IO Interactive‘s The World of Assassination trilogy has been a roller-coaster ride for the developer with so many ups and downs, but at the end of the day, Hitman 3 proves that every challenge that IOI has gone through over the last few years to keep the franchise alive is totally worth it. Hitman 3 is the best opening that we could ever get for this new year and the best ending for the trilogy. Read more of our Hitman 3 review for PlayStation 4.
With Hitman 1 that was launched back in 2016, IO Interactive delivered a brand new way to play its stealth-based series. Aside from the episodic launch of the game, the contract-based missions with all the preparing phase and detailed description of the situation and target, helped a lot to feel what a hitman’s job would look like. The developer’s biggest wild card was improving this immersive experience by implementing minor but important changes to the gameplay. From tweaking the AI system and bringing in more ways to assassinate your targets to evolution in map design and story-telling.
With every new entry, you can easily feel the significant progress that IO Interactive has made in gameplay design, world design, and narration. In Hitman 3, fortunately, everything is at the peak, compared to the first two titles of the trilogy. The story takes a darker tone with major characters almost messing up everything between themselves. The gameplay mechanics feel more logical and realistic thanks to the improved AI system that helps NPCs to keep an eye out for every suspicious move or noise. The visuals for last-gen console owners won’t differ so much from Hitman 2, but you can’t underestimate the developer’s great job in lighting and texture design.
The story of the rebooted Hitman trilogy is much more complicated than the previous titles of the series and takes several turns as you make more progress and realize what’s going on behind each contract. Hitman 3, also, follows the same policy, but with a more intense tone as everything is supposed to end in this game. My advice is to read through the story of Hitman 1 and 2 before playing the new entry, even though you will get a very brief taste of the story before starting the Dubai mission in Hitman 3.
Since the relationship of main characters sees some changes in Hitman 3, some of the missions in between might not feel the same as before, especially the Berlin mission that turns into one of the greatest locations of the game not only due to its threatening atmosphere and complicated map but also because of its undetected targets. In Berlin, you have to search the map and find the targets by gathering intel from various locations, which has not happened yet in the trilogy so far. The same technique in map design has also been used in the final contract of the game, which is truly magnificent.
When it comes to map design, IO Interactive is probably one of the most talented teams in the world. Every map and location in the game has a unique feature up the sleeve to surprise you during your stealth adventure. While you think the map you’re playing now is probably the best in the game, the next location changes your mind easily.
Gathering intel and documents in Hitman 3 plays a big role. Thanks to a new scanner device, you can now keep a copy of important documents and hack into laptops for more intel about your targets. The fun part is the information that you get through this way, opens up various scenarios and multiple ways to take down your targets, other than killing them straightforwardly. Of course, for some extra challenges and more creative ways of assassinating, you need to have sharp eyes for finding different required objects, and sharp ears for listening to the conversations that are going on around you.
As mentioned before, the new AI system not only makes guards and security teams smart enough to detect your suspicious acts but also helps the ordinary NPCs to feel realistic and believable. On some occasions, you can find some chatty people around the locations, talk to them, and get some important intel from them about your targets. This will come in handy in the Mendoza contract especially.
The core of the game is still the same. Gunplay, rules of being compromised, and objects that can lethal, or be used lethally, are still the same as previous games. That said, in Hitman 3 you will find some new deadly things to eliminate your targets or at least force them to step into a direction that will end up in death.
While the motion-captured cinematics is available once again, an important part of the story is being told through the characters’ background info that is available to read in the preparation phase before starting the mission. However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the world of the game, I strongly suggest you read through every document that you find in the game as most of them have some interesting intel about the targets, locations, or the other organizations that you face in your adventure.
Visually, Hitman 3 is the best in the series, especially if you play it on new consoles or PC. However, even in the last-gen consoles, the game looks brilliant thanks to IO Interactive’s spectacular environment design. Every map has some gorgeous landscapes that make you stop for a few seconds at least, take a look at the incredible view, enjoy it, and probably take some screenshots. The game is literally empty of bugs and technical issues and you won’t face anything trouble-making in your playthrough.
Summarizing the review, Hitman 3 is one of the greatest stealth games in the market that probably you haven’t experienced anything like it since Hitman 2. That being said, Hitman 3 is a game that patient players will enjoy the most. Don’t forget that this is a tactical game where you have to have a precise plan for eliminating your targets. Just moving towards targets and killing them by a shot in the face wouldn’t work most of the time. It’s a game of strategy, patience, and replay. Remember, you need to think like 47 if you want to leave missions alive.