Starting off with the rebooted Hitman trilogy back in 2016, called ‘World of Assassination’, Hitman III follows suit with its predecessors and doesn’t really change that much in terms of gameplay. Though you may be wondering, well why haven’t IO Interactive changed that much? It’s because the Hitman formula has been tried & tested to excellence, that it quite honestly doesn’t need a makeover.
What Does Hitman III Bring To The Table?
Along with some small refinements here and there, the only major change in Hitman III is the new camera tool. This device allows Agent 47 to remotely deactivate locked doors, discover new intel for investigations and of course… take some snazzy photos. Though don’t expect an advanced-level photo mode like in The Last of Us: Part II or Kingdom Hearts III. You can’t rotate the camera 360° or anything like that, but you can adjust the zoom, depth of field and add in your classic Instagram filter… if you’re feeling fancy.
It’s a small inclusion in the grand scheme of things, but acts as a great example of gameplay-story integration.
The photos Agent 47 takes can also help out during gameplay. For instance, one route in the Dubai level has you subduing a subject and snapping a picture of the body to gain trust from the assassination target. It’s a small inclusion in the grand scheme of things, but acts as a great example of gameplay-story integration.
For those who’re new to the series, Hitman III has you controlling Agent 47 as he infiltrates six various locations around the world. Disguising himself in some… interesting outfits, to say the least, and scouring for information in these areas to find the best methods of eliminating his assigned prey, without leaving too much of a trace.
There’s a whole assortment of different kill-methods too, from pushing people off balconies, drowning targets in toilets, choking someone with Agent 47’s fibre wire, and stacks more! Pretty straightforward affair here…
Though I must admit, slapping people with a fish NEVER gets old!
A Feeling Of Familiarity
If you’ve played the previous two games in the series, then the controls and presentation will all feel very familiar. So in an effort to change up the game-flow, the developers have introduced an optional, murder mystery sub-plot into one of the levels, and another where you’ll start with literally zero intel on the whereabouts or identities of your targets.
In an effort to change up the game-flow, the developers have introduced an optional, murder mystery sub-plot into one of the levels…
Since these crucial details are missing, it does push you to play more slowly than usual and meticulously plan out each move. Or you could just as easily say “YOLO” and take a more rushed and risky approach, it’s up to you.
What’s really cool is that you can always retry a certain scenario again. As the unofficial, ‘save-scumming’ feature (if you can call it that) does make a return here. Meaning you can save right before you try out something, then quickly reload if you’re not happy with the outcome. This is even better for current-gen players, as the load times are ultra-fast. Letting you pull off some awesome runs if you’re one of those perfectionist types.
That Sweet, Sweet Spice!
The levels themselves all have their own unique feel and atmosphere to them, and the developers have refined their craft so well here, that they’ve even surpassed the designs of Hitman II, in my opinion. They’ll each subtly subvert your expectations of what a Hitman level should look and feel like as well. And don’t be alarmed when I say that – it’s the exact opposite of how Rian Johnson handled the Last Jedi!
Instead, they grant Agent 47 countless opportunities for creative, over-the-top kills and an even grander sense of exploration, compared to the other two games in the trilogy.
After all these years of Hitman, those two core aspects still encourage a tonne of replay-ability.
After all these years of Hitman, those two core aspects still encourage a tonne of replayability. Targets can be taken down in a variety of different ways, and you’ll spend heaps more time continuously improving on your overall level scores. Great stuff!
There’s also a bunch of game modes you can try out, that help spice up the Hitman formula. But oddly missing is the Ghost Mode from Hitman II, where you can take on other player assassins in a 1v1 competitive mode.
Not sure why that’s absent here, to be honest…
That being said, if you aren’t hooked by the Hitman formula by now, then this entry probably won’t change your outlook. The shooting might not be for everyone, the AI is still a little dumb sometimes and people may not find that slow, build-up gameplay very appealing.
This final entry isn’t sold as a revolutionary though, it’s rather a masterfully refined work for fans, new and old.
The Story & Accessibility of Hitman III
Story-wise, Hitman III portrays a more ‘personal’ feeling for Agent 47, really ramping up the intensity of his current situation. As the assassin and his conspirators are now in direct confrontation with the Partners of Providence. I won’t spoil anything more than that, but the overall plot and conclusion of the trilogy were very satisfying. Fans of the series will definitely want to check it out!
Also, Agent 47’s voice actor, David Bateson and his colleagues still sound so good in their roles! Hats off!
In case you didn’t know, you can actually import levels and your progression from the previous games into Hitman III. You can also play Hitman III and it’s predecessors levels in VR on PlayStation at launch, practically making the final entry a giant hub for all the trilogy’s content. Your system of choice will require a different method for setup though. So make sure you read this guide to access all your purchased content.
Now, is Hitman III worth the time and money? Yes, of course! Especially if you enjoyed the last two entries in the series. For newcomers, I’d actually recommend playing Hitman I & II before jumping into the final conclusion however. Since parts of the story will have more of an impact if you’ve already invested the time and energy into those two games.
Overall, Hitman III is an outstanding package, full of outrageous kills and tension-fueled espionage. It’s amazing how much fun can be had, purely from trying out different tactics and approaches that would seem utterly ridiculous for other games in the stealth genre. The replay factor alone is a huge selling point and having the whole trilogy in one, complete package will extend the replay value even further.
Hitman III brings more of the same – but is that even a bad thing? The formula is so tightly crafted here that it deserves all the plaudits it gets. The AI can be a little dumb and the gunplay might not be for everyone, but if you give it a go, you’ll find an incredible stealth game that you can sink hours and hours of time into.
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