Release Date : January 20, 2021
Developers : IO Interactive
Publisher : IO Interactive
Platforms : PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Stadia, Nintendo Switch
The reboot of the Agent 47 adventures initiated in 2016 is nearing completion. The “World of Assassination” trilogy concludes with the third and final episode Hitman 3 which follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. For nearly five years, IO Interactive Studios has been working to return to the roots of the “Hitman” franchise, meticulous and thoughtful assassination, leaving the action in its simplest form in the locker room.
The graphics engine continues to progress and offers us more sumptuous environments than ever before, the level design continues to be brilliant, while the scenario really makes things change. And to avoid too much repetition, the developers have even thought of integrating a few small gameplay variations in some missions. A must for fans of the series, this new opus can also be a good entry point for novices, who will be able to import the missions from HITMAN and HITMAN 2 in this third episode.
And although these words are encouraging enough to reveals our opinion of the game from the beginning, we will dive as usual into the folds of Hitman 3 and show you all the positive and negative points of the game.
The adventure begins with a welcome summary of the previous episodes. It is a detail that has its importance for a sequel, and which is unfortunately neglected by too many games. However, it allows newcomers to take the train on the move, and regulars to hang up the cars more easily. So we find Agent 47 in the company of Lucas Grey, his childhood friend. The two professional killers track down the partners of Providence, the secret organization behind global conspiracies. The scenario has a few surprises and twists in store for us and effectively concludes the trilogy by closing all previously open script arcs. It should be noted that the game has the good taste to offer us again with real animated cinematic scenes, like the first HITMAN episode, and not simply fixed shots like HITMAN 2.
Perfect design for the maps and missions
The most beautiful thing I will remember about Hitman 3 is the creative design of maps and missions, this really was one of the most beautiful things in the game if we wanted to shorten beauty in a word or two.
Hitman 3 presents six new maps that take us on a deep journey in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Dartmoor (United Kingdom), Berlin (Germany), Chongqing (China), Mendoza (Argentina), and finally the Carpathians (Romania). It is true that the number is rather small but when you play one of these maps you will notice the great care in each of them and the special touch of each map with a design that I certainly think will remain in your mind happily even if this is for at least one map.
I remember that the first and second parts of the series had some problems, the most important is the scarcity of this distinctive map design that we are used to in the previous parts, and therefore it is not strange to hear about the love of the players of the third part and their appreciation for its excellence, some remarkable improvements have been made to raise this factor of excellence. It may be difficult to get appropriate words in this review to describe all of these improvements (The best description will be through the experience!)
However, some attractive examples may be in talking about the opening of each map that took a significantly wider orientation than the previous one (as I said in my impression of the beta version of the game), for example, in Dubai mission you start outside the huge tower (Burj Khalifa) and then you enter it in a unique way and you are greeted by the sounds and effects of the celebration of the inauguration of the tower. And in another mission, you start immediately in front of the target that must be eliminated and the surrounding soldiers, so you always remember that the meal is in front of you, but your saliva may end before you can eat it! Other improvements include unlocking new weapons and equipment that can be used on all maps and choosing between equipment in the processing and mission preparation phase.
The return of the ” Silent Assassin”
First of all, I don’t want to talk in unnecessary details, because all the basic mechanisms from the first and second parts returned as it was completely without modification, such as the user interface and how to finish tasks, etc.. Rather, what I want to talk about is the new and interesting (and controversial) among the secrets of these words. If you ask me about what the best parts of the series are for me, I have a lot of love for the first, second, and fourth parts (I mean the old parts) and what the first and fourth part had in common was the crazy possibility of literally eliminating everyone in the place effortlessly if you had the right equipment. The second part was more focused on the silent assassinations, which made the rush difficult and unhelpful or possible.
The reason I went back a little bit is that Hitman 3 quotes from the origins of the old Hitman 2 Silent Assassin part, it has increased the focus of the game on the issue of killing silently and not facing enemies face to face, which for me is very cool and well suited to the series but I respect that it can be a bit controversial for players who want complete freedom to finish missions madly or completely quietly. In terms of the mechanisms, you can still do it for sure, but the chances of success do not exceed 10%, especially if you are playing at a medium or higher difficulty level.
The next important point I want to talk about is that the special design of the missions reflects the wide area of freedom for the player to take the path he wants to complete the mission, you can still track small missions within the map to reach or eliminate the target immediately like the previous two parts but here the freedom of play is wider, you can discover a crazy way to kill your target by chance as I did in the Dartmoor mission, where I was able to eliminate the target by unexpectedly luring him into an isolated area and this coincidence became one of my fond memories with this ancient series.
I addition, there is a real diversity in the way of playing each mission, you will not start and leave in the same way every time but there is a beautiful cinematic output to make some moments out of tune (I do not want to spoil it for you with unnecessary clarification, I just mean that some assassinations accompanied by a beautiful cinematic touch) And finishing the mission does not mean throwing it behind your back, but you can replay it often to try new methods and to finish new tasks.
Moreover, to help the player dive further into the world of each map, you should now pay more attention to the public’s dialogues and stuff written on the walls because that may reveal to you a password for a door and a puzzling lock, as if disguised as a detective in Dartmoor, you will not only blend in, but you also have to investigate and study the crime scene and interrogate the suspects and find some pieces of evidence to prove the identity of the killer. All of this is just within one map that you can avoid by finishing your desired goal or enjoying these fascinating interior scenes.
