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Hitman 3 Review Round-up: Stealth masterpiece or botched execution?

Hitman 3 is the culmination of a five-year trilogy that started with IO Interactive’s Hitman. The “World of Assassination” trilogy is just one story arc in Hitman’s larger story, and Hitman 3 concludes it, opening the series for a new chapter. Hitman 3, then, has a very important role in the series, as the success of the series anchors on its performance. So before diving into the world of assassination, we rounded-up Hitman 3 reviews for you to get a better sense of the game. Is Hitman 3 the game for you? Should you buy it at launch?

Where can you play Hitman 3?

Hitman 3 releases January 20, 2021, for a lot of consoles. it comes out on PC (as a timed exclusive for the Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia, and Nintendo Switch. With that being said, most of the Hitman 3 reviews say a lot of good things about the new game. Here are just some of them.

IGN’s Hitman 3 Review gives the game a 9/10

First off in our list is Luke Reilly’s Hitman 3 review for IGN. While Reilly gave Hitman 3 a 9/10 rating, he comments that the game felt more like an expansion instead of a sequel. However, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Hitman 3 melds greatly with the rest of the trilogy, giving the whole a more unified feel. Add to that the fact that Hitman 3 is essentially the whole trilogy of the games in just one package. Hitman 3 not diverging much from its two predecessors may have hampered the game itself, but it benefited the trilogy as a whole.

Reilly concluded his Hitman 3 review by saying “Rich, rewarding, and highly replayable, Hitman 3 is a superb installment of IO’s idiosyncratic but much-loved stealth series.” Hitman 3 has the strongest maps in the series and has the funniest, most complex, and most dastardly assassinations. However, issues from previous games such as the “naive and exploitable” AI, the clunky controls, and subpar gunplay are still here.

Gamespot gives Hitman 3 a 9/10

Gamespot’s Phil Hornshaw wrote the Hitman 3 review for the gaming website. He starts off by saying that IO Interactive has been giving a “level design masterclass since 2016,” and that Hitman 3 is the pinnacle of the trilogy. He says that Hitman 3 is full of fun and fascinating ideas that build upon the player’s knowledge from the series. At the same time, it’s not afraid to give “brilliant curve balls” to challenge the presumptions of long-time players. Truly, IO Interactive has perfected the formula of the Hitman series. Hitman 3 is the culmination of years of work on the stealth genre.

Still, the game is not without its flaws. Hornshaw noted that the game felt like a “scaled-down” version of the game. It felt bare compared to the two previous games, lacking content that was present before. This includes the multiplayer modes present in Hitman 2, which are ultimately removed from Hitman 3. Still, he is optimistic that such content can be added later as post-launch releases. He’s hopeful because IO interactive is also good in this regard, as they are able to provide good quality post-launch content that is worth adding to your collection.

Game Informer’s Hitman 3 Review gives it a 9/10

Game Informer’s Jeff Cork gave Hitman 3 a 9/10, praising the game’s consistent quality from “tutorial to ending.” In their short review, Cork says that “at its core, it is still very much a classic Hitman game, but in many ways, a more playful and experimental one.”

Hitman 3 indeed plays off as a great Hitman game, as what was said in Game Informer’s Hitman 3 review. It is similar enough that it felt coherent and thematically uniform with the rest of the series. But Hitman 3 still had a few new ideas here and there that makes it stand out. Take, for example, the new camera that Agent 47 can take to missions. The camera not only allows the player to interact with objects in the world. It opens up new gameplay options and gives a lot more information for you to explore in the game’s multiple side-stories.

PC Gamer gave Hitman 3 a 90/100

PC Gamer’s Andy Kelly gave the game a 90/100 in his Hitman 3 review, calling it “IO’s most creative and surprising assassination sim yet.” He says that while the game has strong and weak maps rolled together, the whole game is still one cohesive, enjoyable experience. Hitman 3 is a “spiritual and mechanical continuation of the previous two games,” says Kelly.

PC Gamer’s Hitman 3 review focused more on how well the levels were made, detailing the strong and weak points of each of Hitman 3’s six sprawling maps. While six might seem like a small number, each one of these maps are large and meant to be replayed. There are many ways you can finish a level, and each playthrough can have an entirely new outcome.

The game rewards exploration and replaying previous levels. There are features that make replaying a level more seamless, too. For example, once you’ve unlocked some doors in a level, it will remain unlocked in subsequent playthroughs of the same level. This feature makes it less cumbersome to repeat the routine parts of a level, making each new run much smoother.

The six different levels are also thematically different from each other, offering players a diverse collection of setpieces. All in all, Hitman 3 is a huge game and is the crown jewel of the franchise.

Other (Unscored) Reviews

Gameranx returns with another “Before You Buy” video for Hitman 3. Gameranx says that it’s a great game to cap off the “World of Assassination” trilogy. Simply put, Hitman 3 is the best in the trilogy so far. Gameranx’s Jake Baldino talks about how fans were first reprehensive about the idea of Hitman becoming an episodic title, back when the game had a soft reboot in their 2016 Hitman game. But it turns out the fears are unfounded, and the trilogy turned out better than expected.

Meanwhile, Whatculture’s Jules Gill gave a very short commendation for Hitman 3, saying: “Hitman 3, is it worth buying? In short, yes.” He spent the rest of the video talking about the history of the franchise and the significance of Hitman 3 to the series. He notes that while the previous two games were published by Square Enix and Warner Bros., IO Interactive went solo for Hitman 3. Self-publishing meant that IO Interactive was able to present the game in the way they wanted to. This results in Hitman 3 being the “most crystallized form of their ideas, their vision, and is such an utter joy to play.”

However, he notes that Hitman 3 isn’t the best way to experience the series for the first time. While the game does provide some recap through flashbacks, they aren’t very helpful. The game’s lore is too complicated and has a lot of nicknames and jargon that only experienced fans of the series could enjoy. Hence, playing Hitman 3 to start the series is a disservice to the player, as the game is best experienced as a conclusion to the trilogy.

CONCLUSION: REVIEWS SAY HITMAN 3 IS A MUST BUY

Hitman 3 launched with universal critical acclaim, consistently getting 9’s and 8’s from various game websites. It holds an impressive 88 score for PC at Metacritic. Scores for other platforms have similar values, mostly in the high 80’s. Hence, Hitman 3 is indeed worth a purchase. Do note that the PC version of the game is currently exclusively available in the Epic Games Store. It will be released on Steam only after a year. It is also worth noting that those who purchase the PS5 version of the game are also given a free copy of the PS4 version.

All in all, Hitman 3 is a great way to end a series. It opens up a lot of new options moving forward for the franchise. Indeed, while Hitman 3 ends the current trilogy arc, Hitman will return with a whole new story in the future. Meanwhile, if you haven’t played any game in the series yet, it’s best to start from the start. Don’t begin your Hitman journey with Hitman 3. With that being said, Hitman 3 is a technical marvel. Every gamer who remotely likes the stealth genre has to add this to their collection.