Review: Hitman 3

With Hitman 3, Io Interactive concludes the World of Assassination trilogy. This time not with episodic releases, but all story missions in one full package at once. With optional access to previous missions, the final pack.

In Hitman 3 we take on the role of Agent 47 again. Again we visit 6 completely different locations and again we have 101 different ways to get the job done. With a fairly short build-up in duration, Hitman makes up for everything in terms of replayability, style and finish.

The Rich World of Hitman 3

If you are familiar with the previous two Hitman games from Io Interactive, then you know the trick by now. You play through 6 fairly large sandbox levels and in these levels you have different assignments. How you fulfill it is entirely up to you. It starts out pretty simple with one target that you have to take out, but soon the assignments get a bit trickier. You get more targets in one level, and other things to keep in mind. Each level contains unique ways to tackle your task. For example, there are storylines in such a mission where for example you pretend to be an important person to get very close to a target. Storylines can sometimes only be performed temporarily, because in Hitman 3 the world breathes around you. It's alive.Characters have a routine and don't just wait in a fixed spot for you to be knocked out. Take advantage of the limited openings you have, or wait patiently for the next moment.

A certain level is never static. The next time you play the level and adjust your tactics, the world will change with you. Everything around you reacts to Agent 47 and the actions it takes. Think quickly, or be creative and erase all possible traces so as not to develop a suspicious situation.

Your playground, your rules

There are very few rules that the game has to adhere to while playing. You have a mission and how you fulfill it is entirely up to you. Finding and using a firearm while standing in the middle of a crowded clubroom is possible, but may not be advisable. Hitman 3 doesn't force you to adopt a certain style of play. You determine that yourself. And you can also adjust this several times during a mission.

For example, I easily entered a nightclub in Berlin by helping another partygoer look for his "allergy" pills. By finding this on the property, I was allowed to enter as his +1 as a reward. Once inside there are several targets I need to take out, but I don't know who they are or what they look like. All I know is that they are somewhere on the property. How do I find out? Fortunately, the targets now and then give a status update to their boss via an earpiece. This way I was able to unlock the targets. The next step is to disable them and preferably, unseen.

I'm not going to give away the twist of this mission, but I'll share the result. During the mission I changed outfits 6 times to reach different places in the level. Killed someone with a crowbar and dumped it in a shore, strangled a guard in the bushes just outside the back entrance. Did I deliver a poisoned pizza to someone as a pizza delivery man and provide someone with a sniper rifle from afar a peephole through their braincase. And in the end I left the club through the normal entrance and exit without any suspicion.

Short, but more

The above mission lasted about 2 hours and in this time frame I have not "seen" everything, but I have "seen" most of this level. I didn't discover all the storylines, didn't use all the creative ways to complete my mission, or found all the shortcuts. The latter is new in Hitman 3 and a very nice quality of life addition.

Since the World of Assassination trilogy is heavily involved in different ways of going about things, IoI encourages you to replay the missions several times. With the addition of shortcuts, your next playthroughs through such a mission will be slightly more enjoyable. A door that was previously closed, but you opened in your first playthrough, is now open forever. This does not apply to all doors, only the select assigned doors or ladders. They can be recognized by a yellow cage that initially seals the door or ladder.

Combined with the many unlockable entry points, pick-ups and costumes that you get by gaining XP in a level, your second, third, fourth and further plathroughs through a level are made a lot more enjoyable. You spend less time penetrating, but you have much more time to come up with a creative way to get your job done.

Clean Kill

Hitman 3 looks breathtaking on the Playstation 5. It runs nice and stable and there are hardly any dips visible to the naked eye. Not even in the crowded club, or other locations where the density of characters is very high. It's a pretty technical piece of work from IoI when you consider that many of these characters also have their own lives and do their own thing during your play session.

The 6 new areas in Hitman 3 are all unique and very nicely made with a lot of variety in even a single level. Five of the new levels play like your classic sandbox levels, but the last level plays a little differently, almost Uncharted-esque. I can't say too much about it without giving away too much but it seems like they are already revealing how their next title is going to play here and they want to gauge whether it is a success. It's a fairly linear level with which you will eventually be faced with a choice that shapes you as the Agent 47 that the trilogy has been forging you for 3 games now. What principles do you stand by? Which one do you reject?

Verdict

Despite the short duration of about 10 to 15 hours for a single playthrough, the game still offers you dozens of hours in this sandbox to let your creativity run wild. If you also have the previous parts, these play bears are via Hitman 3, with all the improvements that Hitman 3 makes so that you can be busy for hundreds of hours. If you have not played previous parts, Hitman 3 also offers Hitman 2 and Hitman (still quite expensive) Access Passes. Hitman 3 is therefore also an ideal entry point if you have missed previous parts, but are still very curious.

 

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