The most particular feature of the Hitman series from the other target-assassination games in a semi-open world is the classic mechanisms known today in the series, as well as the small details that make the hunting trip interesting and suggest the danger of making mistakes and paying attention to everything around you. As for Hitman 3 that we are talking about, it has improved everything related to the mechanisms, and in the second part, there is really great attention to the small details.
For example, in the Dartmoor mission, your ally will not care about any killing and madness that you do near her, and in another map, if you pass a camera that transmits routine news, the broadcaster will be upset and will re-shoot whenever you disturb her or pass by her side, and the public will pay attention to guns thrown in the ground and strange sounds, respond appropriately to attack situations and the sounds of gunshots, and talk to you in a different way depending on the outfit you wear (although some of them are illogical..) And you can wear the costumes of other characters even after you throw them into lockers or boxes, and if you do strange things like hiding behind walls, the guards will pay attention to that and ask you to stop, and the cleaning staff will pay attention to water stains and dirt to clean (at least it happened in the bathrooms) and when disguised as a guard, public figures may ask you for help if they noticed something suspicious.
Even so, this attention to small details was more like an infection that went from Rockstar and what they do with GTA games to IO interactive, they decided to add things and delete a lot more and give up on some very small things but in my point of view, they were always important.
To revive the gameplay experience, the developers added a camera to the mechanisms that can be used while hunting the target so that you can perform some side missions (prove that you killed someone) and often to penetrate electronic locks, and in return, they removed some small details that reduced the realism of the experience and artificial intelligence.
This small camera doesn’t trigger any reaction from any character at all, whether it is a guard or others, if you try to take a picture of them or they will not do any reaction, and the destruction of the cameras does not lead to alert any guard as if nothing has happened, and also the presence of blood spots is a completely normal thing for the guards and they don’t do anything about it. And it is very strange and funny that when you throw something to lure someone into an isolated area, the guard asks a completely normal person to go to the concerned area and talks to him as if he is a soldier or fellow guard even though he is just a normal person invited to a night party or something, and the strangest thing is that person enters a restricted area that any unqualified person is prohibited from entering it and then says, “I checked, there is nothing!”
And if you wanted more strange and funny situations that indicate the weirdness of the artificial intelligence, I threw a banana at the head of a guard while standing in front of him (medium difficulty level) to fall in front of me to the ground and then return to his boring routine as if nothing had happened! Also, unfortunately, in the previous parts, there was a feature that I have always liked, which is that Agent 47 hides the weapon behind his back if his uniform does not authorize him to carry a weapon, but in this game, I haven’t seen this happen only once and randomly I didn’t understand the way to do it.
These negatives were annoying to me because I was looking for something better than just adding a camera, but I wanted a better logical development of artificial intelligence, it makes no sense, dear readers, to kill all the guards of the area by throwing a coin into scattered nesting areas so that they could approach the trap one by one without noticing something suspicious, especially since this is the third part of the new trilogy and effectively the eighth in the career of the series.
Apart from this, you can still create assassination contracts like before and play the contracts that the other players have created, and there is no multiplayer mode in Hitman 3, but if you own the first and second parts you will get all the contents of those parts within the third such as the online maps and stages, etc.., Which means that buying the new part is convincing even for the players who will be able to play the old missions with new graphics and gameplay mechanics, and that is even better for a player who has not yet touched the trilogy.
I’m glad to report that there are no technical errors or scandalous problems in the game, one time the game stopped working while loading the mission, and once again the body of the guard mixed with the adjacent wall or stopped moving completely (it was either due to a trick I did or a technical error!)
The graphics of the game have evolved perfectly with the conclusion of this trilogy, great improvements have been made to the lighting effects and shadows, the designs of public crowds are realistic and move in a convincing manner, and their clothes are designed with excellent realism as well, and the beautiful shapes of the maps return with amazing details here and there, and the effects of the sun and fire are very excellent and make you feel the new generation of capabilities. The weapons are well designed, and Agent 47’s suit looks sharper than ever, and the water effects are also excellent and have a wonderful appearance, and move with the excellent flow when you exit the sink basin to see wet spots on the floor.
I am happy to confirm that the game works amazingly on the previous generation consoles with no problems or a decrease in the FPS, and you can still see some of the beauty of the fire and bright lighting, but it certainly will not come close to the beauty of the game’s appearance on the current new generation platforms.
Although all the characters’ movements are excellent and look realistic, Agent 47 still walks in a strange way that, surprisingly, does not expose him, because he is the only one in the world of Hitman 3 walking like a robot all the time.
Music and Sound effects
The third part uses the same wonderful musical theme from the first and second part and is a natural fair use for being a single trilogy that started and ended with the same fresh melodies.
The game also received respectable improvements for sound effects when breaking or throwing objects, silent and normal weapon sounds depending on their type, and the sound performance of all characters is excellent and professional as expected so that it convinces you of their virtual identity and motives.
Hitman 3 concludes in a satisfactory way the events of this exceptional trilogy in the ancient history of Hitman and makes its acquisition acceptable, whether you are an old player and passed through the previous two parts, or you want to try the whole trilogy together through the third part alone, a lot of magnificence we see in the maps’ design and the vast freedom in the way of completing the missions. The game’s performance is excellent on the current and old generation consoles, but unfortunately, there are still some flaws stemming from the developer abandoning small details that should have been the natural development of the series, or at least it wasn’t good to abandon especially that some of them are already present in the previous parts.