Spoilers ahead! Continue if you dare.
Perfection comes in pairs, but beauty comes in triplets. The trilogy has been film’s most celebrated story-telling sequence for decades. In games, the trilogy is often considered perfect too. Everyone celebrates Mario’s NES adventures and Master Chief’s first encounters with the halo. Agent 47 has been around for twenty-one years, but it wasn’t until 2016 that IO interactive finally got their act together and delivered a title that took Agent 47 back to his roots while also providing a gameplay loop that could contend for GOTY any year. Despite many troubles with published Square Enix, they delivered a sequel even greater. This is their third time up to bat, do you think they’ll swing and miss?
The Constant has escaped your grasp and has claimed all the power held by Providence. He’s tapped handler Diana Burnwood as his successor. Agent 47 and Lucas Grey finally put an end to the monstrous organization that created them. Unfortunately, this final mission costs 47 his allies. Alone and holding the knowledge that the Constant is securing the power-vacuum, it’s up to him to put an end to it all if he has to burn every last ally alongside Providence.
In Hitman, you control Agent 47 roaming around large open sand-box maps with a specific target you’ve been sent to take out. The beauty is in how you take out these targets. You’ll have to disguise yourself and find all sorts of unique openings to take out your target, or you could run in guns-a-blazing and kill every guard they throw at you.
Each level is like a puzzle with dozens of solutions. A.I. is rather smart and will panic or hunt if bodies are found or distractions are caused, but they’re always predictable and never unfair. You can try to complete challenges in every mission, go completely unseen, and obtain all five stars, but I preferred to use the plentiful disguises to create hilariously insane scenarios. After all, why push someone off a balcony when I can knock them off with a blueberry muffin?
The biggest problem with Hitman 3 is length. The campaign takes you through six main missions which are all lovingly crafted and a joy to target higher scores, but you’ll only spend about nine to thirty minutes in each level. IO offers elusive targets, one-chance missions with special stories and rewards, and the contracts mode where players can designate certain NPCs you have to kill in specific ways. These are unique, but I didn’t find them as enjoyable as the main set of missions.
In Hitman 3 you can access full remakes of the campaigns from the other World of Assassination Trilogy titles! The idea of playing full current-gen remakes of Hitman 2016 and Hitman 2 was quite enticing as a newcomer, but it would be more enticing if I didn’t have to pay full price for all three games. Accessing every map from the trilogy, at least for contracts and elusive targets, should be something you’re given by default. These campaigns aren’t much longer either. I enjoyed all three of them as one experience from the beginning of Hitman 2016 to the final mission of 3 and my final playtime clocked in at fourteen hours. That’s not great for the price, but I found it worth the experience.
I’ve become obsessed with this game. It is easily my favorite game in these first few months of the new generation. The entire trilogy now ranks as my favorite set of stealth games, but I can’t quite recommend Hitman 3 at full price. Even with eternal custom content and continued weekly updates, there’s not enough meat on the bones to chew on. If you’re a newcomer looking to hop in, I would recommend you wait for a sale on PSN or the Xbox Marketplace so you can get the complete package for a significantly reduced cost. If my glowing words have inspired you, I’ll leave you to prepare. Happy hunting!