Hitman 3 Review (Xbox Series X)

  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Stealth
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X/S/One, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Developer | Publisher: IO Interactive
  • Age Rating: PEGI 18 | ESRB M (Mature)
  • Price: £52.49 | $59.99
  • Release Date: 20th January 2021

Story

Hitman 3 is the finale in Agent 47’s elusive career. Before sitting down and playing through Hitman 3, I decided to play through Hitman 1 & 2 to refresh where we are today with Agent 47’s story. A story I found gripping and up there with most thriller and espionage films, TV shows and books. Lets go back to where it started shall we? Agent 47 joins the ICA, but must first prove he can handle the job. Of course, Agent 47 wouldn’t be “Agent 47 never misses his mark” without his handler, Diana Burnwood.

Over a period of time both 47 and Diana become a ruthless team and become the top of ICA’s agents. You could compare this with the Bourne films with Treadstone and Jason Bourne. I will come onto that later. In the first Hitman game, we see 47 going to numerous exotic locations, taking out targets that can undermine world authorities in the blink of an eye. Of course, 47 and Diana don’t know exactly why you are targeting these contracts at first, until things start to play off against one another and you soon find out who the real enemy is.

Hitman 2 continues with you chasing the shadow client, who in fact turns out to be someone from 47’s past. Now this is when the Bourne comparisons may start to be made. Jason Bourne suffers with amnesia from an assassination job that went wrong. However, 47 doesn’t suffer with amnesia. 47 has had his memory wiped, which cam explain why 47 has a robotic nature, with a cold and calculated look about him.

Agent 47 get his head turned, or saw the light as it were, by the shadow client, who turns out to be Lucas Grey. Grey and 47 grew up together in a programme to become natural born killers for an authority that are controlling the world in the shadows, Providence.

With Grey getting 47’s memory fixed (after a mission), everything starts flooding back to 47. Agent 47 wants to go after Providence and Diana agrees to help with some reluctance at first. Finding all the information leads them to Arthur Edwards, who turns out to be the The Constant of Providence or perhaps, one of many identities? It’s a typical cat and mouse scenario which we see so much in these types of narratives. IO Interactive can be proud to say that they have created a world where the player is so heavily engrossed that they care for 47 more than just throwing a briefcase at somebody’s head…

With the Constant getting away from Diana and Co at the end of Hitman 2, Hitman 3 starts off with a bang in the heights of Dubai. 47 and the team start tracking down some of the high priority targets of Providence. The Constant is always one step ahead however and proves throughout how dangerous he really can be.

Gameplay

Hitman 3 continues the sandbox, espionage whack a mole, where the player can decide which path they wish to choose. It’s great to go around the map, find new ways and even imaginative ways of dispatching the targets. Fancy messing about with a plug? Fill your boots. Why not push that speaker onto the poor person below? Do it. Its all there, be that accidental kills, garrote then dump the body, shoot your way through and ask questions later? The choice is entirely yours.

Away from the campaign, you do have sniper challenges, elusive targets and more. I find the sniper challenges rather addicting. There’s nothing like popping off the bodyguards one by one in quick succession or watching the chaos unravel and seeing everybody run for the hills.

Sound, graphics and performance

Hitman 3 is very lush! Playing on the Series X, Dubai for example shows off the graphics (see picture below). Some parts can still be rough, however graphics isn’t the be all and end all. It’s certainly good looking to me, I want to make that clear.

The sound is good, no complaints from me. And the sound is important for Hitman. Throwing coins to cause distractions, firing a gun, or any other noise which the guards deem a threat will be investigated. Using items, alongside the use of sound, opens up new pathways to explore parts of the map which are closed off to you until you have the right disguise.

I encountered no issues performance-wise. Hitman 3 ran without any hiccups and smoothly on the Series X.

Difficulty

If you played the two previous Hitman games, you know Hitman provides a good, meaty challenge. With each difficulty increasing enemy awareness towards your many disguises, increased amount of surveillance cameras dotted about everywhere moving from Professional difficulty to Master. Unlike Hitman 1 & 2, Hitman 3 has all three difficulties available straight away, whereas before you had to reach a certain mastery level per playable level to unlock Master difficulty.

Master difficulty disables the visual indicators, only allows one save per mission and increases enemy damage compared to Casual and Professional difficulties. Once you, the player, master each level or familiarise routes and selective pathways to conquer Master difficulty, can make you feel unstoppable and this is where the game truly comes alive. With its benefits there are cons to be bestowed with. With the high sensitivity of sound comes additional enforcers. Some parts/areas are really hairy and may force you to pull out the gun and quickly dispatch a few bodyguards. Again, this can also be exhilarating for some players using this approach. I guess we really are a hard bunch to please at the best of times!

Conclusion

Hitman 3 is truly a fun game to play. If you fancy something different from the norm, pick it up and play, you won’t regret it. It has good storytelling backed with good gameplay, yet at times it can feel cranky. Hitman 3 will provide you with many hours of entertainment, be it with the campaign, sniper challenges or elusive targets. With a regular releases of content from IO Interactive and the previous Hitman games, Hitman 3 is the complete package with so much content to digest!

Verdict
A briefcase throw away from perfection. 47 packs a punch, yet aged mechanics hold it back from unleashing its true potential.

3 thoughts on “Hitman 3 Review (Xbox Series X)

  1. The old Hitman games were legendary. If anything IO have created a superb sandbox game where the player has endless options. Just iron out a few teething issues, Hitman 3 would of easily got 9/10 edging 10/10….

    Liked by 1 person

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