There’s so much happening in Hitman 3 that one playthrough is simply not enough. Not only does the game take a bold new step when it comes to mission variety but the sheer amount of flexibility on offer here turns it into your playground for killing. Should you want to storm your way to the top of a skyscraper while shooting everyone in sight, you can. Would you rather use an explosive golf ball you just recently discovered was stashed away by an employee attending anger management classes? You can too. There’s a lot going on here and while Hitman 3 can often be clumsy, the overall sense of freedom makes up for the moments that don’t work all too well.
Hitman 3 starts off with Agent 47 heading towards a massive towering skyscraper in Dubai. The first mission plays very much the same as its predecessors but never fear, the game expands into new dimensions as I progressed through the campaign. Be it a murder mystery in the English countryside, partying it up in a nightclub in Berlin and more. Instead of following the usual “go here and kill this person”, each location in Hitman 3 offers something cool to do which makes it so refreshing. Sure, if you don’t want to participate in the location’s story then don’t.
Hitman 3 is also the most refined experience in many ways. The ways to kill your target have never been as fun and varied and the depth of detail in each location makes it pure joy to discover unique ways to approach each objective. If anything, this is the first game in the trilogy that I actually wanted to replay each mission over and over again to explore the different avenues of assassination. Not only thanks to the variety but also the game’s superb writing make it all worthwhile. However, there’s nothing new in Hitman 3 that makes it feel like a brand-new game. The formula has been slightly tweaked to give it a “same-same but different” appeal. It works but it is also the game’s biggest downfall.
The first playthrough of Hitman 3 is where the most fun is had. Every location is pure joy to explore and discover the various layered stories and characters scattered around the area. It is where you will most likely spend the most time sussing out the corridors of a massive mansion or the underground pathways of a Chinese facility. If you spend close to two hours exploring each location that is time well-spent.
It is also important to know that like its predecessors, Hitman 3 relies on the knowledge of the land. Where are the items located which I needed to enter the locked office? What walkway does the guard take when on his shift? Which window is open that lets me shimmy my way around the building? These sort of things makes the sense of discovery in Hitman 3 feel so great. The more I discovered, the better I got at my job. Of course, the missions can be completed within seconds but there’s very little fun to be had if you decide to go down that route.
Hitman 3 relies on all these mechanics in order to be fully enjoyed. Different outfits can disguise Agent 47 so he can enter areas without a problem. Knowing what you can wear and how far it can get you is combined with the location’s dense exploration opportunities to deliver a true stealth experience. Pretty much all the mechanics in the previous games is included in Hitman 3 when it comes to hiding away. You can sneak through bushes, creep around corners and even blend into an environment by pretending to dust a counter. Of course, like every single other stealth game out there, these mechanics are highly unrealistic but we just have to get over it.
One new feature in Hitman 3 is the ability to unlock escape routes throughout a location. This lets Agent 47 leave the mission in style without being restricted to one specific path out. These are obviously locked until you discover them through one of the many side activities the location has on offer. Agent 47 also has a camera now which acts as a traditional in-game scanner. He can use it to zoom into an area and get the lay of the land or remotely unlock windows and other items.
With that being said, the camera kind of falls short. Not everything can be scanned and that is something I wanted to walk around and do. In addition, hacking is only limited to very specific items and parts in each location. It would have been nice to have this ability available for other means such as distracting enemies and hacking into computers to access doors and locks. I know it is not Watch Dogs but I automatically put Agent 47 being a spy assassin into a “hacker” group.
Then there is the spy rank feature which enables players to earn XP by doing all sorts of things in a mission. Be it discovering a room, shooting someone in the head or disposing of a body. The score totals in the end and you are ranked against other players worldwide. Players can also import Hitman and Hitman 2 games and progress into the latest entry. However, this feature is complicated and has different terms for different versions of the game. It is not as easy as Hitman 3 detecting if you own the license for the first two games. Instead, you need make sure you have access to the game’s Access Pass which has to be redeemed on the said game before you can install the content.
Hitman 3 Review Verdict
Hitman 3 does not do much to make feel like a brand-new experience. However, the writing and sheer variety in store here is a lot to chew on. It makes the game fun and versatile for all sorts of play styles. You will want to play each mission more than once because it is just the way the game is made. Yes, it is the same thing but it works.
This Hitman 3 review is based on a code sent to us by IO Interactive
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC | Reviewed On: PS5 | Release Date: 20 January 2021