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Hitman 3 trailer shows off how much the series has evolved

IO Interactive has dropped a location reveal trailer for the upcoming Hitman 3. Not only does it introduce one of the game's new levels and share its powerful new specs, it also shows just how far Agent 47 has come since 2000.

In the new "Under the Hood" trailer, fans get a glimpse of Hitman 3's rainy Chongqing level, but it's really a chance for IO to show off its powerful Glacier engine. The game will be rendered in 4K resolution at 60 FPS, and will support HDR, or high dynamic range imaging. As you can see, Chongqing's detailed water and lighting effects create the perfect atmosphere for 47 to slink around in the shadows. It's worth noting that these upgrades will be applied to Hitman 1 and Hitman 2, since you can "import" the locations from those games into Hitman 3.

So far, Chongqing is the third Hitman 3 level IO has announced. One level will take place on a massive Dubai skyscraper based on the Burj Khalifa. Another level, inspired by the 2019 film Knives Out, will send 47 to a manor in the English countryside where he'll have to solve a murder.

The conclusion to the Hitman trilogy is one of the most anticipated games of 2021. It will debut January 20th on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, PC, Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia. The PS4 version of the game will have PSVR capability, but so far this hasn't been confirmed on PS5. Meanwhile, the Nintendo version will be entirely cloud-based.

In a second announcement, IO shared details about the even-more-powerful PC version of the game. The company has teamed up with Intel to optimize the game's performance on PC at launch and will be issuing several updates, tweaks, and improvements throughout 2021. PC players with 8+ core CPUs can expect even bigger crowds and more "destructibility" in levels. The PC version will use Variable Rate Shading, and IO will be implementing ray tracing sometime after launch. 

This month also marks the 20th anniversary of the Hitman franchise. Today's Hitman games are obviously bigger and more powerful than they've ever been, but the series has always been on the cutting edge. As the announcement points out, the original Hitman: Codename 47 used revolutionary ragdoll physics and animation that set a standard for the gaming industry. Hitman 3 looks to be pushing the envelope once again. Based on what we've seen so far, everyone's favorite bald, barcoded assassin will have more than enough ways to cause mayhem.