The Hitman franchise is one that a lot of stealth players look on fondly. From the cool assassinations to the useful gadgets, the games allow players to be creative in their approach to the assassination. At least, when the reboots came out. Now, with Hitman 3 seeing the light of day, let us take a look if this is a game worth playing.
What Is the Hitman Franchise?
Hitman is a stealth game series created and published by IO Interactive. The series was previously published by Square Enix and Eidos Interactive. The Game Studio was still a subsidiary of Square Enix back in the day until 2017. This was when Square Enix began to look for buyers for the Game Studio. However, IO Interactive managed to do a management buyout. This allowed them to become independent as well as keeping the rights for the Hitman Franchise.
The games center around Agent 47, who is a clone made to be the world’s deadliest and perfect assassin. He also lacks any human emotions at the start of the series. Agent 47 was enlisted as a contract killer by the International Contract Agency or ICA.
His mission? To go to various cities around the world to assassinate priority targets discreetly. The Agent’s flawless record makes him an incredibly high demand individual amongst the elite of the world who wants someone silent.
If you’re looking forward to maximizing your PS5 experience, Hitman 3 is part of our list of the most anticipated PS5 games.
Key Features of the Hitman Franchise
The games are set in a third-person perspective most of the time. And as you can see from the title, the core objective in the games is to assassinate assigned targets, sometimes multiple targets in one level. There’s also a time that you’re given additional targets for bonus rewards. In a lot of the levels, the Hitman games give players multiple options to finish these missions. They can do precise kills or go and massacre indiscriminately to finish the mission objectives.
However, it’s worth noting that the games usually reward players that take a subtle approach. Sometimes, these rewards take the form of special weapons, or even cash bonuses if players can get a favorable rank. This rank is usually gained by only killing the target given at the start of the mission. That, and ensuring that the alarm wasn’t raised while doing so. To aid in this, Agent 47 can don a variety of suits and disguises to fool his enemies and obtain entry to restricted areas. These can range from being a repairman or a waiter to even a guard.
This hammers into the player that the focus of the Hitman games is not hiding from your enemies. It’s that you have to blend in amongst them to get the kill. Thus, it usually depends on the player on when, where, and how to initiate any fighting. This is because the guards don’t open fire unless they’re provoked.
In previous Hitman games, Agent 47’s maneuverability is pretty limited. He can’t jump, go over walls, or mantle up ledges. There are some pre-scripted places where he goes and jumps from one balcony to another. However, these are rare occasions. Generally, this limits players’ movement, but they can still climb using ladders, elevators, stairs, et cetera.
It wasn’t until Codename 47 that the titular character was given the ability to jump over minor obstructions. He keeps this ability in later installments alongside the ability to climb fences, vines, crates, et cetera. This was a major game-changer and one that players took to heart by doing more elaborate assassinations.
The Suspicion Meter
One of the major features in the Hitman series is what’s known as the “Suspicion Meter.” This meter shows how much attention or suspicion Agent 47 has gained from the public or the guards. This mechanic is dependent on a lot of things. An example of this would be walking around in a guard uniform with the same gun that the real guards are using won’t be noticeable. It’ll help your disguise. Meanwhile, running around in a waiter’s uniform while you have a weapon plain as day with you isn’t ideal. This will immediately start an unwanted fight with any guards in the vicinity.
In a lot of cases, Agent 47 needs to conceal any bodies, dead or alive, to prevent alarms. This was introduced back in Hitman: Blood Money, where he can hide bodies in a place like garbage dumps. In addition to this, a lot of the series targets can be killed without firing your gun. At least, when Hitman: Blood Money was concerned.
This is because the game wants to ensure that some of Agent 47’s assassinations look like mere accidents. This was then kept on later games due to its popularity. These accidents can be done by either sabotage or by using RU-AP mines exploding on a heavy object. Sometimes they’re suspended, other times they just slam into the said target using the mines as a propeller. You can also do this directly by pushing someone off a ledge or a railing. Last but not the least, you can do other more elaborate accidents as well.
What’s New With Hitman 3?
There are a few things new in the latest Hitman game. These can range from the new locations and the increased emphasis on the narrative to even weapons and gadgets. Thus, here’s a complete list of the things that are new in Hitman 3 that we know of.
In terms of gameplay, Hitman 3 doesn’t have that much change. You’re still sneaking around an area and depending on your playstyle, go in guns blazing or sneak in. However, several things have changed when it comes to the game’s world, and combat. And we’re going to have to tackle those below.
World and Environment
In terms of Hitman 3’s game world, Players are still going through missions with sprawling levels. Agent 47 still has to look for ways inside the target’s current location and find ways to kill them. In addition to this, depending on the situation, Players need to adjust their tactics on the fly.
An example of this would be the various skyscrapers that players will be in. They need to take into account where they are in it, who’s on the floor they’re currently on, et cetera. They have to watch out for security cameras, maybe they even have motion sensors. Long story short, depending on the player’s playstyle, they’ll have to adjust their approach accordingly to succeed.
