Hitman 3 Review: A satisfactory end to the trilogy
“A satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy with the best locations in the series”
Complicated, structured places
Strong gameplay loop
New mechanics as an incentive for playback
Missing difficulty adjustments
The label “World of Assassination” was the slogan of the current Hitman games, starting with Hitman by IO Interactive in 2016. Hitman 3 is the final piece of this assassination puzzle and offers a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy with its greatest locations to date and the Ability to experience one of the three games.
While Hitman 3 offers some of the most complicated scenarios in the series, it still lacks a few features that prevent it from being the ultimate stealth experience it should be.
Before diving in, I want to make it clear that I first requested a PlayStation code to review the game specifically for its VR component. PlayStation verification codes ultimately weren’t made available to the press prior to the verification embargo, and as a result, we couldn’t get our hands on the VR edition of Hitman 3. The recent precedent of console codes not being exposed before verification embargoes were lifted due to the disastrous consequences, Digital Trends wants to provide complete transparency to our readers as it is not known how well the PSVR component is performing at startup.
Hitman 3’s locations are the star of the show
In the very brief campaign for Hitman 3, the Wolves approach Agent 47 when he and a handful of other employees turn against their former employer, the International Control Agency, which has been attacked by the antagonists of the Providence series. The plot is a standard spy plan that drips into the tropics that define the genre. It’s a gripping act, but a familiar one, to be sure.
None of the story elements are particularly important, however, as they are mainly used to transport Agent 47 from one incredibly structured locale to the next. While playing the game, and as I will mention in other contexts in my review, I discovered that it is the closest analog, the Mission Impossible film franchise, the most direct comparison of which occurs in the opening moments.
Hitman 3 features the most complicated scenarios yet.
Agent 47 HALO jumps out of a plane like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Fallout and lands on the tallest building in the world in Dubai, the key piece in the fourth Mission Impossible film, Ghost Protocol. The opening task sets the stage for what players should expect for the rest of the game – – Immaculately designed playgrounds that offer countless variety in a relatively small space.
The six incredibly diverse locations are hands down the best of the series, which is what Hitman 3 ultimately took to make this the best entry in the trilogy. They are all of such high quality that it is difficult to pick a favorite despite being part of an underground nightclub in Berlin, which forces the player to be extra vigilant as they are not sure who are in the crowd their goals.
One of the locations in the back half starts out on neon-soaked city streets and turns into something entirely different as Agent 47 switches from one brand to the next. The levels have to be repeated – Find all the secret passages and hidden objects that are hidden in their darkest corners. Adding unlockable shortcuts further increases the repetition value of the missions and provides meaningful alternate routes for those who spend the time looking for them.
The game is incredibly fun
The second thing Hitman has in common with Mission Impossible is his sense of humor. While both are incredible action glasses, they would be nothing without their meta-observations about how absurd their worlds are. The designers and writers at IO Interactive are smart enough to understand how funny some of the moments in its games are, and Hitman 3 plays with that absurdity at every opportunity.
The levels have to be repeated.
Whether his agent 47 throws a sword across a room to impale a security guard who is about to recognize him, or the titular killer who dumps an unconscious body into a vat of crushed grapes (an “elimination” indicator indicates that the dazed target will drown in the crushed fruit), every moment of the game has a humorous catch.
The more the player accepts that this is an absurd, melodramatic action game that borders on parody, the more fun he will have with it. Often times I would track a target through its movement cycles, making detailed mental notes of where they stop, who they are with, and what they are doing to plan the perfect assassination attempt. Those plans often fell apart the moment I saw an opening with a target’s back turned in a remote corner, and I happened to find myself dragging her lifeless body through a room knowing there was armed security in one Matter would patrol the area in seconds, with no containers to stow the corpse in sight. These are the moments that make Hitman 3 shine.
There should be more customizable difficulties
After I realized that the opening mission is too easy in the “normal” setting, I brought it to the difficulty level “Master”. This increases security awareness, makes Agent 47 more vulnerable, disables mission indicators that lead the player to the next clue, and disables automatic saving so that the player can manually save once per mission to strategically activate it when the right moment is right holds.
The comedic moments make Hitman 3 shine.
I believe this is the best way to experience Hitman 3, although I don’t think it’s push enough. At the start of the second mission in the game, Agent 47 is told that the target knows it is coming. When I was discovered that a security guard had been incapacitated, I raced through hidden corridors to evade reported security. However, once enough time had passed, like any other game, it became normal business for the non-playable characters and returned to their routine as if nothing had happened.
On a later mission, after remotely executing my target’s personal bodyguard, I was glad to see they were taken to a safe, windowless room with armed details to shoot anything that moved. I thought this was the difficulty level I was looking for, but after a few minutes they returned to their cycles with the target resuming its previous movements and now no bodyguard in the way.
A final stage even states in their briefing that Agent 47 needs to take out an additional target because they are too alert not to notice the main target’s assassination. After incapacitating the primary brand and stuffing it in a closet, the supposedly incredibly attentive second target was by no means wiser. I felt a little guilty about having to kill her, even though she clearly wasn’t the threat I was told.
A game with the slogan “World of Assassination” that offers detailed customization options for the planning of its missions by selecting different items of equipment, alternate starting locations and contraband within the level. I believe that this level of personalization could increase its difficulty.
Did you pick someone out that other characters would notice if they were missing? Turn on the guards looking for them and even open closets and hiding spots to hide corpses they wouldn’t otherwise open in the current situation. Perhaps the player could activate a timer that starts the moment you are discovered. This counts down an evacuation process for the target and its safety and gives you a limited window to reach your destination. Small customizable AI enhancements of this type would greatly increase the replay value of this game, which is the main focus of the game.
Hitman 3 is a great swan song for a fun trilogy of games that features intricate locations and humorous gameplay. Hopefully future updates will bring some important additions that will increase the replay value and make it the ultimate stealth game that is close at hand.
Is there a better alternative?
Hitman and Hitman 2 are still great games, but their standards don’t touch what Hitman 3 has to offer. I highly recommend owning all three games as Hitman 3 gives you access to all of them and plays any of their locations from one title.
How long it will take?
The campaign can last a few hours to over a dozen hours, depending on how intense the players are. With the replayability of the levels and the variety of scenarios, there are tens of hours of content.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Hitman 3 is a fun sandbox where most players will find something that is fun.