Hitman 3, the third and final part of the "World of Assassination" trilogy, is a game about creativity, improvisation, and patience. Well, assassination too, of course... but unless we're talking about really bad people, killing people is optional. As in every other Hitman game, the most important part of it is stealth, so you better enjoy waiting for the perfect moment and creating your own opportunities!
What to Expect
This third entry is no different from the previous ones. It features Agent 47 in several crowded and beautifully designed areas full of distractions, secret passages, secondary objectives, and places to hide—both yourself and your victims. If you're new to IO Interactive's "World of Assassination" saga, or even new to the Hitman franchise, fear not! Hitman 3 also doubles as an album where you can buy and play old missions, so you don't miss any of Agent 47's modern adventures. If you've been following it, then you can expect a spectacular closing to the story, one that won't leave you indifferent and will probably make you question when the next Hitman game will hit the stores.
Hitman 3, while not so different from the previous games, looks amazing, not only because of the textures and models but mostly because all levels are full of life and small details that will make you smile. One of this trilogy's biggest selling points is visiting different landmark places around the world, all of them fully capturing the essence of its people but also adding some stereotypes and jokes. By far, Dartmoor (England), Mendoza (Argentina), and Chongqing (China) are the most visually stunning, but all stages have this special something that makes them unique and attractive to explore.
Hitman 3 is not a game that stands out for its musical selection, although it has a soundtrack that does its job very well. These tracks are not there to call your attention; the objective is quite the opposite, actually, as the music perfectly sets the mood in a minimalistic way. While you play, you'll be paying attention to the talkative characters around you in the hope of a sidequest or an opportunity to get closer to your targets, and that's why voice acting—wondrous as it is—is more important than the OST. As a matter of fact, music often comes from "real" sources within the game, like the tango performers in Mendoza.
When you are actually paying attention to it, or when you're browsing the menus, Hitman 3's music is brilliant. When you're playing, however, it hides almost as well as Agent 47 himself, and that's quite a feat!
The main campaign of Hitman 3 consists of 6 missions that will take you to, in this order, Dubai, Dartmoor, Berlin, Chongqing, Mendoza, and the Carpathian Mountains. All these missions involve one or two targets you need to kill and sometimes a clear secondary objective, but each one plays differently. For example, in Chongqing, you need to infiltrate an ICA underground facility full of guards; in Berlin, you visit a nightclub full of ICA agents in disguise, and telling them apart from the regular staff won't be easy given it's a dark place full of people.
The most interesting part of any Hitman game is not just killing your targets but doing so in a specific way... mostly to unlock all achievements. Sure, putting a bullet to a guy's head and then cowardly running to the extraction point will count as a cleared stage, but there's more than that if you want to be the very best assassin in the world.
Stealth is always the way to go, but you can be stealthy by subduing people without being noticed and stealing their clothes to impersonate them, or by timing all your movements so nobody notices your presence. At the same time, your targets won't be static either, and some doors and windows could be open/closed depending on specific actions. That's the beauty of this game; achieving the same goals by exploring different options and applying different tactics, maybe finding a funny dialogue, new place, or Easter egg in the process.
4 of these levels will present you with Mission Stories, sidequests triggered by finding a character of hearing a special dialogue while near them. Some of these will take you closer to your target, like impersonating a tour guide in the Mendoza vineyard in order to assassinate Tamara Vidal, one of the guests of honor, and some others will offer you a radical change in gameplay mechanics, like impersonating the private detective Madame Carlisle hired to solve her husband's murder in Thornbridge Manor. These Mission Stories and Challenges are important if you want to get higher scores... but there's a catch!
If you really want your score to count, you need to always be connected to the internet. In fact, playing offline severely hurts the game since most of the content (Mastery levels, Challenges, new starting locations, extra game modes, etc.) won't even be available and without it, replayability is almost nonexistent. That being said, almost everyone has internet access nowadays, and we get it could be an anti-piracy measure—still weird to force players to be online when it's a single-player experience.
All in all, the best part of Hitman 3 is that you can link it to the previous games and replay all of Hitman and Hitman 2's missions and side missions! This is a little harder for PC players given the incompatibility between Steam and Epic, but IO already stated they're working on a way to import your progress, so it should be a matter if time—hopefully, just a few days.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Hitman 3 may follow the same old formula as its predecessors, but not all games—or sequels—need to reinvent the wheel. While 6 stages might not seem like enough, all of them are overflowing with interesting challenges and hardcore objectives that will keep you busy for days. Plus, all your targets can be killed in different ways, so you can always compete against yourself for the most creative outcomes. Most importantly, Hitman 3's story takes the time to let all secondary characters enjoy their 15 seconds of fame, giving the trilogy a satisfying closure.
You can—and should—play each mission more than once, always with different approaches and results.
A visual masterpiece.
If you own the previous games, this is a wonderful collection, and Hitman 3 the ultimate game launcher.
6 missions are not enough, and some of these are way too short and easy to complete.
Compatibility between old Steam games and this Epic exclusive is a problem for PC players.
Constant onliine access is needed for achievements and extra content.
Honey's Final Verdict:
As simple as it is, Hitman 3 has everything you would expect in a Hitman game, from absurd situations and elusive enemies to sandboxy levels full of secret passages and people to hide among. And don't worry—it may be the end of an era, but it definitely won't be the end of this franchise!
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...