‘Masterpiece’ in new Hitman finale
The final instalment in a trilogy for the iconic gaming franchise Hitman has been released.
Hitman 3 is the eighth major instalment of the long-running series and the conclusion of the World of Assassination trilogy that also includes Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 (2018).
Like previous titles, the game puts you in the shoes of Agent 47, a baldheaded, barcode-tattooed killer (or "Hitman") tasked with assassinating (or "hitting") people in exotic locations all around the world.
A big draw of the Hitman franchise is the concept of choice and free will - missions are usually presented in an open, sandbox style environment that allows you to explore and plot your plan of action.
You can go in all guns blazing and kill everyone in the room as long as you hit your target, stalk them to a quiet location to eliminate them, or slip into a disguise to make it look like an accident and disappear before anyone even knows you've completed your mission.
The newer game, as developers previously warned, carries something of a darker and more serious tone.
A review by Kotaku notes the game hasn't lost its sense of humour but it actually has an interesting plot this time.
"The narrative, which I usually see as a flimsy excuse to play dress-up and cause globe-spanning mayhem, bleeds into the structure of its levels and creates some unexpected moments of emotion and vulnerability," as we learn more about who the chameleon-esque Agent 47 is and his motivations.
Kotaku notes this doesn't humanise him as much as you might expect, and still " … as Agent 47, you play as a cruel, dishonest man who will kill whoever he's told to further the interests of the powerful, shadowy figures who call the shots."
PCGamer has called the new title by the franchise developer's IO Interactive its "most creative and surprising assassination sim yet" with some of the best levels ever seen in the franchise including one that "might be the studio's masterpiece".
A late in the game level throws Agent 47 into a hyper-stimulating Berlin rave cave where the shoe is on the other foot, with a ten-strong team of assassins coming for you rather than the other way around.
"Now all I have to do is figure out how to kill them without anyone noticing, in front of thousands of witnesses, in the middle of a rave," PCGamer notes, adding the level is "the most the studio has ever trusted a Hitman player to take the lead and figure things out for themselves".
Hitman 3 has six new levels, but you'll also be able to play previous levels from Hitman and Hitman 2 if you own those games already as well (there's a bit of delay for this feature on PC as Hitman 3 switches over to the Epic games store from Steam, but it's been confirmed you'll be able to do it eventually).
IGN also noted the new Hitman has "some of the most surprising and imaginative levels in the series so far", and while not much has changed in terms of the game's mechanics over previous titles, "just thinking of the hours upon hours of chaos, carnage, and cruel comedy that each of its six outstanding new maps will produce makes me giddy".
Hitman 3 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and PC.
Originally published as 'Masterpiece' in new Hitman finale