Hitman 3, the latest in IO Interactive’s Hitman World of Assassination trilogy provides a fitting conclusion to the series for fans of Agent 47. The game does very little in terms of new gameplay mechanisms but the graphics overhaul is significant and can sometimes make you pause and take in the beauty of the world. Folks who might have played Hitman 1 and Hitman 2 from the World of Assassination series would know how the story arc has taken a more personal approach and that continues and comes to a satisfying end in Hitman 3. Also, there were no flying suitcases in this game.
One of the major changes with Hitman 3 is that the game takes a more linear approach in certain levels to hone the players’ focus on the Agent 47’s story rather than giving them free-reign to do whatever they wanted. While this change might be irksome in the beginning but if you power through, then you’ll realise why the developers took such a call. It all comes down to the story.
What starts off as a series of seemingly disconnected and run of the mill ICA assassination contracts in Hitman 1 are soon revealed to be part of a shadow client’s machinations to unravel and destroy a secret organisation called Providence using ICA as a puppet. Mid-way into the first game, both organisations realise what the shadow client has been doing. Providence sends its own agents to hunt down the shadow client and so does ICA.
In Hitman 2, it’s later revealed that the Shadow client is another cloned assassin from the same facility as Agent 47 and the two had taken it upon themselves to bring down Providence upon learning that the organisation was responsible for their creation. We know how much havoc one genetically-engineered super assassin can wreak so two was only going to make things … more fun. Both 47 and Lucas Grey (a.k.a. The Shadow Client) destroy the key individuals running providence, but it’s learnt that the actual masterminds have had their identities concealed through an elaborate hierarchical structure which is compartmentalised to the extent that only one individual knows the identities of all the masterminds. Yes, the game employs a lot of Scooby Do-esque plot mechanisms which unravel the actual perpetrators to be someone else all along.
Hitman 3 begins with the identities of all three masterminds being known to you and you’re out to kill them all. Without spoiling the story for you, we can tell you that the story doesn’t end with the three masterminds. Being a super secret organisation that has its creepily long fingers hooked onto major corporations, governments and other echelons of power; Providence isn’t all that easy to beat. And that’s where most of the fun lies.
There isn’t much changed. In fact, you could say that Hitman 1, 2 and 3 are all the same game with little new gameplay mechanisms. Early on you’ll get access to a new camera gadget which allows you to hack and unlock doors and windows. However, this seems to be a forced addition just for the sake of adding something new. The old lock pick could have done the job much better. But the camera feeding into your handler does bring a certain modern outlook to the job.
And with unlocking brings the new concept of persistent shortcuts. If you do unlock certain doors or paths in one playthrough then they remain unlocked for subsequent playthroughs. While this can be seen as a quality of life improvement, it does take away from the element of challenge from subsequent playthroughs. The devs say this opens up more opportunities, we don’t see it from the same perspective.
The new Hitman world of assassinaiton trilogy has gained quite the reputation for its elaborate level designs. Hitman 3 carries on that legacy with the same level of detail. The devs have put in a lot of work on each of the six levels in the game and it shows. Right from the first mission in Dubai to the subsequent ones in Dartmoor, Mendoza, Berlin and Chongqing, the worlds are massive and present multiple opportunities to go about them.
However, it doesn’t feel that way during the first playthrough. Remember how the devs decided to make things a bit linear with Hitman 3? Well, that’s why. The first playthrough feels a bit straightforward and that’s where the ‘persistent shortcuts’ mechanism helps. It opens up the levels to a more sandbox structure after you’ve finished the first playthrough. The devs are basically telling you that the story matters a lot in Hitman 3 and it’s best that you go through it once the way it was meant to be played before you go about the sandbox approach. Nothing quite hammers this point in than the last mission in the game.
Then there are levels which are quite different from what every Hitman game has been thus far. We were all given targets and the handy Instinct vision would make things super obvious. But one of the levels leaves you in the lurch because you’re the one being hunted and you have no idea who all are after you. If you’ve been playing Hitman in a certain way until now then the Berlin level will really make you rethink and change your entire playstyle. In our opinion, this was a great addition to the game.
With each release in the World of Assassination trilogy, IO Interactive has significantly upgraded the graphics in the game. This is evident from the very first mission in Dubai where you parachute onto the top of the tallest building in the world and are met with a ridiculous amount of reflections that have been really well-executed. IOI has upgraded their Glacier Engine to incorporate screen space reflections along with render to texture methods to really make materials pop and seem life-like. Be it reflective glass panels, water or just shiny globes placed along the levels, the engine has really *cough* shone *cough* through. One could even say that the game puts NVIDIA’s RTX to shame with their implementation of reflections. Yes, the game does not have RTX but it’s not like we’re feeling its absence in any way.
Even the older levels have been upgraded to incorporate the new features. Of course, you’ll have to play the older levels via Hitman 3 and not from your older purchases to witness this. Putting Hitman 1, 2 and 3 side-by-side really shows how far the game engine has come. The Chongqing level really takes it up a notch with dark visuals punctuated with oodles of neon lights and the addition of rain is the icing on the cake.
Not a lot has changed on the surface of Hitman 3 but the game makes significant changes to the things that matter. Sure, some of these changes have been seen as controversial and as straying from the Hitman path but we can see how it has really added value. Overall, the game is a great addition to the World of Assissination trilogy and brings about a fitting conclusion to the series.
Publisher: IO Interactive
Developer: IO Interactive
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch, PC, Google Stadia
Played on: Intel Core i9-10900K and RTX 3070
Price: PlayStation - INR 3,999 / PC - INR 1,419 / Xbox - INR 3,499
HITMAN 3 isn't that heavy going by the system requirements detailed on the Epic Games Store listing. The game takes up about 80 GB of space and requires a graphics card capable of running DirectX 12 so anything after the Kepler NVIDIA 600 graphics cards or AMD GCN1 based Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards should be fine.
HITMAN 3 Minimum System Requirements
HITMAN 3 Recommended System Requirements
Operating System - Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
CPU / Processor - Intel CPU Core i7 4790 4 GHz
RAM - 16 GB
Storage - 80 GB
DirectX - 12
GPU / Graphics Card - Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD GPU Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB
HITMAN 3 was released for the Sony PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on January 20. 2021. And if you have a Nintendo Switch then you can access the game via Cloud Access. The game has two editions, HITMAN 3 Standard Edition and HITMAN 3 Deluxe Edition. IOI also announced the HITMAN 3 Free Starter Pack for folks to experience HITMAN 3 on two locations – training map ICA Facility and Hawke's Bay.
On Epic Games Store, the Standard Edition is retailing for INR 1419 and the Deluxe Edition retails for 2129. For the PlayStation 4 and 5, the Standard Edition is going for INR 3,999 and the Deluxe Edition is priced at INR 4,274. Lastly, Microsoft Xbox One and Series X | S owners can get the Standard Edition for INR 3,499 and the Deluxe Edition for INR 5,249. Cloud Access on the Nintendo Switch gives you a free demo after which you need to get the full game on the Nintendo eShop.
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