Hitman 2 PC Performance Review
Published: 20th November 2018 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
Hitman 2 is a bit of a mixed bag on PC, at least from a performance standpoint. Some areas of the game can offer stellar performance and great visuals, while other locations can slow high-end PCs to a crawl, placing a bullet in between the eyes of anyone expecting to achieve constant 60+ FPS framerates at high resolutions/settings.
Perhaps the biggest gripe that we have with the game is its CPU performance, as right now it will take an extremely high-end CPU to achieve high framerates in demanding locations like Mumbai, where crowds are large, and simulation workloads are at their peak.
At the game's highest settings, none of our CPUs setups was able to achieve a constant 60+ FPS framerate, with the game requiring a lower level of detail (LOD) settings or a higher clocked processor to attain such high framerate numbers. From what we see, Hitman 2 doesn't appear to sale well beyond eight cores, though high core count systems seem to be single-thread limited.
Hitman 2's CPU performance leaves us wondering why Hitman 2016's DirectX 12 support was abandoned, as one of the fundamental advantages of the API is its increased multi-threading support and the ability to lower the hardware overhead of some tasks. If Hitman 2 can run at 30+ FPS on consoles, we must wonder why the game cannot achieve 60FPS on PC, especially given the clock speed and IPC advantages high-end PC processors. The PS4 uses an 8-core 1.6GHz Jaguar CPU and targets 30FPS, so why can't a 4GHz 8-core/16-thread Ryzen processor achieve a steady 60?
On the GPU side, we see another problem, as the graphics performance of Radeon graphics cards is far below their Nvidia equivalents, requiring Radeon users to use lower graphical quality settings to achieve high frame rates. Even then, constant 60+ FPS framerates are challenging to attain, as the most demanding areas of the game require a GTX 1080 or higher-end graphics card to stay over 60FPS at 1080p Ultra settings. Thankfully the game's high settings are a lot less demanding.
Those who want to increase their CPU and GPU performance in Hitman 2 quickly should use the game's Medium level of detail (LOD) setting, as it will free up resources on both sides. Yes, this will have graphical consequences, but it will result in a smoother gameplay experience.
From a performance standpoint, a lot has changed since the release of Hitman 2016, where performance was relatively even when comparing Radeon and Geforce products and CPU performance was much less of an issue, though judging from Hitman 2016's post-launch support we should expect Hitman 2 to become more polished on PC in time.
Another problem with Hitman 2 is the game;'s lack of graphical options, with no CPU specific settings, AA options outside of the game's default TAA and the inability to change the resolution of Hitman 2's high-quality reflections. All console versions of Hitman 2 use lower resolution reflections to limit GPU load, but PC is forced to run things at native res, delivering better results graphically at the cost of performance. We would love to see IO Interactive update Hitman 2 to at least provide the game with at least one CPU-focused graphical option and the ability to define reflection resolution, as this would give PC users some much-needed tweakability.
When push comes to shove, we cannot deny that Hitman 2 is a demanding game on PC, but we also have to admit that as a game it is less affected by high framerates as action titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield. A solid 30FPS lock will be enough for most PC players of Hitman 2, as the game's slow, methodical pace doesn't need high framerates to be effective.
Yes, higher framerates will result in smoother animations and movements, but they are not essential for enjoying the game. While combat is a thing in Hitman 2, prolonged gunfights will be considered as a failure state for most players, as assassinating your targets quietly and unnoticed is the desired outcome of each level.
As a game, Hitman 2 is an extremely enjoyable entry for the series, though the game's high demands on both CPU and GPU hardware will be a turn off for gamers that demand constant 60+ FPS framerates. Perhaps things will be addressed in time with post-launch patches, but for now, Hitman 2 has a few issues on PC, none of which should be impossible to rectify.
- Update - We are aware of today's 2.11 update for Hitman 2. We plan to have a look at this update in the near future and will update our performance review accordingly.
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