Hitman 3 Preview: The barcode is back

Oh boy, here I go killing again.

Poisoned champagne, silenced pistols and a long-range homing briefcase. These are all the tools of the cunning assassin, and you’ll need to be cunning to sneak, steal and murder your way through Hitman 3.

Hitman 3 is the culmination of the World of Assassination trilogy started way back in 2016, with Agent 47 finally tracking down those responsible for his unconventional career path. Like previous instalments, Hitman 3 is a puzzle masquerading as stealth, with 47 tasked to eliminate his targets in unseen ways to avoid suspicion.

Our preview took us to Dubai atop the Burj Al-Ghazali and is where you really get to experience the refocused mission structure IO has brought to its sequel. The level begins with a skydiving sequence — a cutscene, of course — with 47 landing precariously on the outside of the building. From here, a quick jaunt around some lofty beams and the deployment of the new camera gadget had 47 inside the building and one step closer to taking down his two targets.

Once inside, you’re quickly prompted to follow along through one of the Mission Stories. As with the other games, these missions offer a more direct path through a level and serve to get you acquainted with its quirks. You’re still free to pursue your contract however you like of course, but these missions’ sequences offer story beats you won’t get otherwise and feature some unique moments.

There are three of these Mission Story variants on offer in Dubai, though you are steered pretty heavily towards one in particular for your first playthrough. Without giving too much away, your friend Lucas Grey wants to have a personal chat with some old, mutual friends of yours and you’re quickly tasked with making that happen. With some stolen uniforms, a quick bit of hacking and the pilfering of a vital key card, 47 sets up a meeting in a special locked-down area of the tower and Grey is able to address his old friends directly one last time.

Overall, Dubai will feel familiar to series fans, with both a traditional mission structure and map layout available to play through. The second map, Dartmoor, is far more interesting in almost every way and offers a unique and enjoyable experience for a Hitman game, but unfortunately that’s outside the scope of our preview.

Suffice to say that of the two levels on offer for our preview (and we’d have so much to say otherwise if permitted), Dartmoor is the one that really brings something new to the table. Fans of the series will of course eat up the new levels and challenges available regardless of the variety, but for newcomers and more casual fans like myself the added spice is enough to keep me interested, if not too excited.

You’ll be able to read all our thoughts on Dartmoor and the rest of the campaign once Hitman 3 releases on all platforms on 20 January 2021.

Hitman 3

20 January 2021
PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One Xbox Series

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About the author

Hamish Lindsay

Avid reader and general geek, justifying the time I spend playing games by writing about them. I try not to discriminate by genre, but I remember story more than gameplay. I’ve been playing League for longer than Akali and I’m still Silver. Fallout 3 and MGS3 may be the pinnacle of gaming.

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