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.
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.
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!
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.
SNK CORPORATION is proud to announce the launch of SAMURAI SHODOWN (Currently available for PlayStation®4/ Xbox One/ Nintendo SwitchTM/ Stadia/ and the Epic Games Store) on the next-gen consoles Xbox Series X|S coming March, 16th, 2021! In cooperation with Koch Media, a physical edition is going to hit the shelves in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Oceania, Australia and New Zealand at the same date.
Since its creation in 1993, the SAMURAI SHODOWN series, known for its breath-taking battles and stunning characters, has redefined weapon-based fighting games. In 2019 – 11 years after the last installment – SAMURAI SHODOWN continued this tradition.
The new game is set in 18th century Japan, three years before the original game and sees the return of thirteen fan favourite characters. They are joined by three brand new characters. Among those are SAMURAI SHODOWN III protagonist Shizumaru Hisame joins the fight alongside GONGSUN LI from the massively popular mobile game Honor of Kings. Additional characters are available via Season Pass 1 and 2, with the third one slated to be released in February 2021. Classic Samurai Shodown concepts like the Rage Gauge, Lightning Blade, and Super Special Moves also made their return and allow players to turn the tables on their enemies even as they are close to death.
On March 16th, 2021, the latest installment in the series will be released on Xbox Series X|S. On Xbox Series X, the game will run at a smooth 120 FPS. Owners of the previous-gen version of the game will be able to play the game on Series X|S without any additional costs thanks to Smart Delivery, purchased DLCs will also be transferable.
For all fans of fighting games who like to add the latest edition of SAMURAI SHOWDOWN to their physical collection, Koch Media will publish the boxed version which is offering attractive bonuses to enjoy: The Season Pass 1, which includes 4 characters and a costume, and also the brand new character Cham Cham is going to join the huge roster of fighters as soon as the respective DLC is released. The physical version will be available for purchase at participating online retailers and in stores.
Both the physical and digital edition of SAMURAI SHODOWN on Xbox Series X|S will be priced at $59.99/€54.99/£49.99.
Nintendo will be happy as the momentum for Animal Cross New Horizons is still going strong and no signs of letting up. Nintendo have dominated the boxed sales this week, though they have seen some decline in percentages per title. Obviously, do take into consideration that some of the Switch games that are in the top 10 have been on sale via the eShop. The figure combined with physical would be more and would be interesting to find out. Of course we have new games incoming soon as we have reached the halfway point in January already.
February and March are looking good months for Nintendo once again. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury Feb 12th, Persona 5 Strikers for Switch and PS4 in Feb and Bravely Default 2 in Feb, and lastly Monster Hunter Rise for Switch in March.
PlayStation do have new IP Returnal coming in March. Will that prove to be a hit? It looks rather interesting as it has the Alien vibe going for me personally.
In a sense you could go down the WWE (F) No Mercy route, though it wouldn’t be a good comparison. Battlegrounds is pretty much a WWE All Stars sequel – over the top fun, with outrageous and outlandish moves that you will never be able to pull off in real life. There is no complexity with the controls. Each button has a corresponding move, for example X is punch, Y is kick. Continue to hit X or Y three times you will get a combo of punches or kicks. Up, down, left or right with the right stick and pressing A at the same time will enable you to perform a grapple type move, be that a suplex, powerbomb or some kind of Samoan drop.
Over the course of the match you will build up momentum. You get little prompts such as to perform a counter, which will give you 130 points to help build up the momentum so you can use one of your skills. Skills are useful for dealing extra damage for a short period of time, or leveraging a pin to make it harder for your opponent to kick out. It’s quite fun, yet feels rather limited. Once you’ve seen the pretty thrills and moves you expect from a superhero movie, you are pretty much done.
There are plenty of game modes too, with the Battlegrounds boasting a campaign, fan favourite Royal Rumble, tornado tag team, steel cage, triple threat, fatal 4 way, tag team, gauntlet, and finally one on one. You do have online play too, which is cross-platform if you want it to be.
Believe it or not it, there is a story. In campaign mode, players fill the shoes of Bolo Reynolds, a food-delivery cyclist from New York. Prior to that, Vince McMahon proposes the idea to form a new brand, Battlegrounds, consisting of amateur wrestlers pitted against the current crop of superstars in the WWE. Paul Heyman is given the job of bringing this new brand to life. A phone call brings in the rattlesnake, Stone Cold Steve Austin, as a recruiter, and this is where Bolo Reynolds comes in.
Over the course of the 118 missions and matches you will experience a WWE storyline, making enemies with Superstars like Samoa Joe or Kevin Owens for upcoming matches, and even superstars such as Baron Corbin. You do get other wrestlers from the past pop up too.
