Ever since it rebooted its Hitman franchise in 2016 io interactive has been putting on a level design master class the missions in the world of assassination series. Contain a huge intricate collection of systems that make them into giant clockwork puzzles of creative murder.
Levels are designed to be played over and over so you can explore understand and eventually master all their moving parts and it’s impossible to see everything one has to offer without multiple playthroughs. At first Hitman 3 appears to be more of the same it makes no drastic changes to the underlying formula with only a few graphical upgrades and quality of life improvements to the existing Hitman framework but Hitman 3 improves on the series through consistently excellent level design.
Hitman 3 is full of fun and fascinating ideas many of which play with the concepts that have underpinned the last four years of Hitman levels seemingly knowing that players have spent all sorts of time mastering its systems io throws in some brilliant curveballs that require you to use your assassination skills and knowledge in clever challenging new ways if you’ve played the past two hitman games.
You’ll be immediately familiar with Hitman 3 all the mechanics ai and ways you interact with the world are the same that’s key to the way the game works because your knowledge and understanding make it possible to replay levels again and again.
To exploit their intricacies in different ways rather than feel dated Hitman 3 highlights how satisfying it can be to understand how all these moving pieces work together and they’re just as impressive as when the series launched in 2016. Soon there will be no more providence in each of the game’s locations your goal is to find a way to eliminate your targets and then escape without being found.
You do that largely by knocking out enemies and hiding their bodies and taking their clothes, some areas are restricted based on what you’re wearing and some characters can see through your disguises requiring you to carefully avoid them.
Agent 47 has the benefit of instinct a vision mode that lets him see through walls and highlights interactive objects you need to do some sneaking in each level to learn about your targets and find ways to get close to them. Once you’ve got your opportunity there are lots of ways you can carry out an assassination.
You can just shoot or strangle your target or use more involved methods like exposing an electrical wire in a puddle to electrocute them the stealthier you are and the fewer non-targets you kill, the better your score at the end of a level and each stage is full of challenges to complete that encourage you to find weird and creative ways to take out your mark.
Some of what sets Hitman 3’s levels apart is how they fit into the story that’s unfolded across the series in the past each level has functioned as mostly a standalone chapter you’d go into a location with one or more targets and uncover a bit of story about the people you were after which doubled as an opportunity to get close to them, but those targets were usually tangential to the unfolding story of agent 47 and his handler Diana Burnwood across Hitman 1 and 2 the pair slowly realized a figure was manipulating them called the shadow client who is using their assassination contracts to attack providence.
Basically, the Illuminati in Hitman 3 Agent 47 and Burntwood have fully joined the fight against providence and that means that missions feel like they have a bigger impact and targets are more interesting and make more sense. The levels are based on providence’s responses to your kills which throws some wrenches into the usual silent assassin format after developing a brilliant mold for Hitman missions.
IO breaks that mold again and again to create a fun memorable, inventive assassination experiences; you might have already heard about Hitman 3’s excellent second mission set in England where your assassination takes place in the middle of a murder mystery you can even dress up as a private investigator to find clues and solve the mystery to get a chance at your target finding clues in the level’s huge mansion is like playing another game in the middle of Hitman 3.
The brilliance is that the whole time you’re solving the mystery you’re thinking about how you can share or hold back the information you learn to manipulate the characters and accomplish your objective it’s a phenomenal expansion of how Hitman’s intricate levels already work.