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I consider my first time through a Hitman stage to be the canonical run. That’s the real thing. Discovering a location and all of its mysteries and possibilities is a great way to spend a couple of hours. But if you replay a destination enough times in a game like Hitman 3, you can discover a few shortcuts. So while it took me more than 2 hours to beat the Dubai stage the first time, I’ve since whittled that down to under 30 seconds.

In the clip above, you can see my attempts to do this speedrun. Credit to Frote7 on YouTube (with a hat tip to Philip Boyle on Twitter) for discovering the route. It only took me three tries to get to 24 seconds, which is well behind the 17-second world record. So the skill hurdle here isn’t huge — except that I’m still only No. 35 in the world.

I could definitely shave that time down with more optimization. But one challenge with Hitman 3 is getting all of the helpful unlockable items. On this stage, you’ll need to have the security starting point open. It’s also quicker if you have a flash explosion that you can trigger. I was using a flash grenade, which explodes on a timer — and that definitely slowed me down. So if I really want to compete for the top 10, I’ll need to go play more Hitman until I unlock that particular style of explosive device.

This makes speedrunning in Hitman more of a post-game activity. But that’s fine with me. I’ll use it as motivation to keep playing through what is an excellent game.

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