Hitman 3 – Review

Release Date
January 21, 2021
Publisher
IO Interactive
Developer
IO Interactive
Platform
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Reviewed On
PS4, PS5
Review Copy Provided By
IO Interactive

The appeal of the Hitman franchise has never really been about dispatching your mark so much as it’s about how you dispatch your mark. Whether it’s a personal kill or arranging an accident, the variety of methods to discover when approaching each objective can feel liberating as you’re freed from the shackles of a scripted conclusion.

Hitman 3 is the final addition to the trilogy dating back to 2016. Independently made by IO Interactive, this 3rd installment has players return to the world of assassination as Agent 47 takes on the very agency he used to be employed under. It is a stealth-action game that thrusts you into multiple locations around the world with the goal of dispatching your target as you see fit.

Use your wits and critical thinking to advance your progress as you get closer to your mark without being noticed. This is a game that requires patience and initiative to experiment in order to truly enjoy.

Hitman 3 isn’t really all that different from its predecessors. If at all. In fact, you could consider it as more of an expansion rather than a new installment. Gameplay-wise everything is the same as the previous two in this trilogy with nothing of its core mechanics being fundamentally altered.

What Hitman 3 does bring to the table are fresh new environments to explore, new marks to dispatch, and the continuation of 47’s story. Though the narrative in Hitman 3, or really the entire trilogy, isn’t its strongest or most appealing aspect, it does a fairly decent enough job to give 47 an excuse to hunt down powerful individuals. But if you haven’t played the previous two Hitman games in this trilogy, you most likely aren’t missing out on much as the story takes an almost backseat in comparison to its gameplay.

Maps in Hitman 3, much like its two predecessors, certainly encourage exploration and discovery. They’re large labyrinths that are easy to get lost in and quite intimidating to mess up. While you’re nudged into exploring nooks and crannies of each level, you’ll face significant consequences and setbacks should you mess up even once.

Despite that, Hitman 3 isn’t actually all that difficult. Even on Master difficulty, you won’t have too much of a tough time eliminating your targets without a game over. This doesn’t mean that the game is a breeze, but the real challenge comes from eliminating your mark unnoticed and nothing but your mark.

To do this, you’ll spend quite some time memorizing, understanding, and learning the patterns and behavior of not just your targets, but the crowd around you. This is a game that is almost symbolic of perfectionism as you’re encouraged to repeat every level and experiment with a variety of ways to dispatch your marks in the most silent way possible.

Whether it’s throwing someone off a balcony or drowning them in a toilet, the Hitman franchise has always been a breath of fresh air as a stealth action game that doesn’t overly rely on firearms or hyper-advanced gadgets. And Hitman 3 certainly isn’t any different. There is a heavy emphasis on creatively using the environment to lure, sabotage, and trap.

Though when bullets do start flying, the shooting mechanics can feel awfully stiff. There’s something unnatural about firing guns in this game. Aiming just doesn’t feel as fluid as what you’d expect from a trained killer.

The biggest obstacle between you and your mark is the crowd in between. Public areas make it impossible for a quiet kill. And restricted areas make it challenging to even get close. Getting the target alone is 90% of the work. But if you’re feeling creative, you don’t have to. You’re more than free to arrange an accident in public should you be intuitive enough. Pulling these off can be quite satisfying.

Much like before, progressing and finding creative ways to eliminate your targets reward you with experience for a particular level. As it grows, new options become available to you as the next time you enter that same level, you have new entrances and tools to choose from that previously wasn’t available to you.

However, there can be a problem for players who are looking for more longevity in a game. Hitman 3 even in its hardest difficulty can be binged in a day. Despite the deeply layered maps it offers, you are only limited to six. Each of which can be accomplished a little below an hour.

PS5 version (by Lexuzze Tablante):

With the variety Hitman 3 gives the players in assassination attempts, there are few noteworthy aspects that the PS5 offers. One of which is the stability of performance in 4K. You simply get a sweet stable 60 frames per second all throughout with visual enhancements like ray-tracing is present. With ray-tracing enabled, this highlights the neon glows that illuminate the bar in the Berlin mission.

In addition, adaptive triggers with DualSense also makes an entry. You can feel the tension when you press both L2 and R2 when throwing things like a wrench or a crowbar. Unfortunately, the adaptive triggers don’t really do well in a game like Hitman since there’s no specific gameplay mechanics that would need such a gimmick. It feels like it’s only added there for the sake of having an adaptive trigger feature. Overall, the PS5 version doesn’t offer much aside from fast load times, ray-tracing, better performance, and adaptive triggers. You might as well just get the digital edition to get your money’s worth because it gives you both the PS4 and PS5 version.

Much like Agent 47, Hitman 3 appeals to those willing to craft their skills to perfection. Mastering every level can require thorough exploration of the environment and a grasp of how NPC’s behave. If you’re one of those who crave that experience, then Hitman 3 has our full recommendation.

Hitman 3 – Review
Score Definition
We tell you, it’s a good game! It’s not average! It might have some problems here and there, but you have to admit it is a “Good” game.
Pros
Gorgeous Visuals
Variety of Ways To Approach Objectives
Big Dense Maps
VR
Cons
Stiff Aiming
Passable Story
7.5
Good