It’s pretty generic story, which isn’t worth any cop either. You can tell the story was written for the campaign was half-arsed, and was no doubt penned by the creative team in WWE rather than 2K themselves. Again, you aren’t buying Battlegrounds for the campaign, you are getting it simply for the fun, quick pick up and play with a beer to unwind and this game does that.
Graphics, Sound, and Performance
I really like the music in between the menus. Some are pretty cool, such as rock or metal type genres which are grand. Visually it looks fine too, with no real issues. If you played WWE All Stars, you’ll know that it just didn’t take itself seriously, and neither does Battlegrounds. The visuals are ideal for the game they have set out here, so no complaints with that.
Throughout the course of playing I have had no issues with performance dropping. Very stable, fun, and over-the-top action is the game’s main selling point. I will add that the superstar theme music is top notch as per usual. From Stone Cold and The Rock to present superstars as Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, it’s all good.
You can change the difficulty as desired. I played on normal and didn’t really need to bother with much else. When you nail the timing for counter reversals, you are going to be a force to be reckoned with like Brock Lesnar.
Playing on hard was fun when selecting royal rumble. You can only have 4 wrestlers at a time in the ring when playing Royal Rumble, which kind of sucks a bit. I like it when the ring is full of wrestlers/superstars as it’s so unpredictable and you can guarantee chaos is abound.
I got the game quite cheap, thanks to a good sale. I’m glad I paid the price I did and if I had purchased it at launch at full price, think I would have been sorely disappointed. Battlegrounds doesn’t exactly bring anything new to the table. For a WWE game as of late, it’s by far the best WWE game released in the last 7, maybe 8 years. I’m very surprised that they didn’t call it WWE All Stars 2, as everything about it screams All Stars. All Stars was a brilliant game that brought much laughter when playing matches with friends. Battlegrounds will do that too, but it’s not quite the same and I cannot put my finger on why.
If you want a quick game to 1000GS or Platinum trophy on PlayStation, there are only 13 achievements and they aren’t difficult either. It’s a good one to play if you are an avid, 100% completionist.
Verdict WWE Battlegrounds is a fun little romp, though far too repetitive and it didn’t have anything unique really going for it. With the disaster that was WWE 2K20, Battlegrounds is just a filler title, a stop gap for WWE 2K22 perhaps. I wouldn’t go in thinking that this game is going to be outstanding, as it isn’t. However, it is funny and with everything they have done, it fits the bill regarding the direction they wanted to take this game. I’m just confused as to why they didn’t look at WWE All Stars, which was applauded across the board, and go with a sequel in all honesty.
Got a weird situation in my hands and i can’t find a solution.
I recently bought an XBOX Series X controller to use on my XBOX One. All games that are for XBOX One work normally. When i load Assassins Creed Valhalla though the controller keeps connecting and disconnecting on its own. So for example, within 10 seconds it connects and disconnects about 5 times which makes the game unplayable.
Any ideas on how to fix this issue?”
There is good news over the horizon. Microsoft are aware of this issue and committed to being fixing this in a future update.
“We are aware some players may be experiencing disconnects with their new Xbox Wireless Controllers and our teams are actively working on a solution to be included in a future update,” a representative of Microsoft talking to The Verge.
Ubisoft released this title at the start of December a few weeks after the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PS5. Of course Immortals is also out on PC and Nintendo Switch. By all means this isn’t a review of the game, however do a expect review of Immortals in due course.
What surprised many with the run up to Christmas was that Immortals Fenyx Rising soon went on sale for a mere £30 on all platforms. Due to store credit I saved. I decided to get Immortals on the Nintendo Switch as friends were raving about how good it is on Switch, and I guess the Breath Of The Wild comparisons.
One of the main selling points with Immortals is the cloud cross save via Ubi connect. I will show you how easy it is to save and continue playing on either platform. Below you will see the comparisons via screens and snippets of gameplay footage from the Series X. Unfortunately the software doesn’t support video footage capture on the Switch via the share button, so I will use YouTube gameplay footage and credit the user, so you can check out their channel too.
Xbox Series X
Firstly, I can tell the difference straight away in loading times. Be that entering or exiting a vault of tartaros, or simply booting up the game between the Xbox or Switch. At least on Switch you have a chance to read the hint or tips…. You can view these via the menu screen anyway if you were wondering.
Here are some screens taken from the Series X:
As you can see it looks rather lush! It’s eye candy galore.
Believe it or not, Immortals runs quite smoothly on the Nintendo Switch. No issues in framerate drop or performance dropping at all. Obviously in comparison to Xbox, you can tell the graphical prowess straight away and loading times which was mentioned above.
Switching between handheld and TV mode the game looks good. I would say handheld looks better than on TV with the Switch. Then again, I guess because how huge the game is. Immortals on a handheld is just so good to have on the go and we can even use Zelda: Breath Of The Wild as example how good that is on Switch too.
