GamingREVIEW: Hitman III Cloud Version

REVIEW: Hitman III Cloud Version

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Hitman III is a game for next-gen platforms, current-gen platforms, and streaming services like Google Stadia and Switch’s Ubitus cloud service. This is the final chapter in the World of Assassination Hitman Trilogy as well as the current storyline of Agent 47, discounting spinoffs and future entries. With this in mind, this marks the final chapter in the current canonical storyline for Agent 47, as each game prior features different story arcs which, while not interconnected for the most part, do take place in the same continuity, and serve to develop 47’s background, humane side, and relationships with other recurring characters. 

Hence, as I state below in the story section, it’s important, but not required, to play the other main “World of Assassination” Hitman games first before jumping into this one. For those uninitiated in Hitman’s universe, The (original) series started with 2000’s Hitman: Codename 47, and it has featured eight main games in total, the most recent being Hitman 3, released in January 2021. The last one released for a Nintendo System, to my knowledge, is Hitman II: Silent Assassin for the Nintendo Gamecube, on 17 June 2003

Main games in the Hitman series are set in semi-open world environments and presented from the third-person perspective, and have players eliminate specific targets assigned to them while trying to remain as stealthy as possible by various means; these include taking disguises, hiding from suspicious enemies, and using supressed weaponry. The series’ main protagonist and playable character is Agent 47, the eponymous hitman, who works for the fictional International Contract Agency (ICA). Originating as a clone created to maintain peak human physicality and intelligence, be easy to control, and display a cold and monotone personality, 47 is regarded as the best assassin in the world.

Now that I got all of the basics cleared up for you, how good- or great or bad – is the finale to the World of Assassination Hitman trilogy?

STORY

The story is divided into 6 missions and an epilogue for the final installment in the Hitman Trilogy, discounting spinoffs. It is personally recommended that you play Hitman and Hitman II on other consoles to understand the story going into Hitman III.

Mission 1: On Top of the World

Following the events of Hitman 2, Agent 47 and Lucas Grey are continuing to hunt down the elusive Partners of Providence. They head to Dubai to infiltrate the inauguration of the Burj Al-Ghazali as the world’s tallest building to eliminate the Partners, Alexa Carlisle, Carl Ingram and Marcus Stuyvesant. They finds out that Alexa has left the building. They HALO jump into the building and 47 eliminates the other two Partners. Arthur Edwards, the Constant, locates and contacts Diana. Diana realizes that the deaths of the partners and Lucas’s contracts were all orchestrated by the Constant himself.

Mission 2: Death in the Family

They learn that Alexa Carlisle has gone back to her home, a mansion in England. She has faked her death, and is trying to secure her family legacy before it is too late. Diana informs them that the Carlisles still have control over many parts of the world, and that Alexa’s late father brought the three influential families of Providence together. This means that the mansion is in fact the birthplace of Providence. They head to the mansion to eliminate her and recover a case file she keeps on the Constant. 

They find out that one of Alexa’s brothers, Zachary Carlisle has been murdered on the premises of the mansion. Alexa has hired a private investigator to find out who did it. 47 eliminates Carlisle, and escapes with the case file. Meanwhile, CICADA private security hired by the Constant have located Grey. Grey hurriedly tells 47 that Diana can no longer be trusted, and that he needs to find Olivia. He tells the guards to “tell the Constant to start running.”, and disarms a guard before shooting himself with the guard’s gun.

The Constant visits Diana in person, and gives her a case file proving that 47 was the one who planted the car bomb which killed her parents. 47 disguised as a CICADA security guard contacts Olivia telling her that Grey is gone and to escape to Berlin.

Mission 3: Apex Predator

Diana is resting at a cottage in the woods when she receives a phone call from the Constant. He tells her that she could be the next Constant. She says that she will need some time to think about it. The Constant tells her she won’t. 47 goes to a club in Berlin to meet Olivia, but Olivia tells him that they have been compromised, and there are ICA agents in the club. 47 eliminates five ICA agents before their handler recalls them. 47 meets Olivia in an abandoned diner. Olivia tells 47 that the data they have on the Constant is useless. 47 tells Olivia that he knows where the ICA stores all its data, and that he wants to leak it to the public.

Mission 4: End of an Era

47 heads to the main ICA data facility, in Chongqing, China, run by a man called “Hush”. Hush is a former cyberterrorist for the Ministry of State Security in Khandanyang, who is doing experiments on mind control. Access to the data core is restricted to the facility’s overseers, Hush and Imogen Royce, a behavioral analysis pioneer. Olivia tells him about a weakness in the protocol: if both overseers die unexpectedly in a short period of time, the security protocol is changed to a weaker failsafe, which she can hack. 47 eliminates both overseers. He wipes all traces of his and Diana’s existence and relationship before uploading the data to a non-profit leak website. Diana tells the Constant that 47 only has one weakness: herself.

