After years of critically acclaimed games in the series, Hitman began anew in 2016 with what was known as the beginning of the “World of Assassination” trilogy. Hitman: The First season, commonly known as just ‘Hitman’ or ‘Hitman 2016’ was the first in this newly designed trilogy in which the world became your playground, as the player takes control of the bald and brutal, Agent 47, the world’s deadliest assassin (sorry John Wick, you don’t exist in this universe).
The series gained plenty of new players (such as myself) with this new series and it’s sequel ‘Hitman 2’, not to be confused with Hitman 2: Silent Assassin from 2002, brought more fun and mayhem for players to enjoy whilst continuing the gripping plot of the campaign story.
Hitman 3 picks up where Hitman 2 left off, with Agent 47 and Lucas Grey continuing their work by hunting down the elusive members of Providence, a secretive and supposedly ancient secret society that controls all of the world’s biggest affairs, with their reach stretching across the globe. Nothing happens, without Providence knowing about it. As it turns out, this secret organisation were the creators of a series of deadly clones, who kill without mercy and without remorse, clones such as Agent 47.
In this gripping finale, Agent 47 must learn the values of love, loss, and freedom, as He hunts down the last of the Providence members, their leaders if you will, known as The Partners. This mission will take Agent 47 to Dubai, England, Germany, China, Argentine and finally, Romania.
However, without spoiling too much, I will warn you now that there are 3 ways to end the final mission, two of which are more plot orientated. I will post some text at the end of this review (Below the gallery) that will contain spoilers, so that you can decide for yourself if you want to read it or not.
Known for its humour, great stealth mechanics, and challenges, the series has certainly seen it’s true rise in popularity since it’s previous generation games such as Blood Money and Absolution. There is a variety of ways to murder and knock out your enemies, with an arsenal full of weird and wonderful weapons and tools for you to unlock via completing the many challenges of the missions. There’s everything you need from Lock Picks, to Crowbars, Pistols to Sniper Rifles, and Melee weapons from Combat Knife to a Fish….yes, a fish.
The games include ‘Hitman Vision’, which, if you’ve played any of the Assassin’s Creed games, works a lot like Eagle Vision. Hitman Vision allows the player to see through walls, to locate enemies, or highlight usable items around the map such as weapons, keys, tools etc. This can be turned off and on in the settings menu, and many players will often challenge themselves for videos to not use the vision at all during a mission or full playthrough.
Hitman 3 introduces a new mechanic within it’s camera system. You can now take pictures with your camera in game and the Camera as an item is always with you without taking up any of your equipment slots on the ‘plan mission’ screen. Your camera can be used to scan evidence, unlock electronic locks on windows, or you can use it for it’s more traditional purpose of taking photos of the stunning world of Hitman, though from what I know, selfies are not an option…sorry Instagram enthusiasts.
One issue with Hitman’s game play, is IO Interactive’s odd decision to make progression in the game (unlockables, mission mastery and profile leveling) to require a constant online connection to the internet and IO Interactive’s servers, which often disconnect due to high activity. This poses more of issue for players in the future that want to go back and play the games after servers are shut down, or for players who do not have access to the internet that want to play the game.
I find it odd that they decided to release this game on the Nintendo Switch, a portable console that is meant to be primarily enjoyed on the go, because if you travel with your Switch, you’re not always going to have Wi-Fi, or at least you’re not going to have good Wi-Fi that can connect properly to the servers, or stay connected for that matter. So trying to play Hitman: Cloud Edition (because it saves data to the Cloud) on the Nintendo Switch, is more of a stay at home experience rather than a Hitman on the go experience that I personally would have loved.
I think that in future Hitman games, IO Interactive need to get rid of the need to be constantly connected to a server in order to properly progress, especially if you’re releasing your games on a portable console like the Nintendo Switch.
The level design of these new maps are filled with areas to explore and unlock, and it seems to be fairly divided with the fans whether these maps are better than the previous installment or not. Many fans have praised the maps for their unique features to aid the new mechanics such as the camera, which can be used to unlock windows in Dubai, or to solve a murder mystery in Dartmoor, England.
There are new weapon and equipment designs as well, which give Agent 47’s arsenal a sleeker appearance and the new quality from the game’s engine really brings the world to life, with lighting, reflections, shadows and general character detailing. You can see the stubble on peoples faces or the highly defined hairs on their head.
Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the levels within Hitman 3, and I am currently working my way through their many challenges. There are unique mission styles for a couple of them, such as Berlin’s mission, which has you seeking an unknown amount of targets (eventually revealed as 5 targets) but none of the targets are in red through your Hitman Vision, because they are unknown to you until you get close enough to hear them on the phone. This requires serious stealth and investigation in order to complete the mission and complete it well. These new elements make the game stand out from it’s predecessors and allow it to be a refreshing new experience, even for veterans of the franchise.
Hitman 3 is a rich, fun and challenging experience with plenty of ways to play each mission and plenty of challenges to keep you coming back for more. There are three difficulty levels to choose from to suit your skill level and style of play. You can go full stealth assassin, or rampaging killing machine, it’s up to you. The level designs are beautiful and the controls are easy to learn. This could easy be one of the greatest gaming trilogies of recent.
The only reason I give this game 4 and half stars instead of the full 5, is because of the online aspect. Servers get busy quick and the IO Interactive servers have a tendency to disconnect multiple times in a play through, which sometimes doesn’t reconnect, meaning you lose any leveling progress made.
SPOILER ALERT FOR THE FINAL MISSION OF HITMAN 3
In the final mission of Hitman 3, there are 3 possible options for ending the mission;
- One option is the obvious one – Use a gun and shoot the target (preferably a head shot because that’s always a challenge to be completed for bonus experience)
- A second option is to take the serum on the table and inject it into the target.
- The final option is the secret ending. Take the serum from the table and approach the target but DO NOT INJECT THE TARGET! Simply wait a few moments, and the target will soon say “changed your mind?” and eventually you will have the option to inject yourself with the serum, which unlocks both and alternate ending as well as the “A New Father” challenge.