Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: IO Interactive
Genre: Action, Shooter, Stealth
Platform: Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
Age Rating: 18
Release Date: 20/01/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Good Morning 47.
Hitman 3 is the latest game in the long-running Hitman series. Hitman 3 concludes the “World of Assassination” story that started way back in 2016 with the soft-reboot/sequel, Hitman. This time around, 47 is tasked with ending the threat of Providence once and for all.
I have been a fan of the Hitman series since the original Hitman: Codename 47 that released way back in the year 2000. The stealth-oriented gameplay offers a unique experience throughout its sandbox worlds and is one that’s been constantly refined throughout the franchises twenty-one-year history.
Hitman 3 not only marks the latest release of this long-running franchise. It’s also arguably the best, so settle down, grab a disguise as we enter the complex world of Agent 47.
The story of Hitman 3 is a fairly complex one. Throughout the series, you take control of a man known as 47. 47 has a mysterious past and through the last few games, this past has slowly come out of the shadows. First and foremost 47 is both the worlds top assassin and a clone. It’s through his genetic makeup that makes him the top of his profession and also the perfect specimen – from a scientific standpoint. You could arguably say that 47 is the anti-hero to Marvel Comics own Captain America. With both being “one of a kind” who’s creation is highly sorted after by their enemies.
Hitman 3 sees you once again in the suit of 47 as he teams up with an old acquaintance to take down Providence. Throughout Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018), 47 and his Handler – Diana, have been on the trail of Providence who is a shadowy organisation that are secretly running the affairs of the world. Through this journey, 47 goes to various locations, such as the dizzy heights of Dubai, to the Dartmouth Moors, whilst assassinating anyone who has connections to Providence.
On the outset, the story to Hitman 3 sounds like a generic assassinate the bad guys, save the planet affair. Thankfully it’s a lot more than that. Just below the surface is a tense thriller that had more turns than Spaghetti Junction. You never quite know who is a friend or foe, and it keeps you on your toes throughout. You also don’t need to of experienced any of the previous games, although an understanding of both Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018) will come in handy. The game doesn’t penalise you for not doing so in any way.
The gameplay of Hitman 3 follows the same fashion of the franchise’s previous titles. We start each mission on the outskirts of the map and can go about various ways to achieve success. As 47, you’re able to don various disguises as you stalk your target. Levels are sprawling in nature and all feature dozens of ways to achieve success. Do you dress up as a Chef to poison your target? Or how about posing as their Security Detail? Or even masquerading as a Private Detective? The possibilities are endless. You can also, of course, go in guns blazing but considering that Hitman 3 is meant to be a stealth game. You not only miss out on the mission narrative but also make it a lot harder to succeed.
Each mission also features a handy walkthrough which allows you to follow certain unlocked routes. That kind of takes away the sandbox nature of the game but does provide a great accessibility option for newer players. Naturally, the more hardened Hitman players can turn this setting off for a more immersive experience. Regardless of how you play, 47 has various skills and equipment to help out during the game. Items such as fibre wire and silenced pistols come as standard, but you can also opt to have Agency items smuggled into the target area, as well as taking advantage of various shortcuts upon replaying the desired location.
I’m experiencing Hitman 3 on the Xbox Series X when coupled up to a Panasonic 55″ UHD OLED TV and it looks incredible. The stage that impressed me the most is the opening Dubai mission. Set high above the clouds it just looks phenomenal and you get a sense that you are that high up. The clouds hanging below you to the Sun glistening high above builds upon the grand Dubai skyline of high-rises and high-luxury. As an added touch I noticed specifically on the Dartmouth level – which takes place in a mansion filled with antiques and such that the floor also reflected the scenery. Not only is this a great piece of Hitman 3’s engine but it also gave me the feeling that the floor was varnished to a high standard, which brought the setting to life.
The same can be said to most, if not all of the games other levels. The opening tutorial is also very reminiscent of a film set, with its boat setting shrouded by the surrounding ill-disguised silo. Everything from the patrolling guards to side characters playing out their roles feels incredibly lifelike. It’s a real treat being able to cause carnage in these picturesque settings.
47 looks great as well and his design has come a long way in the last few years. This time around he feels more fluid in his control and has lost the wooden feeling of the past games. If anything 47 has aged like a fine wine. It’s always a pleasure to step into his world and if there is a “Hitman 4” in the future then Hitman 3 will be the one to beat.
Hitman 3 features an abundance of replayability. From various ways to complete your objectives to speed runs. Pretty much everything is catered for. As I touched upon earlier, each area features hidden shortcuts to be found, which then open up passages to reach your target in record times. You only have to go on YouTube to see how these shortcuts are being utilised.
Online leaderboards also factor into the gameplay and track your progression as an assassin. These leaderboards can then be checked to see how you fare when compared to friends and other Hitman 3 players. It’s a nice touch but relies on the Hitman 3 servers being stable to utilise.
Players who own both Hitman and Hitman 2 are also covered as Hitman 3 also acts as a hub for the entire trilogy. You can not only bring the levels over to the new game, but they also get upgraded and your progression comes with them. It’s a great touch and adds to the list of replayability. I sadly missed out on Hitman 2, but playing the original stages again was a blast.
The fan favourite sniper stages also return which adds a whole new level to the game. Whilst the same basic assassination style remains, its all performed through a sniper scope. On paper, it sounds easy, but with added objectives, there’s a fair bit of planning involved to get it all correct. This is also added to with the Contracts mode, which adds random objectives to a chosen level. At the time of writing the current contract is to assassinate various side characters on the Dartmouth stage whilst using various weapons. It’s great to see a modern game have so much added to it, and fans of the series will be spending quite a while in 47’s shoes in seeing it all.
Hitman 3 is a sandbox dream from start to end. Each level is a sprawling diverse playground filled with many obstacles and diversions. 47 is still as much as a badass as he was way back in 2001 and it’s still great to spend time with him. Hitman 3 delivers a satisfactory end to the new trilogy and I’m eagerly awaiting the appearance of a Hitman 4 in the future. With an expansive list of game modes, fans and newcomers alike will find a lot here to keep themselves busy for the next few months.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Hitman 3 via the Xbox store by clicking here
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