The World of Assassination Trilogy: a six-year journey that has gone from a change of release methods, first to episodes and then regular, from a renowned publisher to an independent management up to a generation jump. All this in three different games, but basically part of one big whole. Here is our review of Hitman 3, the final chapter of the new game of Agent 47 titles by IO Interactive.
Released last January 20 on virtually every platform (including Stadia and Switch with a special cloud-based version), Hitman 3 is the third episode of a trilogy that you have never forgotten its initial episodic release structure and which, even in this case presents a series of missions totally disconnected from each other if not for a narrative thread. The structure of the title therefore remains unchanged: six enormous levels to be explored from top to bottom, filled with a truly impressive amount of possible interactions to successfully conclude the various assassinations. Playing the title from start to finish, exploring these maps once, is not the ideal way to enjoy the package to the fullest: the replayability of each map is the beating heart of the development philosophy. Know every corner of the mansion of Dartmoor and each possible entrance to the Dubai skyscraper is the true mission behind each level which, to be understood at 100%, unlocking each objective, would deserve at least six or seven playthroughs. Waiting, observation and fast execution are the paradigms of this peculiar exploratory stealth title that has practically no rivals at the moment both in terms of quality and quantity of content. IO interactive now has the perfect formula for the creation of these intricate micro-worlds that enjoy a exceptional level design.
The plot returns to occupy a more important role with an integration into the playful fabric of the missions superior to the past.
The underlying narrative returns to be slightly more preponderant than in Hitman 2, where it was almost totally overshadowed, thanks to pre-rendered cutscenes built with more care and levels sewn more carefully around the events of Agent 47, Diana Burnwood and Providence. Some of the maps, like Dubai e Mendoza are of a more classic mold and propose objectives to be assassinated and then find an escape point, while others such as Berlin or Dartmoor propose decidedly more interesting and creative situations that testify how much IO Interactive has already been experimenting for some time on what it can do to create a level fiction in its next Project 007. The plot, in itself not exceptional, is therefore better told and interconnected with the game and leads to an ending, playfully rather bizarre for the series, but narratively satisfying.
Le mechanical of Hitman 3 perfect what the developer has learned over the years, offering a package extremely focused on the main experience, that is the individual missions, which allow themselves definitely interesting variations on the now standard game formula of infiltration, camouflage and murder. There is no more space, and luckily we add, for the alternative modes of Hitman 2 such as the competitive ghost mode or the sniper missions which were additions that gave variety, but with little quality. In this third chapter there are "only" six new maps with the main missions and all the new contracts and escalations that IO Interactive has already started to release. While this may seem like some kind of cut, don't worry: the game's missions are among the best in the series. The dimensions of the maps tend to be smaller than the boundless areas of Santa Fortuna or Mumbai of the second chapter, and for this reason they are less dispersed, more interesting and also difficult to deal with. Guided stories are back, helping new players venture into the multitude of opportunities available, as well as the three difficulty levels and the long list of challenges for each location. Compared to the past the additions are minor: a camera to unlock some passages and clues from a distance and the ability to open permanent soulslike shortcuts. Both novelties hardly affect the general economy of the gameplay which still lacks a rather steep learning curve for novices who, if they had never approached the previous two games, would hardly find reason to do so now. There are also historical defects of the series, such as basic artificial intelligence, but still functional to the strategies of the gameplay, the not fully satisfactory manual and automatic saving system that discourages trial & error tactics and the rather botched shooting mechanics.
For the reasons listed above, Hitman 3 is therefore a title mainly for fans of the series: the roadmap of which is presented at the beginning of each month updates the contents of the title for a, hopefully, constant flow of new missions and objectives but without new maps, as announced by the developer. However, it is at the same time a product that lives on the shoulders of the previous two (to which still other contents will be updated), which in fact goes to incorporate under its umbrella if they have been purchased in the past. Mind you though: Hitman 3 does not contain maps from previous games in its standard or deluxe package because these must already be owned or purchased individually as DLC for the new game. The prices are unfortunately completely out of market: € 69,99 for Hitman 2 (also in gold version with the two DLC maps at € 99,99) and € 39,99 for Hitman 1 which, added to the € 69,99 of Hitman 3 (or € 89,99 in the deluxe version with access to all new future contracts) paint a decidedly not very rosy picture for the wallets of new buyers. Much more could have been done in terms of offers or packages to incentivize the purchase of maps from previous titles. This economic stumbling block is also assisted by a transfer data passage that is certainly not very fluid, at least on PlayStation, which requires access to Hitman 2 to unlock the package of its progression data in Hitman 3. On PC, the situation is potentially even more complicated due to the store changes between Steam and Epic, while on Xbox it seems to live an easier life thanks to the better integration with the past generation of Microsoft consoles.
The new VR mode is enjoyable but more like a fun attempt than a true alternate mode.