In addition to this, shortcuts make a return on the game, and like before, they’ll drastically change your approach when opened. For the first time, you’re going through the mission these shortcuts are closed. However, once you find them and open them, they’ll remain open the next time you try the mission. This gives the game a lot of replayability as you can vary your approach depending on what shortcuts you have open.
As of right now, the various locations that Agent 47 will go in Hitman 3 are:
Dubai, the UAE
The UAE is a beautiful place. The searing heat might be off-putting for some but the various towering skyscrapers and incredible sunsets make up for it. It’s a perfect place to stage a pre-planned suicide.
Next up on the list is Dartmoor in the UK. The missions here take place in a mansion by the name of Thornbridge Manor. However, the whole mission has a bit of a twist on it.
There’s a murder on Thornbridge Manor. Now you can use this to your advantage and sneak your way in by way of disguise. However, there are also other options, like going in as the staff, becoming a private investigator, the list goes on.
Next is the illustrious streets of Berlin, and if we’re being honest, this is the city that has the most polarizing of pictures. For one, the daytime is pretty mellow and a wee bit on the cloudy side. However, come night time, that all changes.
From all-night parties to dizzying raves, you can expect a lot of people in Berlin. This makes it hard for you to look for your target, or make it a convenient place to blend in.
From the raves of Berlin to the Neon lights of Chongqing, Agent 47 takes us to some pretty cool places.
The megacity of Chongqing is a place of secrets. There’s a lot to discover and a lot to find. One might be able to snipe their target from afar on the myriad of convenient apartments in the city. Who knows, you might find something useful that’ll help in future assassinations.
The penultimate mission of the game happens in Mendoza, Argentina and you’ll have your work cut out for you. While it’s true that there’s a lot to explore here, there’s going to be a lot of places where your target would be. Carefully weaving your way through the city is key here.
The Carpathian Mountains, Romania
The game’s epilogue mission brings you back to Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, the place where it all began. You have one opportunity to hunt down and kill one of Agent 47’s biggest adversaries. You will have to be fast and take the shot, or else you’ll miss it.
Combat and Gadgets
There isn’t that much of a departure from the game’s usual combat gameplay. What did change, however, is the plethora of gadgets in Hitman 3. Before we talk about that though, we need to talk about the weapons.
There’s no change to the game allowing you to use whatever you want to kill your enemies. That’s still in the game. Want to use poison to kill your target? Sure. What about a sniper shot to the head? Very doable. A knife to the back? You need to get closer, true, but you can. A stun gun to the back and a dive off a building? Fancy. What we’re saying here is, you can do whatever you want, so long as your target is dead.
Gadgets-wise, there are a lot of returning ones from the previous games. Here are some of the more weapon-like gadgets that we feel are going to make a return in the game:
As expected, this is one of the most useful gadgets if you’re going for a no-kill run. Well, no kills other than the target that is. It’s fast and silent and has incredible utility, useful on all occasions.
It is similar enough to the Tranquilizer in usage but also has the bonus of seeing your enemies convulse in agony. Great for players with a bit more bloodthirsty tendencies that forgo the Tranquilizer.
Overall, these gadgets are incredibly useful in combat scenarios and ones that we wish will make a comeback. However, there’s a new gadget that was shown on the trailers and that’s the hacking camera that Agent 47 uses. You train it on a locked door, window, et cetera, and it’ll open them automatically, no fuss. It’s shaping up to be one of the best gadgets in the game and probably one that has a lot of utility like the Lockpick.
Hitman 3’s graphics now have a bit of an upgrade mostly due to IO Interactive’s Glacier Engine. The Engine is made in-house by IO Interactive and is touted to support 40K, 60 FPS as well as HDR. The engine is said to be able to support over 300 NPCs on one occasion. The developers state that the engine will “push the envelope for AI in games.” This seems to be the case here, as a lot of developments were made from a graphical standpoint.
In addition to that, the engine also has some pretty impressive ray tracing, in particular, during the trailer on Chongqing. From the rain sliding down buildings, the puddles that mirror the neon lights, all that and more were showcased. We honestly can’t wait to see what the full game will look like on the PC, as well as on other game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The game’s narrative follows what happened after the first two Hitman games that preceded it. We’re going to be talking a bit about spoilers, here so you might want to skip this section of the article.
Anyhow, Agent 47 is now working together with his best friend and fellow subject, Lucas Grey. Together, they plan on taking down the rest of Providence and finally gain closure. Those that followed through Hitman 2016 and Hitman 2 will know that both Agent 47 and Lucas Grey dealt quite a bit to Providence. And now, they’re closing into the higher-ups.
Other than that, the narrative is told through the conversations that the targets will have with each other, and Agent 47. If there will be any conversations between them at all. Overall, Hitman 3 plans to bring closure to the games, and one that we cannot wait to see.
Is Hitman 3 a Must-Buy?
If you’re looking for a game that tests your skills in infiltration and assassination, then Hitman 3 is a steal. The stealth gameplay and multiple ways to approach missions are a great draw for completionists as well.