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Hitman PC Performance Analysis - DirectX 12 at its finest? (Page 1)

Hitman PC Performance Analysis - DirectX 12 at its finest?

Hitman is one of the first games with DirectX 12 functionality, and we put its performance to the test on a variety of AMD and NVIDIA hardware.

By Jeff Williams from Apr 5, 2016 @ 20:13 CDT

Agent 47 is back and better than ever

Hitman is a return to form, of sorts, for IO Interactive and Square Enix when it comes to their stealthy shooter. They've brought the open sandbox play that made the series a staple and helped it survive this long through the ages. Though they've opted for a more episodic approach to releasing content, that means we get immense levels with more things to see and do than in previous games, or in a lot of games. The amount of choice you have is almost mind-blowing. And the graphics engine has been suitably upgraded to make it advanced. DirectX 12, too, has come along for the ride, adding some benefits for some cards.


Hitman is built upon an evolved version of the Glacier 2 engine that was used for Hitman: Absolution. That means that at its most basic level, it's very similar. Underneath they've added in better lighting, support for physically based rendering, and far more advanced AI. That's key to having a better Hitman-esque experience, where the world around you can react more naturally to what you're doing. No longer can you simply do anything that looks suspicious in real-life, the consequences are more thoroughly mirrored inside the game. Better AI is the backbone of making the sandbox experience something special and challenging. It also makes one massive level replayable for weeks on end.

For this game, the developers have said they wanted this to be an overarching and massive experience. "Our aim is to create living, breathing and believable levels which will allow gamers to play around with the AI to create those unique moments every fan of the Hitman franchise loves."

They've also included DirectX 12 as a low-level API option, letting you take advantage of more CPU cores to help power the more advanced and very intelligent AI engine. Square Enix and IO Interactive have been able to offload several key processes to compute allowing for a faster rendering experience for asynchronous enabled GPUs.


The whole thing is "node-based", meaning everything is potentially interconnected in some underlying way. Also, it's very capable of procedural generation, or in the case that we see here, procedural destruction. Unfortunately, for now, it's only a DirectX 11 based engine, so it can't take advantage of the low-level control offered by DX12 or Vulkan.

Jeff's Video Game Benchmark Setup

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