forward with even more interesting ways to assassinate targets, larger maps and fantastic level design, along with some of the industry’s leading emergent gameplay methodologies. Hitman 2 also manages to excel in one other area…its use of excellent graphics technology. We stated back in 2016 and then again in 2017, that Hitman is a benchmark game for consoles. If you want to gauge the difference between the PS4 and Xbox One, or the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, then Hitman is a fantastic template to gauge those differences. And this trend continues with Hitman 2 but more on this in a bit.
From a top level, you won’t be able to observe much difference between the original game and Hitman 2. However, the updates to the Glacier engine have resulted into subtle improvements in the lighting department and volumetric effects such as wind or sand flowing in the air. The crowd tech has always been one of the key points in Hitman games and that is still going strong in Hitman 2. Hundreds of NPCs doing their own thing are rendered without breaking a sweat in Hitman 2. Levels are much bigger and complicated in scope compared to the 2016’s iteration which in turn opens up several more opportunities and routes to take your target down. We don’t usually talk about level design in our tech analysis, but Hitman 2 definitely deserves special praise as it’s pushing the medium in that department. There has also been a slight change in the color palette with the image now looking much crisper and cleaner thanks to the power of the iterative consoles.
We recently tested the game across the PC, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. The PC version of Hitman 2 requires an Intel CPU Core i7 4790 4 GHz, Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD GPU Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB GPU and 16GB of memory. Our test PC includes a GTX 1080Ti, 16GB of GDDR4 memory and Ryzen 1700 CPU. Graphical settings include but is not limited to Supersampling, Level of Detail, Texture Quality, Texture Filtering, SSAO, Shadow Quality along with display settings which include Fullscreen, Resolution, Display Mode, V-Sync, V-Sync Interval and HDR. We are honestly quite baffled at the limited number of options, the developers could have done more here, specially given how this is a major AAA release of the year. Performance for the most part was fine but was expected given our test PC specifications more or less outpowers the recommended requirements.
Hitman 2 on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, just like the original game, follows the same technical specifications. Xbox One X offers players with two different modes. A quality mode which renders the game in native 4K and caps the frame rate to 30 and a performance mode which renders the game in 1440p and targets 60fps. On the other hand, PS4 Pro runs at 1440p with the option to run the game in locked or unlocked frame rates. As we noted back during our PS4 Pro and Xbox One X video comparison of the original game, we don’t really prefer the unlocked frame rate option. However, even if you switch on this option, the PS4 Pro struggles to reach a consistent 60fps whereas the Xbox One X version seems to be much closer to its target. On the image quality front, the Xbox One X is clearly the winner here. A native 4K presentation at a somewhat stable 30fps immediately gives the Xbox One X a massive advantage over the PS4 Pro.
Compared to the PC, the Xbox One X clearly falls short in some departments. The PC version at the highest setting possible delivers better reflection quality and overall excellent level of detail. Furthermore, an adherence to a complete locked 60fps (provided you have the hardware) really sets the PC version apart from the consoles. Compared to the PS4 Pro version, the PC version further expands it gap thanks to even more better shadow quality and texture filtering.
So, overall, the PC version is clearly leading the race here with noticeable benefits over the console version. The Xbox One X build, just like the original game, is an excellent platform to play Hitman 2 on. PS4 Pro on the other hand isn’t bad either but its shortcoming compared to the other two platforms are pretty apparent.
It’s the expected order then, Hitman 2 truly shines on the PC followed by the Xbox One X and then the PS4 Pro.