The months of hype and expectation are over, and Hitman 3 has now been released for general sale. Whether you’re a PC gamer, a console gamer, or a modern-age game streamer with a platform like Stadia, the game is now available to buy from stores or download for your console. Versions are available for current-gen consoles, last-gen consoles, and even the Nintendo Switch. It’s the first major gaming highlight of 2021, and because of that, it has a lot riding on its shoulders. Has it been worth the wait? Is it as good as everybody hoped it would be? Let’s look at the day one release information and reviews and find out.
We won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The short answer is yes; Hitman 3 is fantastic. It’s been described as the biggest, most immersive, and most cinematic game in the whole Hitman series to date, and we wouldn’t disagree with that assessment. The next-gen version of the game looks and feels more like an interactive movie than it does a video game. While making a huge step up in terms of visuals and presentation, it hasn’t strayed too far from the formula that’s always made the Hitman games such a success, and we think that’s a good thing. It contains all the things you know and love from the Hitman games of the past and blends them with haptic feedback and all the benefits of the new hardware to give you a game that’s truly special.
To make things even better, it doesn’t even appear to come with any bugs or glitches. The last few big-name video game releases have arrived with huge day-one patches and obvious errors that have immediately gone viral in the aftermath of the game’s launch, but Hitman 3 – so far, at least – appears to be exempt from that undesirable trend.
Don’t go into this game expecting something totally different to Hitman 2. As was noted by Eurogamer, the missions in the game and the way you go about executing them feel more like a continuation of its predecessor than something totally new and original. That’s fine with us. As the old saying goes, if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. If there is any tonal difference at all, it’s in the fact that the comedy aspect of the game has been ratcheted up a notch or two. If you’ve always secretly wanted to put on a tuxedo and kill an assassin by slapping them to death with a fish, you’re now free to do so. Agent 47 still looks like a sober and sincere killing machine, but that doesn’t mean that you have to handle him like one. In fact, you might have more fun with the game if you don’t.
Speaking of fun, the game allows you to decide how much of that you want to have. If you want to breeze through the game with all the visual aids turned on and enjoy the story without encountering too much of a challenge, that option is open to you. If you consider yourself a more ‘hardcore’ gamer, though, you can do the opposite. Every visual aid and assist can be switched off. You can pilot Agent 47 using nothing more than your own wits and observations, manually identifying your targets and working out the best way to lure them to their doom.
It’s clear to us that IO had a lot of fun making this game. That makes us wonder how serious they are about it being the final Hitman. As those who’ve followed the series for a long time are already aware, this is the end of the originally-intended trilogy for the rebooted series, and there are no plans to make any more. No matter how much money Hitman 3 makes, how positive the reviews are, and how much fans might want to see another game, the current intention is for this to be the end of the line. This is Agent 47’s farewell party. He’s been in the assassin business for a very long time now, and he’s due for retirement. No good story is complete without an ending, and it’s arguable that it would have been better for a lot of long-running game series to bow out at their peak rather than squeezing out sequel after sequel. Like a TV show knowing when to call it quits, IO has decided to pull Hitman out and leave the crowd wanting more.
We can’t help but feel that they’re going to struggle to stick to that decision. Hitman is a money-making enterprise. It’s inspired two movies and even found success at RoseSlots.com with a video slot game release. The official “Hitman” online slots game was one of the first casino adaptations of successful video games when it was released by Microgaming in 2007 and proved to be so popular that it’s still available at thousands of online slots websites all over the world today. There have been dozens of online slots based on video games released since then, but it’s probably fair to say that no developer would have been tempted to make them had things not gone so well for the Hitman slot. While the brand is still so hot and money continues to pour in, the temptation to make more will always exist. That temptation will only intensify if IO doesn’t have as much success with their future releases. Christian Elverdam, the long-time director of the series, has confirmed that he won’t make any more Hitman games, but that doesn’t mean nobody else will step up to replace him.
For now, at least, the “World of Assassination” story is over – but only from IO’s point of view. We, as players, still have this brand new game to play through and experience, and then go on to enjoy for as many replays as we want. While calling it the best game in the long history of the Hitman series would be both provocative and subjective, we’d be happy to call it the most advanced. We can’t think of a more straightforward way to put it than this:- If you’re a Hitman fan, you’ll love this game.