Hitman 3 Review – One Last Dance, 47

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Stealth
 
Rating: MA15+
 
Release Date: 20th January, 2021
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


 

Positives


- A near-perfect ending to a solid trilogy
- Hundreds of AI on-screen makes the game feel more real
- After the end of 2020, it’s nice to know games can still be ready at launch.

Negatives


- Still some minor gameplay grievances
- No new game modes
- New VR mode only on PlayStation.


Posted January 20, 2021 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Hitman 3 is IO Interactive’s last dance for Agent 47, taking you on a whirlwind tour of the globe from the sand-swept Dubai to the rainy streets of Chongqing to an English country manor and more. This trilogy concluder completes a story that began five years ago with the first season game launching episodically (remember that?) followed by the stellar Hitman 2. Hitman 3 brings five large sandbox missions to the trilogy followed by one final smaller mission to wrap up the story, and though the game can be finished in just a few hours, in typical Hitman style, it’s unlikely that you’ll play each mission just once.

IO Interactive’s Hitman trilogy has been all about playing missions repeatedly to complete challenges and work your way up the leaderboards, timing assassinations and trying fun new ways to explore each sandbox location. Each mission has dozens of challenges that can’t be completed in just one play-through, making you come back to try new ways to play. As you earn XP in each mission, you unlock new spawn points, stashes, costumes and gadgets that allow you to approach it differently. If you’re like us and you’ve played the first two games to death, then the menu layout and campaign should feel very familiar with lengthy cut-scenes at the beginning and end of each mission. The new missions are set on some of the largest maps in the series, making strategy even more important to succeed in eliminating your targets – and the targets in Hitman 3 have some of the most stringent security Hitman games have ever seen.

Hitman 3

That said, the typical AI programming of IO Interactive’s Hitman games is still prevalent, allowing you to exploit the patrol systems to seclude and subdue guards with ease if that’s how you want to play the game. Hitman games have always been about opportunity however, and you will probably find that performing some of the designed assassinations are far more rewarding, particularly if you’re wanting to complete their respective challenges. The in-mission side stories also add to the gameplay, creating more unique and often unexpected opportunities to take out the targets.

The control system hasn’t changed at all, making it very easy to pick up and play if you’ve played the other games. Hitman 3 on Epic Games Store is fully compatible with controllers such as the Xbox Wireless Controller, and we preferred this over keyboard and mouse due to playing the previous games on console, but the game still plays well on traditional PC gear. We would have liked to have seen some new features like the much-requested transition from a subdue takedown to a drag or being able to take down enemies from behind a wall or other object like in a lot of other stealth games, but the core Hitman experience has remained unchanged throughout the trilogy, probably so that it doesn’t cause headaches when having the missions from previous games imported into Hitman 3.

Read about the fake news controversy over importing your previously purchased Hitman 1 and 2 maps into Hitman 3 on the Epic Games Store for free in our launch trailer article here. Spoiler alert: you can.

Hitman 3

The two main notable changes to Hitman 3 are Agent 47’s new camera gadget which allows you to hack doors, windows and other environmental objects from a distance (usually to unlock them), and the updated game engine which allows for over 300 uniquely acting NPC’s on screen at any one time. This makes for some crazy locations from a nightclub filled with dancers to a vineyard filled with revelers, making Agent 47’s stealth approach even harder due to how many eyes are watching. Luckily on lower difficulties you can save your game whenever you want, allowing you to quickly reload a save if you’re found performing an untoward act.

Hitman 3 on Windows PC has its own built-in benchmark tool similar to 3DMark which allows you to test out your PC before booting the game up by watching an in-game cinematic. We found the recommended default settings to be much lower than what our PC was capable of, and it also had a default resolution of just 1080p so it’s worth taking a look at the graphics options ahead of booting up the game for the first time, and then adjusting them as you see fit. While the benchmark test includes some massive destruction scenes with bullets flying everywhere, your in-game experience might greatly differ if you’re planning on taking a more stealthy approach, so we recommend ramping up the graphics settings to take full advantage of how IO Interactive wants you to experience the game on PC and then working backwards if your framerate drops.

Graphically, Hitman 3 has received some nice improvements over the previous games in the series, now supporting HDR which means reflections and lighting now looks more realistic than ever, while still maintaining the core graphics that fans are used to. Ray tracing is also set to arrive in an update soon after launch which will make reflections in things like puddles and glass panes look even more realistic, so stay tuned to Rocket Chainsaw for more information on when that update will roll out.

The missions in IO Interactive’s Hitman trilogy have always been about pushing the boundaries of creating realistic settings, and we found locations like the English manor in Dartmoor to be incredibly well detailed, with realistic relics and trophies displayed in cabinets, stunning lighting, and bookshelves that could be blown to pieces. We’re not sure how interactive it will all be on the PlayStation VR version as the trailer does look like the graphics and animations have been downgraded for it to work, but playing the game on PC in optimal settings is certainly an immersive experience we won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Hitman 3

Hitman 3 screams replay value. With the trilogy now complete, players can bounce around the missions at their leisure while completing the hundreds of different challenges. Though not much has changed gameplay-wise throughout this Hitman trilogy, we enjoyed the fact that Hitman 3 feels complete at launch while tying up some loose ends in the story as well. With no new sniper missions, elusive targets or contracts at launch and no VR on PC, the version we played felt quite raw and we hope IO Interactive adds some of these features and other DLC to the PC version soon after launch. The trilogy may be over, but Agent 47’s story continues in the World of Assassination.

Hitman 3

Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Hitman 3 Deluxe Edition on Windows PC via the Epic Games Store with review code provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. An online connection is required for Switch and recommended for all platforms for progression. For more info, head to the official website.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Group of Eight university, but only uses his very unique set of skills writing about video games. By day he's a stay-at-home dad, by night he's literally Batman. Where does he find the time?