Good Morning, 47. Last week, IO Interactive released Hitman 3, the highly anticipated final installment to the World of Assassination Trilogy. The game places you back into the shoes of Agent 47 for six new levels of deadly dress up. Although there are a few twists on the Hitman formula, fans of the previous games will know what to expect from the newest entry.
The Formula for Assassination
Anyone who’s played the last 2 games should be pretty familiar with the Hitman formula by now. Use disguises and tools to sneak past security and eliminate your target without raising suspicion. And Hitman 3 is no exception. When players first load into Dubai, you’ll instantly recognise familiar elements of IO’s level design and be able to navigate your way around quite easily.
But while many elements are the same, there are a few notable tweaks to the formula. Including a new camera gadget for hacking, and an entire level centred around a locked room murder mystery. However, the biggest departure comes from Berlin, which flips the script and has a number of assassins all targeting 47. It’s a clever way to make the level stand out and provides an interesting break from the usual structure.
While I did have a blast with the game, I do think the formula is starting to get a bit boring. If a Hitman 4 came out in the next few years, I believe that fans would start to get tired of the series. It makes me glad to see that IO is moving away from their flagship franchise for a while to focus on their upcoming 007 game. Giving both the developers and fans a bit of time to breathe before 47’s next outing is probably a good idea.
Welcome to … 47
Hitman 3 features 6 new murder sandboxes to play in: Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, Chongqing, Mendoza and The Carpathian Mountains. Each location brings with it a new style and beautiful visuals. From the breathtaking views atop a skyscraper in Dubai, to the eerie and gloomy halls of Thornbridge Manor in Dartmoor. Every level is intricately detailed and full of character. Which is to be expected from IO Interactive.
The biggest standout for me being the neon-lit streets of Chongqing. The imagery of the neon lights in the rain is simply beautiful. And the level is massive with multiple visually distinct areas, making it easy to get lost in the maze.
As beautiful and interesting as the new levels are, I felt as though they didn’t quite live up to some of the series best. While Hitman 3 has some amazing levels that will satisfy any fan, it doesn’t quite beat out Sapienza or Miami, but it does come close.
However, there is one level that feels like a pretty big letdown, which is the final destination, The Carpathian Mountains. The entire level is set on a train filled with guards, where 47 starts at the back, and his target is all the way at the front. The level is simply a test to get from point A to point B. You also won’t be penalised if you kill someone who isn’t your target. The idea of a Hitman level set on a train is an interesting concept, which is a shame that there is almost no freedom given to the player. I expected the final Hitman level to at least feel like a Hitman level.
Tell Me a Story, 47
The story of the World of Assassination Trilogy has been pretty good for what it is. Mostly, it is just an excuse to get 47 from one exotic location to another, which it does well. Hitman 3 is no exception, however, it is the strongest story-wise out of the three games.
The game presents 47 and his allies at their lowest points, desperately grasping to stay alive in their fight against the Illuminati style organisation know as Providence. It’s especially interesting seeing how 47 acts in the circumstances he finds himself in. Forced to make moral choices about his and everyone else’s lives, while still being the emotionless robot that makes him so iconic.
Fans of the story will also be pleased to see that the game has gone back to CGI cutscenes. While they’re not quite the same level of quality as the photorealistic cutscenes from the first game, many people will agree that it’s better than the motion comic-style cutscenes of Hitman 2.
The voice acting is also pretty good. John Hopkins and Phillip Rosch have nailed the intimidating voices of Lucas Gray and The Constant and are always a delight to hear. And of course, David Bateson and Jane Perry are phenomenal as the iconic voices of Agent 47 and Diana Burnwood, respectively.
One aspect that has dropped off is the pre-mission briefings or lack thereof. Two missions simply don’t have one and one mission has a very basic briefing. Throughout the whole game, there are only three of these cutscenes, and only two are narrated by Diana. It’s a shame to see so little of these Mission Impossible style cutscenes that the series has become known for. At least we’ll be getting plenty more when IO starts releasing the Elusive Target missions.
A Bit of a Rough Start
Unlike the last title, Hitman 3 transfers over both your levels from the previous games and your progress from Hitman 2. So you should have all your unlocks and level progression when your launch Hitman 3. Unfortunately, this wasn’t exactly the case as the website IO was using to transfer player progress went down right after the game launched. Some players are still having trouble connecting to the game’s servers and accessing their profiles.
On top of this, IO has made a deal to make the game an Epic Games exclusive on PC for 12 months. They have assured fans that anyone who purchased Hitman (2016) or Hitman 2 on Steam will be able to access those levels on the Epic version of Hitman 3 without purchasing the games again. However, it’s still unclear on how exactly they will achieve this, so anyone on PC will have to wait to access their Hitman 2 levels.
agWhile I do recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the series, it may be a good idea to wait a couple of weeks while these issues are being resolved. I think it’s safe to assume that IO will not release any elusive target missions until the majority of the issues are fixed so you shouldn’t miss out on anything if you wait a little longer.
Hitman 3 is a brilliant concluding chapter for this incredible trilogy. It provides great action, exotic locations, incredible assassinations and satisfying conclusion to the legendary career of Agent 47. While it may not reach the highs of the previous games, it comes damn close.
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