we cover in this review the third and final installment of the World of Assassination series, HITMAN 3 closes with a bang
It doesn’t happen very often that a single video game series is always made by a single developer. IO Interactive has always been concerned with HITMAN since its inception 20 years ago with HITMAN: Codename 47. This certainly served in an attempt to keep the series true to itself and to be able to accumulate knowledge and experience to improve itself every time. Perhaps the only stumbling block occurred with Absolution who proposed a more linear and narrative formula to Agent 47’s missions.
Experimentation ended with that same video game, as the assassination trilogy would begin four years later . A series of video games that allowed a narrative soft-reboot to further explore the origins of our protagonist and to create a mini universe in which each sequel also improves the previous chapters at the same time. We discover in this review the conclusion of a 5-year adventure and how HITMAN 3 sets the new quality standard for Agent 47 contracts.
The end of the new beginning
The first of this trilogy debuted with very varied judgments. On the one hand, the gameplay was undoubtedly excellent, taking up the gameplay setting briefly left to Blood Money . Gorgeous maps framed an intriguing storyline that offered some glimpse into the past life of the world’s deadliest killer. On the other hand, the episodic publishing method left a bad taste in the mouth, tearing the title into six parts.
With the complete third installment of the series, this system has been abandoned, preferring a full release , which offers a lot more to play starting on day one. IO interactive is now an independent development and publishing house, fully owning the intellectual property of HITMAN. We therefore assume that they have had full creative freedom in development . So let’s proceed with the actual analysis of HITMAN 3 in this review.
Agent 47’s Childhood – HITMAN 3 Review
The HITMAN series on a narrative level has never really shone, offering interesting food for thought, but often without really thrilling or surprising. Its heart lies in gameplay, but the World of Assassination trilogy really tried to explore the eternal themes of the series. With the third chapter we therefore find ourselves at the conclusion of a path built in 5 years and from the first mission we immediately resume where we left off Agent 47 , Diana Burnwood and Lucas Gray, in an attempt to completely dismantle Providence, a Masonic-enlightened-like organization. .
Although the evolution of the events are well described, they really struggle to grasp our sincere interest. All the while the narrative schemes remain almost a background , pleasant yes, but totally indifferent and often inferior to the small plots related only to the environments. The actual ending is then the culmination, nice but does not meet the expectations that naturally carry with the ending of World of Assasination . However as already mentioned, it is the gameplay that speaks of Agent 47 and the player himself.
Only Hercule Poirot’s mustache is missing – HITMAN 3 review
HITMAN has grown and you can see it perfectly having followed the series from the beginning or even just from the title released in 2016. The levels in which the Agent is in charge of completing his contracts, have gradually evolved to become the level design titans they are today. Although linked to a common gameplay base, each setting is built in such a way as to give an almost completely different experience to play .
The contract in Dartmoor in England is perhaps our favorite with an atmosphere directly inspired by the detective stories of Agatha Christie and the dynamics of films like Knives Out. A family has in fact had to gather in a huge villa to celebrate a fake funeral, however a dead man was found during the night.
Agent 47 would already have its objective and the player is free to follow their own path independently , but the game offers (as in all settings) a more narrative and guided path that can be taken with the Stories .
Tools of the Trade – HITMAN 3 Review
In this case, an investigator has been called to the mansion and as preparations for the mock funeral are set up, we can literally steal his clothes and interrogate the main guests in the house . Being able to make use of his analytical view , which allows us to highlight clues, objects, enemies and objectives, we will have the tools to discover the culprit and in the course of work maybe even break down his own objective.
In this third chapter we also have a digital camera, which gives the opportunity to analyze certain scenes to get more information (it also works as a Photo Mode ). All allowed with overwhelming naturalness and action options. This happens in all maps and locations.
For example, if a door is closed, one way to get through it could be to look for the key or climb the ledges of a house to reach the right window left open. Each place offers different problems and solutions , in China for example it is necessary to find access keys or you can cross the labyrinthine alleys to reach across the same place.