An additional overshadowed is the VR mode. Coming quite unexpectedly, this is PlayStation VR exclusive but requires, on PlayStation 5, to download the PlayStation 4 version of Hitman 3 (for free) as the new Sony console is not compatible with PSVR in native PS5 games. Once this annoying inconvenience has been overcome, the VR mode does exactly what it should, that is to propose a less precise and decidedly more bizarre type of gameplay since, by moving everything in first person, not all game systems translate perfectly. There is no support for PlayStation Move, but only for Dualshock and Dualsense and their respective motion control capabilities, and despite theimmersione that is achieved in some maps is exceptional, the same cannot be said for the quality of the interactions, especially those related to objects. Technically, the game takes more than a step back and offers more bare environments and with a pop-in of the elements that are quite intrusive. In short, this new possibility can give you a few hours of fun, but you absolutely do not expect to be able to play the game entirely in this way.
In terms technical and artistic, Hitman 3 is a real gem. The six maps are distinct from each other thanks to the now usual care and research of the details of each location, a quantity of details modeled with surgical expertise, rich and unique textures and a tastefully chosen color palette, personality and sense of style. The leap forward in the quality of the briefing cutscenes makes us foresee how the motion designers of IO interactive already have the shot in the barrel to create the sequences of the 007 titles worthy of the best films of the saga. The lighting of the environments is of the highest level, obviously aided by the lack of day / night dynamism of the stages, and is assisted by a precise, realistic and smudge-free rendering of the materials while a certain static nature of the animations remains, which do not visibly enjoy the use of motion capture probably for budget reasons. On PlayStation 5 the title turns to Almost perfect 60fps at a resolution slightly lower than 4K (source Digital Foundry) for a cleanliness and fluidity of the image superior to past titles on PlayStation 4. New reflection effects do not particularly regret the absence of ray-tracing, even if this could arrive in future patches. This technical marvel is sadly tainted by some bugs: In my hours of play there have been several crashes of the game (especially in the Dartmoor map, evidently problematic) and I have perceived several audio problems with the soundtrack starting and ending abruptly and totally without connection with the on-screen action. The sound remains unchanged in terms of quality compared to the past, with a background theme that well accompanies the highlights and excellent quality sound effects.
The game also makes good use of peculiarity of PlayStation 5, starting from the support for the activity cards and game help, unfortunately quite basic, up to the more convincing use of DualSense. Different weapons, button or switch interactions make intelligent and non-invasive use of adaptive triggers, perhaps precisely because playing skillfully you rarely find yourself shooting. Haptic feedback is present, also in just the right measure resulting pleasantly implemented in some situations without becoming overwhelming. THE loading times they have significantly decreased compared to the past, but they are not particularly lightning-fast as for other titles for the PlayStation 5 perhaps due to the practically mandatory request to be persistently online and connected to your IO account.USEFUL INFO
I played Hitman 3 for about thirty hours on PlayStation 5 with a personally purchased copy.Duration
- Playing Hitman 3 in the certainly not ideal way - from start to finish with a single playthrough for each map - could take around ten hours.
- With a good dose of commitment and passion in each map, each of them can be visited by completing almost all the challenges in about ten hours for a very high total amount.
- Replayability is the key factor of the game, also thanks to all the challenges and objectives that will be added to the maps in the future.
- The game is single player only, with a main story divided into six long missions each set on a different map.
- Additional missions and objectives are also accessible for each map.
- The multiplayer component is represented by the creation of custom contracts which can then be uploaded online for all users.
- By completing the objectives, you get not only experience points, but also in-game items to take to missions, new entry points and uniforms.
- Game Name: Hitman 3
- Release date: January 20 2021
- Platforms: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
- Dubbing language: Eng
- Texts language: Eng, Ita
So how to comment on Hitman 3? Finding the various targets in the intricate map of the Berlin nightclub, one of the best in the game, and completing another particular mission of the game that for spoiler reasons I will not tell, I stopped to think about what an incredible work of maturity was this trilogy for IO Interactive. Going from releasing Hitman with an episodic release under a publisher like Square Enix to walking on their own legs to obtaining the exceptional 007 license for their next title, the kids of Copenhagen have proven in these six years that they finally belong to the world. of the great, thanks to a outstanding three game pack, in reality now only one, with a unique creative richness, a gameplay calibrated to the millimeter and the demonstration of knowing how to support its products for a long time. Of course, it remains a product for fans who may not know how to take the extra step to attract new players, but the good James Bond will surely take care of this.Review by Emanuele Vanossi
A masterpiece of style, taste and attention to detail that reaches new standards in the next-gen series, in terms of cleanliness and performance. A minimal UI perfected over the years leaves almost entirely room for the visual exploration of maps and their distinctive colors full of personality.
SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM
Dubbing (English only), audio effects and excellent soundtrack thanks also to an exceptional sound spatialization. A few bizarre bugs undermine the immersion in the IO Interactive soundstage at some juncture.
The total lack of filings on the historical flaws of the series is paid off by the best missions in the trilogy that play with the standards of progression and gameplay mechanics perfected to the millimeter. Replayability is the bulwark of the title thanks to the amount of exceptional content, even better if you own the two previous episodes. Hitman 3 is a unique video game, and for this obviously polarizing also due to the pricing policy of the previous titles of the developer that will certainly hold back new buyers.