I’ll come right out and say it hitman 3 here is the best of this new trilogy of hitman games the world of assassination trilogy as it’s called. I’m coming at this at a very specific type of fan. I’ve been playing since the very first hitman game back in like 2000. So, I’m like a billion years old now this newer hitman 1 and 2 focused more on gameplay and less on story and more about getting you to endlessly replay massive creative levels in different ways. I really enjoy them but still not quite as much as the original more linear fashion games and their slightly different storytelling and atmosphere.
Hitman 3 finally really clicked for me it locked it all in it was like the first hitman game from a few years ago was a bit confused in its structure and then the second one really found its footing and started developing more and then this third game is where it all really comes together incredible levels fun creative scenarios but with a stronger and tighter feeling all around from direction and fun factor and just a dash of more story flair so this isn’t just cut scenes in between missions that feel disconnected there’s actually a thread that bleeds into it all this time around.
I enjoyed that quite a bit and actually I wanted to see more now. I will say the story payoff doesn’t completely quite land for me. I think it didn’t feel as meaningful as it could be or how it kind of set itself up to be. But I can’t really explain why without going into spoilers even still the game has some incredible moments and some good fan service moments that really respect agent 47 and diana but once again the real meat here is the gameplay that’s the 100 focus and here you get five pretty massive levels and like one extra bonus one it doesn’t sound like a lot that’s how these go though especially if you’re new to this like some people play through all five or six levels and see the story and that’s it and then you feel shortchanged but these hitman games are interesting in how they stretch and encourage replayability.
It’s not like other single-player games where it’s just like hey play through it again with a new skin or a cool new weapon hitman kind of takes it to the next level and essentially ties a level of progression to the levels now you can of course beat a level and progress onward and play the next level. Every level has a ton of different ways to take out your targets and accomplish whatever your goals are that you’re going to want to go back and essentially roll a different play through it’s like a whole different race track in the same environment.
If that makes sense hitman levels especially here in three are built like these intricate puzzles that you kind of slowly tear down and figure out your first playthrough is really kind of just only touching the surface and that whole figuring things out and this kind of like reverse puzzle doing it is so satisfying there’s room to be a stealth master an insane perfectionist someone who saves scums or someone who just goes with the flow and fails upwards it can be challenging in a harder to explain way it’s kind of like it challenges your creativity more than just total video game skill there is still that and there are difficulty modes which I do appreciate.
You can try and just completely stealth the whole thing which I also really like but there’s so much more you can do and the game really is down to let you do whatever you want in incredibly designed ways plus this time around they added persistent shortcuts so think like a souls game where you find a secret shortcut and unlock a door from the opposite side after taking the long way around then that door is always unlocked in playthroughs to kind of speed things up it’s satisfying here and they don’t use it super often they don’t overdo it’s just enough to slightly change up the dynamic every accomplishment or discovery in a level essentially gives you xp levels you up and as you master a level you unlock new approaches new places to start from new disguises new weapons stuff concealed inside of the level already for you to use waiting for you gadgets stuff like that all while you get a rating on a level so essentially replaying the level isn’t just replaying.
There’s progression within that too and experiencing everything that they built in each level that’s where the meat of the game is it doesn’t feel to me artificially lengthened it feels really smartly designed but I can understand if you’re not into this you know. It took me a long time to get into it it was a bold choice for this traditionally straightforward single player series to go towards and three doesn’t totally change that but it does strengthen it by shaking it up like I said and making things and objectives just feel different with a little injection of story one and two didn’t really have that but three actually gives you some agency here and there then of course you still get access to the online content there’s always going to be something new to access that is a remix or a refresh or a challenge on the levels and stuff you already have.
I appreciate having this stuff I only access it here and there you know I love the elusive target stuff they’ve done in the past but yeah a lot of that remains here not all modes but you have it otherwise the core gameplay does stay pretty much the same there’s shortcuts I mentioned earlier before and uh there’s like a camera phone for some light investigation and some hacking stuff but that’s really it except for a few surprises here and there so it’s like more of the same but strengthened by the best scenarios these games have had the levels themselves and just some story play.
Visually the game is absolutely stunning the updated graphics engine makes waves in the looks department npcs still don’t look so hot. I will say but environments weather effects lighting reflections even draw distance detail are all really ike a freaking sight to behold especially considering two and three already look great on last gen consoles too and it’s uh it’s also worth mentioning if you own one and two on the same platform you’ll be able to access all the levels from hitman 3 and they’re with the newer tweaked graphics and there’s that progress that carries over too so even if it’s not perfect it’s worth pointing out that like io interactive nailed this going from hitman 1’s episodic approach to then warner brothers published hitman 2 that was more straightforward to this new self-published hitman 3 getting them together all like that must have been a lot of paperwork and we commend them for kind of giving us some value considering if we already spent money on the other games also worth noting is that there is a psvr mode.
I do really wish there was full pc VR support at launch as a big fan of PCVR but there’s PSVR for playstation fans unfortunately I didn’t get to check it out in time but some early impressions from some of my VR friends point to it actually being pretty good so that’s nice. I’m also looking forward to dabbling in that mode in my spare time but it is worth noting that you have the psvr exclusivity for vr and you have the epic game store exclusivity for pc right now still you can transfer your steam stuff which is another thing that I think is commendable I like that they at the very least gave us that but like I said earlier I’m also glad they stepped up the story department this time around but for me.
I think it was a little bit too little too late the end of hitman 2 got interesting and three definitely fleshes it out here but cutscenes feel kind of old flat and not very exciting with very little attachment to any of the other characters besides 47 and Diana essentially the new characters introduced in this hitman world of assassination thing I couldn’t care less about it’s just the old standbys 47 and diana you know they actually retread some ground with some story concepts here where I actually found myself being like wow we’re doing this again.
I found myself a bit disappointed overall especially seeing some moments where they clearly could have done so much more and they set themselves up for it but hey like I said there are still some moments along with just the music the voice acting and some set pieces that will just really put a smile on your face if you’ve been playing these games for a long time like me so if you can’t tell what I’m trying to get at here for the sake of repeating myself this is the hitman world of assassination game in that new trilogy that finally fully really clicked with me the levels are great and deep the amount of kills and scenarios exciting.
I found myself playing levels over immediately more than I did previously and that little dash of story even if I found the conclusion to it a bit disappointing still did wonders for the in-game scenarios and just the general vibe and excitement overall the way these games like effortlessly balance the serious tone and the reverence for like the idea of 47 this ghost this monolithic figure while also at the same time letting you do dumb like drop a chandelier on a bozo’s head or throw a hammer at a dude or kill a man with a pillow while you’re dressed up like a clown like I think that mix is perfect only so many games can walk that line. I like the way hitman does it they do it really well here and I also just like IO interactive games and I can’t wait to see what they do next you know they tried something different to freshen up the very long standing hitman formula with these last three games and even though mileage will vary depending on your player preference. I’m glad they landed this new trilogy here.
I would hope I give you pros cons and personal opinion and now I want to hear yours down in the comments. If you’re jumping in day one we’d love to hear your first impressions and your favorite levels. I think mine may be a tie between the very last and the england manor actually no wait I’ll go with the berlin germany one. I’m kind of torn because some of the moments in each are so cool. but I want to hear from you guys, what you think what your favorite game in the entire hitman series, lets us know down in the comment box. Thank you for reaching our post.