Freedom of action and choice – HITMAN 3 review
This has allowed IO Interactive to insert a huge amount of shortcuts , previously less present or important. These, like many other routes, can be unlocked by finding the key or sometimes by wearing the right clothes. In fact, the costumes that allow you to go unnoticed in the eyes of certain enemy units are inevitable . You can pretend to be bikers, waiters, bodyguards or even bellhops to deliver a lethal meal with rat poison.
To take down your elusive targets there are in fact many different solutions in addition to those guided within the Stories. Maybe you just want to find the right moment to break someone’s neck or replace a regular golf ball with an explosive one. The creativity offered by this HITMAN 3 is certainly not lacking and you will be constantly bombarded with different ways to kill. Sometimes you will understand them by the presence of unusual or unique objects on the maps , others because you have overheard the weak points of the enemy or some other weird solution (like the golf ball from before).
Outside of the Stories, however, you must always be the one to understand how to make everything work , exploring and analyzing the circumstances. Whether it is perhaps following the goal by understanding its routine or reading information on a sheet left randomly on the table.
The Tango of the Assassins – HITMAN 3 Review
And if you are tired of acting in the shadows in a cautious way, no one will stop you from picking up a rifle and running towards targets as only Rambo could do. However you decide to act, the game will reward you with points and gifts at the end of the game based on your performance. Once a mission is completed, you will unlock items and methods to undertake missions again, and eventually find new plans to kill. You could unlock new starting points and disguises or on-site support with hiding places full of useful items.
All this in support of tremendously high replay value . In fact, facing a setting only once is not enough to have really played HITMAN 3. IO Interactive is in fact fully aware of these things and has offered players who already own HITMAN 1 and 2 to import progress and maps in the third chapter , being able to use of all new graphics and gadgets improvements. To do this we have created a special guide.
There are also two game modes already seen in the past: Contracts and Sniper Assassin . The first offers the opportunity to create a custom game or search for it online , with goals chosen by the player whether primary or secondary. Sniper Assassin is instead the sniper mode, in which Agent 47 will have to assassinate various targets from afar without being noticed.
The Weight of Murders – HITMAN 3 Review
As for the more technical side, the controls are the usual ones tried so far, a little rigid but perfect for always having control over the Agent and possibly not being discovered during a stealth action. Even the interface is almost always the same, functional, minimal and full of secondary options to refine the games as you see fit.
The title was then played on a PC platform based on the Epic Games Store given the exclusivity. We specify it because we are not sure if it is the fault of the store or the IO servers, but it has sometimes happened to suffer disconnections and problems with the server to slow down or sometimes block the process of saving and uploading progress to the cloud. Nothing serious but a bit annoying since in those moments the game is briefly stopped and an information window opens up almost half the size of the screen.
On the performance side we didn’t notice any problems, surprisingly the Glacier Engine is still capable of offering detailed environments , truly remarkable reflections and crowded crowds without weighing too much on the frames . Specifically, the computer used is equipped with a Radeon RX 580 8GB , 16GB of RAM and AMD Ryzen 5 3600 as a processor. Furthermore, although the installation took place on the Hard Disk, the uploads were still very fast.
Our final thoughts
Finally, we have come to have to sum up for this HITMAN 3, if you have read the entire review, however, it is not a surprise to understand that it is an unmissable game . Finding flaws in this title is an arduous action even if it is not perfect: the plot did not surprise us and sometimes the facial animations in the cutscenes leave a lot to be desired. However the rest is dripping gold. The six unique environments offered by the game are meticulously crafted to offer different and fun experiences . The level design does nothing but enrich the saga leaving us in the hope of being able to see more beautiful and fun ones in the future.
Then do yourself a favor and don’t immediately close HITMAN 3 as soon as you finish it. Keep planning new ways to kill and reach targets, the replay value is in fact immense enough to make it almost endless game. We close with a dutiful quote to Assassin’s Creed , a phrase that now suits Agent 47 much more: “nothing is real, everything is lawful”.