By Ian Muehlenhaus, 8 January 2021
Hitman: World of Assassination by IO Interactive on Google Stadia is an amazing game. Highly recommended for anyone who likes third-person stealth, spy, and shooter games. You can buy the game outright, as well as the trilogy’s successor versions, or claim it on Stadia Pro.
My Brief History with Hitman before Stadia: Mostly Good, Not Much Bad, but Still Ugly
Though a commercial flop at launch in 2016, it was always a decent game. It received ample accolades and won several awards upon its release. However, until now, Hitman always suffered from one major issue — it was an absolute time suck, and not in a good way.
On top-end consoles (e.g., PS4, Xbox One), it was painfully slow to start, save, and load. Every time Agent 47 — the protagonist that you play — failed a mission, you could write-off a handful of minutes before your last saved checkpoint would reload. Even starting the game took upwards of five minutes.
I bought a copy on the PS4 and never got past the third stage. Not because I didn’t love the gameplay — I did! As a middle-aged dad of two with a full-time job, however, I don’t have “game time” to waste. With Hitman I was spending almost as much time waiting for the game to load and save as I was playing. The game became an excruciating experience.
The excuses I read online for Hitman’s loading lethargy were typical of diehard fans who have more time than casual gamers. It’s true: Hitman is slowed down, because it uses a connection to AI-infused servers to create a more vivid and enjoyable playing experience that reacts to your decisions. Yet, even when I played without an internet connection, the game loading was sluggish. It ruined the game for me.
Hitman on Google Stadia: The Only Version Worth Playing
Given its checkered past on the PS4 for me, it was with some trepidation — though not much, as I claimed the game for free using Stadia Pro — that I decided to give it another go. I was suspicious, and just wanted to see how it ran compared to my increasingly neglected PS4.
I finished the season in two days. That’s about as fast as my casual-gaming ass will get through any game, but Hitman?! It should have taken me months!
Wait! Hitman is Actually a Fast-Loading Game?!
I could not believe how fluid, fast, and fun Hitman is on the Google Stadia compared to the PS4. It was surreal. The difference in game enjoyment was similar to that between binge watching a show, ad-free on Netflix versus binge watching the same show on cable television with extra advertisements. With the time sink gone, I could focus on strategies. I could play extra rounds and challenges that I would never have thought of doing before, because I couldn’t even finish the main goals in a timely fashion.
I actually find myself still firing it up on my Stadia, two months later, as the game is an absolute blast to play and there really are innumerable extras to find and beat. Hitman 2 plays equally well, and knowing how well these games play on Stadia, I’m likely to pre-order Hitman 3.
This is all to say that the Google Stadia does what it says it does — it loads, saves, and runs complex games much faster than a console version, or most PC versions, honestly, ever could. It has taken a game tarnished by lack of processing power on major platforms and turned it into an enjoyable experience.
Google Stadia Equals Warp Speed
Google Stadia didn’t need to add Hitman to its library. It’s an older game that undersold when it was released anyway. But Hitman needed Google Stadia, and this series of games – Hitman 1, 2, and 3 are all available on Stadia – highlight why Google Stadia is the only system a casual gamer with limited time really needs.