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Hitman Review



The graphics of Hitman look quite good, but in the exact way I would expect and want them to. Yes, another time when there is not much to say because it is done right, but I will think of something, if only to keep this section from being too short.

Textures, models, and most animations are spot-on for what I want to see, while the lighting stands out. The shadows being cast look good, but it is the way the light falls on some objects that I particularly enjoy, as it gives a very natural appearance. The place I noticed this most was in the Paris mission when disguised as one of the fashion models, walking by a light on the ground. How the light affected my coat and the shadows the folds left were actually quite impressive to me.

If I must provide a negative to the appearance, it is that some animations, especially facial animations, do not look particularly good, but do not look bad either. For facial animations, this makes sense and is completely forgivable because they are run on characters as they stand in the level. We are not getting nice, pre-configured dialogue scenes between Agent 47 and an NPC, but characters conversing in the game world, with that animation applied to their models.

Really, I do not know what more to say about the appearance, so time to move onto the performance, and here are my specs:

  • Processor: AMD A10-5800K @ 4.40 GHz (44.0x100)
  • Cooling: Corsair H110
  • Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 980 4 GB
  • PhysX: EVGA GTX 770 2 GB
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
  • PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

The game's performance is not going to be so easy to cover as its appearance, but at least I know a good place to start. While Hitman can use DirectX 12, apparently my computer cannot at this time, as trying to use the newer API crashed the graphics driver or the game every time. Fortunately DirectX 11 has no issue running.



As I normally do, I started running the game at its highest settings, with the exception of the Super Sampling option, which I left at 1. For the earlier, tutorial missions, the performance was quite good but the larger story mission set in Paris brought the performance down significantly. At the highest settings it would drop to around 30 FPS and lower, depending on where I was. There are a great many NPCs on this map, so I would not be surprised if this is because of my CPU more than my GPU. In fact the level is so intense that I am not able to adequately capture video of it, while the tutorial missions work far better (not perfect, but better). Naturally I turned down the options to approximately Medium settings, which did help.

For a few days I tried different things to hopefully be able to capture video of the Paris level, without any success on that front. However, I did manage to improve the performance of the game because among the things I tried was disabling V-Sync. I have observed this in other games as well, where the in-game V-Sync option actually degraded performance, but fortunately turning it on in the driver works fine. After doing that I found I could turn the settings back up to their maximum on the Paris level. There are still times it drops to below 30 FPS, but it averages in the mid-40s roughly, and is able to reach the 50s pretty often, so I am happy.

Disabling V-Sync is not the only change I made to the graphics settings, as I later decided to experiment with the Super Sampling option. This option appears to have the game render at up to double the actual resolution you set, before scaling it down to fit in its window. Several games have similar options and both NVIDIA and AMD drivers now allow users to do this with virtually any game. Rendering at higher resolutions and then scaling down does take away from the performance, but I decided I wanted to see how well my GTX 980 could handle it. It turns out it handles it fairly well as I was able to set the option to 1.50 without taking too big a hit to performance, even in Paris. It also does improve the visuals by removing some aliasing the anti-aliasing solution was missing, and some objects (ie. chain-link fences) looked substantially better. By the way, the AA options are off, FXAA, and SMAA and I used SMAA.

The Super Sampling option can go as high as 2.00 and while I am sure some GPUs out there can handle it, when I tried it my performance dropped to four frames per second. My guess is I was maxing out the VRAM at that point.

Overall, the game looks quite good and is how I would want it to look, but the performance is a bit shaky for me. That I suspect is because of my CPU and the sheer number of NPCs the game has on the Paris map, so if you have a better CPU, I think you can expect better performance. Patches with improved optimization might help with that, but we will have to wait and see. Actually, I am more looking forward to either patches or new drivers that will let me run the game with DirectX 12.


  1. Hitman Review - Introduction
  2. Hitman Review - Graphics
  3. Hitman Review - Story
  4. Hitman Review - Gameplay
  5. Hitman Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Hitman Review - Conclusion
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