Here are some screens grabbed from the Nintendo Switch:
Gameplay footage handheld mode by Youtube channel anazeus.
Cross save is rather simple. As with most Ubisoft games you will more than likely already have Ubi account, which is all you need for the cross save to work. Tip, make sure to update your password if you may have already forgotten it! Because it will make your life easier when booting up the game on a different platform.
So here we go. First of all you want to select “Online Save”. Once you selected that, you will come to another screen saying either send online or load from online.
As you can see below is the send online or load from online screen.
By selecting “Send Online”, all your save data be that manual save or auto will be available to you on which save file you would like to send over to the cloud via Ubi connect. These pics were taken from the Xbox Series X.
Here is the load from online screen on the file I sent over where I left off on the Xbox and continued playing on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s a rather simple process. No stress or haggle. Just pick up and play where you left off and hopefully more titles in the Ubi catalogue will get the same treatment.
There you have it. A bitesized comparison from the Series X and Nintendo Switch. Again, this isn’t a review like previously stated. The whole purpose of this feature was to show you the difference between both consoles, how it plays and helping you which platform to play it on or both!
I hope it helps and you enjoyed viewing this. We will have a review of Immortals Fenyx Rising in due course, so stay tuned for a more in depth opinion.
Follow us on twitter @GamingSquareN to keep up with the latest news, reviews and features.
In the first story DLC for Gears 5, we witness the beginnings of Team Scorpio, from their formation to taking the fight straight to the Swarm.
If you haven’t read the Hivebusters comic, this DLC is the perfect introduction to the characters of Team Scorpio and how it came to fruition. We start off with our team in a Condor transport heading to the island of Pahanu, ignorant of what their mission is. This is where we are first introduced to Keegan, a member of the Onyx Guard serving at Azsura; if you played Gears 3, the background lore relating to this character will pique your interest. Secondly we have Lahni, whose personality, family and heritage we learn about over the course of the story. And finally Mac, the foul-mouthed Irishman, whose human side emerges as Team Scorpio develops.
One thing I will hand to the Gears games is the chemistry between all characters. It’s so perfect and believable, yet quite relatable. When the chips are down and backs against the wall, you find this resilience to overcome any challenge, even if the odds are heavily against you.
Three new arrivals join the cast to Gears 5. Fan favourite COL. Hoffman returns, and it’s about god damn time too. (See what I did there? No? Urrgggh, nevermind…) And Hana Cole, daughter of Augustus “Cole Train” Cole. She’s leading the science in this one and will no doubt give Baird a run for his technical know-how too. And lastly, Taka the pilot.
Without spoiling the story too much, Hivebusters is the origin story of Team Scorpio and the development of the venom to kill off the Swarm, spread over a roughly 3-hour campaign – though hunting down the 23 collectibles and upgrading all of your abilities will likely extend this by a fair amount. It’s an action-packed, story-driven plot that ties in nicely to the base game, making Escape (multiplayer) mode both more appealing and easier to understand.
Graphics, Sound, and Performance
Hivebusters DLC is actually quite remarkable looking. Throughout the course of the game you visit a variety of environments, from colourful island vistas to going underground, and even riding a eruption of lave from exploded volcano. It’s pure eye candy, and the Series X handles it like a wet dream.
The sound is top notch with its different type themes, especially being on a island. Not just when fighting against the Swarm, but the wildlife itself, other enemies and of course the new beast you encounter. If they don’t add the new beast as a boss in Horde or Escape, people should riot!
Performance was stable and fantastic throughout.
Just like any game, Hivebusters can get tough on the higher difficulty settings! Of course, you can play 3 player co-op the same as in the main campaign of Gears 5. Certain areas provide a greater challenge, such as one specific section that consists of defending against a wave of Swarm before moving to the next checkpoint. Insane difficulty should be a good ride, but don’t expect it to be a walk in the park.
Seeing as this is the first DLC for Gears 5, the Coalition have done a great job. Believe it or not, I find myself more inclined to pick Keegan, Lahni or Max in multiplayer going forward. Before I wasn’t that interested in them as characters, however the DLC has given us a great trio with rich background stories that you can’t help but relate to. Not only that but I also find myself wanting to play Escape mode more too. The DLC is so good, it leaves you wanting more and I really do hope the Hivebusters gets a further expansion or even a spin-off title of its own.
Verdict It’s the best piece of add on content that I have played for sometime. Gears 5 fell a little short after Act 2 in terms of its story, however Hivebusters was hands-down a phenomenal experience throughout.
Upcoming Major Releases
DRAGON BALL Z : KAKAROT + A NEW POWER AWAKENS SET24th Sep 2021
Darksiders III30th Sep 2021
Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality30th Sep 2021
Astria Ascending30th Sep 2021
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania5th Oct 2021
Metroid Dread8th Oct 2021
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version26th Oct 2021