The release of Hitman 3 is approaching, and with it comes the end of an era for Agent 47 and IO Interactive. We took a detailed look at the final entry to the World of Assassination trilogy for our latest Game Informer cover story, spending hours in three of the game’s six levels. There’s a lot to deal with, so let’s get right to it. Here are five things you need to know about Hitman 3:
1. He feels less “Return of the Jedi” and more “The Empire Strikes Back”
Forgive my awkward Star Wars analogy, but I feel like it’s a fitting comparison. Agent 47, Diana Burnwood, Lucas Gray, and others have been through a lot throughout the Hitman series, with several key relationships extending even beyond the 2016 release. After rolling credits on Hitman 2 , you probably thought things were going to come to a head in Hitman 3 – and you’re right. Obviously, since this is the final entry to the trilogy, we were all expecting some major events. But even still, I suspect a lot of fans are going to be surprised at what happens.
Like I said, I only got to play for about half of the game ahead, but it ends in such a way that I really don’t know where he’s heading. I have sworn to keep a lot of this a secret, which makes the discussion extremely difficult, but… yeah. Hitman exists in a world that is both familiar and completely alien; I can’t imagine how anyone involved is going to find peace at the end of this. If you’re just playing Hitman to throw muffins at guards and drown oligarchs in the toilet, then maybe it isn’t that big of a deal. But I imagine those other players, including me, will spend about half the time running the game with their stomachs in a knot.
2. Hitman 3 has some of the best levels yet
For my money, the Hitman Trilogy is home to some of the best levels of overall game design. Each of its sandboxes tells multiple stories through cleverly executed layouts that encourage emergent storytelling and an overall focus on the little details that matter. The levels are meant to be replayed over and over again before giving up their secrets entirely, and I’m honestly impressed that IO Interactive is able to deftly encourage this without getting repetitive. This tradition is definitely continued in Hitman 3.
The game’s first mission, set in Dubai, is an explosive intro worthy of a Mission Impossible movie. It takes place in the Scepter, which is Hitman’s tallest skyscraper in the world, and Agent 47 can explore both its richly decorated interior and dizzying exterior. Even as someone who isn’t particularly sensitive to heights, winding around their exterior via beams and scaffolding made me a little dizzy at times.
It’s a stark contrast to the second mission, a murder mystery that takes place in an English mansion – which is owned by Providence member Alexa Carlisle. The layout is already excellent, capturing the essence of the English countryside and a stately family home. The level is more compact than some of the places we’ve explored from a purely square perspective, but it harbors an expansive story. In this mission, one of the optional scenarios allows Agent 47 to take on the role of a private investigator trying to solve a murder. Agent 47 has claimed to be a hairstylist and real estate agent in previous games, but it’s his most ambitious attempt to put himself in someone else’s shoes. To solve the mystery, players will need to interview witnesses, search for clues, and piece together what really happened. Or, you can just walk over to your target and shoot them in the face. This kind of misses out, however.
3. Agent 47 has some nifty new gadgets
When you are able to send enemies with weapons as varied as rubber ducks, poison, and sniper rifles, there isn’t much of an incentive to add to your toolbox. Well that’s a shame! Hitman 3 gives Agent 47 a new tool, as well as some cool additional options while he’s in the field.
One of the first things you do in Dubai is scan a security keypad with a camera so your field assistance can open it for you. That’s right, Agent 47 has a camera. This tool not only allows him to scan keyboards, but he can also use it to send visual information to his managers, such as when he is investigating the murder in England. Or, it can use it as a camera, including different visual filters and zoom levels. It’s a great way to check out those little details that you might otherwise miss out on. And, since the trilogy was designed to be played seamlessly, the camera will also be integrated into the Hitman 1 and 2 legacy missions.
After obtaining the access codes, players will have to enter them digit by digit on the keyboards, which is a new detail for Hitman games. This is by no means a world-changing event, but it does make Agent 47 feel more of an active participant in his environment. Likewise, it can interact with computer terminals, like using a kiosk in the Dubai skyscraper to learn more about its construction and – more relevant – its floor plan.
4. This is due to the promise of the “world of assassination”
IO Interactive took a big risk with its World of Assassination plan. Starting with the 2016 Hitman game, it was designed as an umbrella under which several Hitman entries would reside. As new installments were added, they were accessible with the same executable, giving players who purchased all three a seamless experience between all entries. It did not start smoothly, however.
People were skeptical of the plan at launch, and publisher Square Enix was not as excited about the idea as IO Interactive. Add to that the fact that Hitman 2016 launched as a series of monthly episodes, and it makes sense that customers are a little wary. Now that Hitman 3 is pretty much there, I can say the studio has absolutely delivered the goods.
I replayed the first two Hitman games in preparation for the story and slipped straight into the third. One of the coolest things about the experience is how you can bounce between levels at will. If you play sequentially, it’s a seamless experience. As IO Interactive added new things like foliage that Agent 47 could hide in or better visual clues for surveillance cameras, the team went and implemented these changes in missions. inherited.
5. Save Scummers will appreciate the next generation upgrade
Yes, Hitman 3 on the next gen consoles will have some fancy lighting and reflections and all of that good stuff. But the most welcome improvement – at least as I see it – comes from the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S SSDs. With their faster read-write speeds, saving and loading games is much more. faster than the last generation. So? Well if you’re an unrepentant savior like me it makes a difference.
When I play Hitman, I always push my luck, seeing how well I can manipulate guards and other AIs as I explore and take down targets. Can I neutralize this guard even if his colleague is only a few yards from the corner? To save. Let’s see. What if I threw a hammer at this guy? To save. Let’s see. These guys can’t know I’m not supposed to be here, right? To save. Let’s see. I know there are a lot of people who like to live with the consequences of their actions. I am not among them. And now I’m going to save more than my progress.
And before you judge, Mattias Engstrom, Game Director of Hitman 3, gives the green light to my backup comrades: “It’s part of the gameplay, so don’t apologize,” he told me. . Then again, maybe he was just trying to make me feel better. Never mind.