Hitman 3's 'persistent shortcuts' will encourage exploration by making it easier to get around

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Your basic, bottom-line goal in the Hitman games is to kill people, but true mastery of the craft requires something more. It's all about panache: Yeah, your target is dead, but could he be dead in some cooler, more memorable way? As reported by Game Informer (opens in new tab), the upcoming Hitman 3 (opens in new tab) will make it easier to indulge your taste for stylish assassination with a new system of "persistent shortcuts" that developer IO Interactive said is intended to "encourage exploration, reward curiosity, and incentivize replayability."

The shortcuts, which can include doors, ladders, and other access points, are only unlockable from one direction, which means that you'll have to take the long way around at least once in order to reach them. But once opened, they'll stay that way for future playthroughs, making it easier to access new areas and try new approaches to your targets, or to just post better times on the leaderboards if that's your thing.

Hitman 3 is set to come out on January 20, and while it likely won't stray too far from the familiar formula of its predecessors, it does promise some big improvements, including changes to Elusive Targets (opens in new tab) and the ability to handle more than 300 active NPCs (opens in new tab) at a time. As a nice bonus, it will also retroactively reduce the footprint of the first two games, enabling the entire trilogy to fit into roughly 100GB of drive space (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.