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What The Critics Are Saying About Hitman 3

Fans have anticipated Hitman 3 for months, latching onto each new trailer and update on their favorite franchise. One of the biggest draws of the conclusion to the new installment is the ability to import missions and locations from previous games into Hitman 3

Previews of Hitman 3 have also shown character development on a scale fans haven't seen before, as well as pathways that only open once players complete a level, adding a new layer of replayability to each area. Hitman 3 marks the end of the World of Assassination trilogy, IO Interactive's reboot of the Hitman franchise. The series follows Agent 47, the deadliest hitman in the world, as he ventures to complete hits in new and exciting ways.

The reviews are finally in, and the critics have thoroughly analyzed the finale of the new Hitman trilogy. How did it stack up to the first two installments? While Hitman 3 departs from the path established in the first games in the trilogy, it seems that it does so in ways that mostly work in its favor.

The levels are still fun, sort of

One of the most impressive aspects of Hitman 3 is its level design, with each scene acting as a backdrop for Agent 47's magnificent kills. Luke Reilly at IGN praises Hitman 3 for its setting, noting, "The true strength of Hitman 3 ... is found in its maps. All six of Hitman 3's beautiful and strikingly well-lit levels are amongst the strongest of the series, so much so that it's hard to pick a standout favourite." Reilly continues by explaining that detailing the settings would ruin the surprise of seeing the levels for the first time, but does mention that they're expansive, interesting, and full of different ways to assassinate targets.

Sam Machikovec at Ars Technica disagrees, arguing, "These levels simply aren't as memorable as Hitman 2's best. I can close my eyes and instantly recall the best surprises and emergent-gameplay moments of older levels like Miami, Mumbai, and Santa Fortuna." Machikovec cites the "verticality" of levels as the main issue. While the first level, set in a skyscraper in Dubai, has the vertical quality of previous Hitman games, the rest of the game lacks that design, according to Machikovec. However, the level design doesn't have anything to do with the story of Hitman 3.

Surprisingly, Hitman 3 is all about the story

While the story elements of the Hitman series haven't been a major focal point of previous games, Samit Sarkar at Polygon applauds IO Interactive for turning the plot around, writing, "It's tough to build sympathy for a couple of cold-blooded killers, but IO managed to do so." Where previous games have focused more on inventive assassination techniques than story, Hitman 3 wraps up the trilogy by developing the franchise's main players thoroughly.

Over at Kotaku, Riley MacLeod also praises Hitman 3's story, as well as its willingness to delve in to the less-explored narrative aspects of the series as a whole. MacLeod comments that the games engage in concepts of power and control, and that Hitman 3 works harder to integrate those issues in its plot, which turns out surprisingly well. Though it seems that critics were barred from discussing specific plot details, MacLeod hints at a clever murder mystery during one level of the game. 

The reviews for Hitman 3 appear to be mostly positive, indicating that IO Interactive has built off of what worked before while making some much-needed strides in the storytelling department. Hitman fans can now breathe a sigh of relief, and pick up Hitman 3.