Hitman 3 was revealed for the very first time during Sony’s PlayStation 5 Future of Gaming showcase event last June. From that moment forward, IO Interactive has continued to share more details about the upcoming game, promising a dramatic, action-packed conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy.
After completing Hitman 3 this past weekend, I would describe this sequel as an overall fun experience with some of the same nagging issues that fans of the series have already grown accustomed to. Despite these flaws, IO Interactive has still succeeded in closing out this trilogy on a high note and proved to me that they are indeed more than ready to take on their new James Bond 007 Project. Here are more of my thoughts on Agent 47’s latest outing and why it may or may not be worth picking up.
The Final Act
Hitman 3 is the eighth main installment in the popular third-person perspective stealth video game franchise and the final chapter of the storyline that started with 2016’s Hitman. With the aid of his friends Lucas Grey and Diana Burnwood, Agent 47 continues contract killings across the globe in an effort to eliminate all of the partners of Providence. The six key locations where the game takes place include Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, Chongqing, Mendoza, and the Carpathian Mountains.
Strictly from a narrative standpoint, Hitman 3 delivers both a fulfilling and appropriate ending to the World of Assassination storyline. Fans can expect several tense-filled moments all encompassed within an ever-evolving narrative full of twists and turns. This story will be most satisfying for those who have been playing since 2016’s Hitman as all of their questions will finally be answered. If for any reason you didn’t play Hitman or Hitman 2, then you have the option of playing through those missions too as part of this package.
IO Interactive has already stated that Hitman 3 isn’t the end of the franchise but rather the last time we will see a new Agent 47 game for quite a while. Seeing how nicely everything was wrapped up, I personally don’t have a problem with that response and am very eager to see how their experiences working on this trilogy will translate to future titles.
The Thrill of The Kill
If you’re a fan of Hitman games, then chances are you already know that these games are heavily centered around exploration, creativity, and replayability. While there is a core storyline taking place over the entire World of Assassination trilogy, each of the 6 missions within Hitman 3 has designated stories of their own that remain connected to the overall experience. The briefing menu shows objectives, planning, and the option to play right away.
Before every mission begins, you’ll watch a short debriefing cinematic video on who the high profile targets are, how they’re connected to Providence and their possible whereabouts in relation to the current location. The planning option is another key to your success as this is where you can choose your weapon, attire, and starting areas within the mission. Additional options are unlocked in this section after completing the mission. I would highly recommend using Mission Stories and Permanent Shortcuts because they act as great tools for both getting you closer to targets, exploring multiple ways to execute them, and encouraging you further to do multiple mission playthroughs to uncover all of the secrets. If you’re a completionist such as myself, then you’ll definitely find high replay value from start to finish.
When it comes to core gameplay mechanics, Hitman 3 is pretty much exactly the same as the previous two entries in the series. The one noticeable change worth mentioning is that now Agent 47 uses a camera to remotely access locked doors and investigate intel. There are a few instances where the game won’t tell you when to use your camera and you’ll have to use your best judgment in scenarios where it makes the most logical sense. Rounding out gameplay, everything from using disguises to poisoning and choking out your targets largely remains intact along with a few creative death scenarios that are very fun to watch in realtime. All of these solid execution choices will definitely keep fans coming back for more.
Solid Visuals, Voice Acting & Musical Score
Much like the gameplay, the visual art style and animations feel exactly the same as they did in Hitman and Hitman 2. I reviewed this game on the Xbox One X and didn’t notice any significant changes in terms of graphics and performance. I’m very curious to try out this game on both the Xbox Series X and PS5, especially to try out the PSVR feature available through PS4 backwards compatibility. I’m also curious what the DualSense controller brings to this experience as well and perhaps we will explore these things and more down the road.
Hitman 3 is filled to the brim with outstanding performances by a very talented cast of actors and actresses. David Bateson continues to shine as Agent 47, giving personality, depth, and purpose to one of the deadliest assassins in the game. Jane Perry, John Hopkins, Isaura Barbe-Brown, and Philip Rosch also deliver memorable performances that breathe life into their characters. Excellent voice acting coupled with a mesmerizing music score really pulls you deeper into the action and makes this one experience you definitely shouldn’t miss out on.
With Some Noticeable Flaws
When I started out this review, I stated that Hitman 3 was fun but it did have some nagging issues that have plagued the series for quite a while now. One of those issues lies within disguises and how they can often be too effective in certain situations. For example, if Agent 47 is trying to disguise himself as someone who has hair and that person has already interacted with someone he is trying to get close to, then it is very unrealistic for our protagonist to pass as another person when you clearly still see his barcode and bald head. Obviously, I know I’m nitpicking by mentioning this but I guess this is where the comedic element comes into play because certain things like this won’t work in the real world unless the disguise is absolutely flawless.
The other issue that I had with this game is the fact that it remains an online-only experience meaning that you need to have a constant connection to keep playing at all times. There were several instances where I kept getting kicked off the Hitman servers and had to restart the game multiple times. The one good thing is that you can manually save or use autosave so your progress is never lost. This most likely won’t be an issue for those playing on PC but it does bear repeating to make sure you have a stable internet connection before playing this game.
Hitman 3 is both a great stealth game and a fitting end to the trilogy. IO Interactive achieved the goal of ending Agent 47’s story in a spectacular fashion and I’m very curious to see what they do next.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Hitman 3 for the Xbox One X provided by IO Interactive.