Mission 5: The Farewell

Diana sets up a false meeting with a Providence Herald as a trap for 47. When 47 comes to eliminate her, she uses an Ether neurotoxin to knock 47 out. She tells 47 that she knows what he did to her parents. Diana says that Providence used 47, but she did too, so she is freeing him. 47 remembers past contracts he has done, while the room slowly fills with blood.

47 wakes up in a bed. The Constant tells him that Diana was foolish to think he would kill 47, and that he wants to keep 47 as a tool for himself. He has prepared another amnestic serum, and plans to inject 47 with it. He passes out again. He sees Grey, who tells 47 that Constant’s toxins are playing into his fears, and that he should resist them for as long as he can. 47 tells Grey that Diana wants him dead. Grey says that this is not the case, and that Diana has found a way to turn Edwards’ power against himself. He hears Diana speak: “Once you dispose of Edwards, I will dismantle Providence from the top down. It will finally be over. All you have to do is embrace the past.” 47 relives killing Diana’s parents, having to trigger the explosives once more.

Mission 6: ???

47 wakes up again in the Constant’s lab, set up in the old asylum in Romania. He boards a moving Providence train and eliminates Edwards. He enters the forests of the Carpathian Mountains. Diana watches the news in her cottage. The news anchor states that many CEOs (previous members of Providence) have resigned from their positions in a bizarre pattern. She takes the case-file of her parents’ death and throws it into the fireplace. She rips off the Providence badge, an origami crane and throws it into the fire too.

Epilogue

One year later, 47 is walking through a forest on the phone with Diana. He states that he is rejoining the ICA willingly, because it is his life. Diana tells him, “No one is untouchable.” He briefly forms a slight smile before replying, “It’s good to be back.”, as it is his life and their check on elites’ power will always be required.

In a secret ending, if 47 injects himself with the serum while confronting Edwards, he passes out. He awakens in a padded room, greeted by Edwards’ voice telling him, “Wake up. Wake up, my friend. It’s the dawn of a new day, and you have things to do”—akin to the opening of Hitman: Codename 47.

In an interview conducted with IO Interactive on 31st December 2020, they confirmed that despite ‘Hitman 3’ being the final game in the ‘World of Assassination’ trilogy, it will not be the last game in the franchise. Christian Elverdam, director of the game, has said that “closing the door on this chapter of Agent 47’s story feels fitting.” This indicates that he will be back for more in future games, but in what fashion remains to be seen.  It’s kinda depressing to know that he rejoins the ICA,  mainly due to it being his life, as he puts it.

In the penultimate mission before Mission 6, I was surprised when Diane nearly killed 47, but I knew that it was for his own good and partly out of revenge for killing her parents, so I understood why it was being done. Also, playing through a life-or-death dream-esque sequence was surreal, and a bit unsettling, as we get to see past targets he went after. It felt surreal, nightmarish, traumatizing, and, of course, depressing. The game had done it. It made me care about a character who was designed to not be emotionally attached to by fans. I’m very impressed.

GAMEPLAY

The game is now entirely Single-Player. If you were a fan of Ghost Mode or  Co-op mode in Sniper Assassin from previous entries, then prepare to be majorly disappointed.

In addition to the story-based Sniper Assassin mode, there is also  Elusive Targets (with a few yet-unrevealed changes), the Escalations that add extra requirements and complications to your murders, and the Contracts Mode which uses hits created by players.

Let’s put Sniper Assassin mode in our focus, as that’s where players will be spending all their time. Sniper Assassin is single-player only, and requires a strategic use of various costumes and stealthy, non-lethal weapons and knockout methods.

Owners of Hitman or Hitman 2 are able to import maps, levels and their progress into Hitman 3.

Like any Hitman game, the goal is to kill members of an elite group, Providence in this case, without getting detected by other people all the while. The main objective is to use non-lethal means to subdue enemies in such ways that they don’t alert security or members of Providence.

FINAL VERDICT

Hitman III is a good game. It continues on with the story of Agent 47, in this trilogy at least, and wraps things up rather well. Those who came for multiplayer are gonna be disappointed. Those who came for a good, and gripping, single-player experience are in for the best action-stealth game this year so far.

SUMMARY

HITMAN III is a fantastic conclusion to the World of Assassination trilogy. It takes what worked story-wise from Hitman and Hitman 2 and wraps up this trilogy's story in a wonderful and bittersweet way. Multiplayer fans will be disappointed, but single-player minded folks will surely enjoy this game from beginning to end.
(Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Also Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, and Windows.)
Bryan Applegate
I am a game reviewer who also loves theatre acting. My email for sending review codes is [email protected]

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