For 21 years now, we have accompanied the bald assassin Agent 47 on his missions. With Hitman 3, developer IO Interactive now brings the World of Assassinations trilogy to a close. Is 2021 the year of Agent 47? We'll tell you in our review.
With Hitman 3, the Danes from IO Interactive pick up exactly where they left off with the predecessor around two and a half years ago. In our review, the stealth action game turns out to be a successful sequel that gives us more of the same and has a surprisingly gripping story.
Hitman 3 Review: Part III remains true to the series
Even with the conclusion of the original trilogy, Hitman veterans know exactly what to expect.: Hitman 3 stays true to its line: you won't find any real innovations and you'll know what to expect.
That's not a bad thing, because in terms of sneaking mechanics, even in 2021, no other game can beat the original bald barcoded hitman. Nowhere is stealth as good and fulfilling as in Hitman 3. A total of six extensive sandbox areas await you in the game. The first is a technically impressive skyscraper in Dubai, later you will visit an English estate, an underground club in Berlin and even an Argentinean winery. Trust us, the six maps don't sound like much, but they are fully realized.
Each of the missions keeps you entertained for about an hour, so you'll be done with Hitman 3 after five to six hours. However, just like its two direct predecessors, the title thrives on the fact that you tackle the tasks multiple times. It's something that has always fascinated fans of the series, and it might be incomprehensible to newcomers.
Hitman 3 Review: A world of many possibilities
Hitman 3 doesn't even bother with helping newcomers get started. Tutorial? No. Precise controls? Pah. A beginner mode? Dream on. Any newcomers that needs a helping hand will find it in the 2016 Hitman only. This is not a problem though, because Hitman 3 comes with Hitman 1 and 2 included. You get a serious bang for your buck here. Those who played the predecessors are not forgotten: If you venture into the killer playground once again, you'll be richly rewarded.
Hitman 3 offers not only the most varied, but also the most technically impressive locations in the series history. We can't get enough of the picturesque sunset over the Dubai skyline or the rainy streets in Chongqing.
In terms of gameplay, the title convinces with a well-known strength: variety. If you take your time and study the environment and NPCs carefully, you will stumble upon several possibilities to eliminate the target.
Whether you mix rat poison into the food, disguise yourself as a bodyguard and lie in wait for your target, or cause the sinks to overflow in order to create a distraction... the game leaves it entirely up to you.
Hitman 3 also boasts quite the intriguing story. You might actually find yourself enjoying the story more than the game here. That's unprecedented in the Hitman series. What's also unprecedented are the Dark Souls style shortcuts that really make your life as a hitman noticeably easier on future playthroughs. This is important, since the game thrives on being played multiple times. Unlock a new starting location, start with a disguise, smuggle a weapon in a different location and much more.
The appeal lies not in simply eliminating the target, but in doing it unnoticed, without disguises and still making it look like an accident. That's tough to accomplish, but it's possible and that's where the addictive loop triggers.
Hitman 3 Review: A creative killing machine with a dull storyline
Particularly difficult to unlock, but all the more impressive, are the signature kills that come with each location. In the Dartmoor level, for example, you solve a murder case as a detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes. Creative possibilities await you at almost every corner of Hitman 3.
It is annoying that Hitman 3 on the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro has to struggle with sometimes severe performance problems and display errors, in which the frame rate drops significantly below 30 FPS. Fortunately, the game runs smoothly on the PlayStation 5.
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Hitman 3 Review: Conclusion
Hitman 3 relies on the well-known strengths that have always characterized the series. You won't find a stealth game that lives up to its name like this one. Those who like to quietly explore their surroundings will get their money's worth with the eighth part of the series. However, Hitman 3 has also inherited the irritating parts of its predecessors' legacy: The controls could be better and the enemy AI is not really worth mentioning.
All of this does not dampen the gameplay for Hitman fans at all. Varied missions, excellent signature kills, a delightfully dark humor and a stronger story than usual make for a fun experience.
Original article by EarlyGame's Philipp Briel.