Hitman 3 Is a Beautifully Executed Finale

The latest and final Hitman entry is a globe-trotting adventure that swings from the highs of a Dubai skyscraper to the lows of an underground Berlin club. As Agent 47, you’ll bring death to evil oligarchs, cyber terrorists, and even aristocracy, before the redemptive arc closes out the trilogy. The question is: Can you get away with it?

What makes Hitman games so great is the level of freedom they offer in navigating each assassination. Stealth and style are prized, but the sandbox levels are packed with possibilities. Few games reward reconnaissance and meticulous planning like Hitman 3, though there’s room for opportunism too. 

It might sound like a somber affair, but moments of hilarity lurk in snatches of overheard conversations, bumbled attempts to sneak, and unlikely methods of murder. All of that, and the tremendous amount of replay value the game offers, make it a satisfying conclusion to the series.

Assassination Simulator

Each level in Hitman 3 challenges you to kill a specific target (often more than one) and sometimes includes additional objectives, such as retrieving a secret file. To navigate maps full of suspicious bystanders and heavily armed guards, you change into different outfits, pulling them from laundry baskets and lockers or from the unconscious bodies of people you’ve “subdued.”

Photograph: IO Interactive 

Be stealthy and swift. Avoid protracted firefights to survive. Killing non-targets is frowned upon and results in penalties to your score. There are bonuses for hiding bodies, discovering secrets, and avoiding suspicion. Naturally, an array of gear is at your disposal, from garrotes and silenced pistols to poisons and explosives. Innocuous items like frying pans, empty soda cans, and bananas can also be pressed into service, often with comedic results.

Fans of the series will be at home because Hitman 3 plays exactly like its predecessors. It adds a camera to your inventory so you can scan panels for access to shortcuts (or sometimes to block the view of your enemies), but the rest of the game mechanics are familiar.

You can rush through the whole game in a few hours, but the joy is in exploring the levels, stalking your prey, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to reveal itself. Your real superpower is the ability to relive each scenario, plot your target’s routine, and hone your approach. Nonplayable characters (NPCs) are more than set dressing too; they each have their own loop and react to your presence, so you’ll have to factor them into your plans.

Completing challenges is another way to liven up your play-throughs. Some require you to only use a particular weapon or escape route, while others ask you to assume different identities and quip your way into your target’s inner sanctum. The risk of capture is ever present as you steal, sneak into restricted areas, and desperately drag unconscious bodies to empty closets.

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