Waiting for Hitman 3 - Let's rediscover Agent 47's recent past

Waiting for Hitman 3 - Let's rediscover Agent 47's recent past
An elegant suit, a red tie, two Silverballers, a dime and a piano string. Given the characteristics listed, we can only talk about him: Agent 47; the most famous, fascinating and intelligent killer in the history of video games.

The Hitman saga, however, despite the great reputation it brings with it, hasn't had an easy life in recent years. In the eyes of the players, after the tepid welcome given to Absolution, the franchise's last great anticipation, which arrived on the market after a substantial advertising campaign (not surprisingly, this production marked the return of a legend that we had not seen on our screens since Hitman : Blood Money), the latest iterations have drastically lowered the ambition.

What is happening then? Has the legend passed, or is it still with us? We will talk about this and the upcoming Hitman 3. If you are a fan of Agent 47, you have opened the right article.

Hitman Absolution: the last major production?

In the memories of some fans of the series, Absolution is a big misstep: it abandons - at least in part - the features and freedom of the previous chapters, in favor of a more linear advancement; moreover, in certain contexts it also leverages the action component.

If you think about it, exactly what happened to the 47 saga is what is currently the norm, that is, abandoning the idea of ​​pure stealth, focusing on a more welcoming gameplay capable of hosting various mechanics and playful possibilities. Just to give an example, just look at the Splinter Cell series which, especially with Conviction, followed this path, irritating long-time fans. Nothing new, therefore: news and upheavals that are close to the hard core. Nonetheless, the real question we ask ourselves and address to you too is the following: Absolution, is it really a chapter to bury?

Just in these days, also to streamline the wait for the new chapter to come, we have put back on Hitman Absolution (HERE our review) in a remastered version, among other things on the flagship from Microsoft, Xbox Series X. In front we found a product still able to have its say from a technical point of view (except for the sometimes invasive aliasing), also thanks to the excellent art design; secondly, we were confronted with a hybrid stealth that winks at previous iterations of the franchise, introducing mechanics that may not be appreciated by the public: we refer to the instinct mode and the possibility of hitting multiple targets at the same time, just like it happens in Splinter Cell Conviction that we mentioned earlier. Given that, by playing at maximum difficulty, all these introductions / limits fail, forcibly favoring the stealth approach, we believe, at least in part, that this is a good choice and capable of increasing involvement a little. In this case we refer to the need to consume instinct when one is disguised and in proximity to an enemy: if it is true that in part it reduces the freedom granted by the other Hitman, on the other hand we believe that it is a contextual limit and well placed by the developers, which increases the credibility of the shares.

Another merit that we can attribute to the production of IO Interactive is the marked focus on narration, with adjoining prestigious directories that wink at Tarantine films. Not surprisingly, some of the cinematics of the game have entered the imagery of the series by right, think for example of the introductory sequence, the scene that sees the now iconic sexy nuns as protagonists, or, lastly, the fire in the church with lots of of Ave Maria in the background.

Thinking about it for a moment, these are perhaps the great shortcomings of the last two releases: cinematics capable of carrying on the imagination of a character who, as Lara Croft teaches, has always staked everything on her aesthetics, giving life to real distinctive traits that we have all come to know.

In short, despite some mutations it is a beautiful production; contrary to what is said around, we appreciate the title and invite you to try it.

Agent 47, today

Hitman, in 2016, changed shape and was distributed in episodes; all to complete a very troubled development. Rather than pursue what they did with Absolution, the team decided to take back the creative freedom of Blood Money, one of the chapters with the greatest opportunities for approach by far. Stage after stage, therefore, we are confronted with a level design never so complex in the series, thanks to maps that host buildings of rather generous dimensions, introducing a vertical development unprecedented for the franchise. Backing up the excellent level design there is a very deep and creative gameplay, but limp in some basic actions. Just to give an example, we find it absurd that to grab an NPC our ancestor must position himself exactly behind the victim, just as we find the AI ​​quite deficient. We would also have to blame a sometimes inaccurate targeting system, but since it is a rather pure stealth game, the action component goes into the background.

It is well known that Hitman, especially at maximum difficulty and when you are looking for the best score, is a very complex game. All this the developers of IO Interactive know very well, which is why they have decided to include the so-called "Mission Stories", a sort of guide that leads the player to the victim. Within a single stage there are several and only by completing them all you will know your targets 100%, because if it is true that the introduction is born above all to help newbies, it is also true that the developers have used it to give a somewhat story driven approach to the game, which also leads to the most spectacular and satisfying kills.

In conclusion, at least in the part played, these two Seasons of Agent 47 are rarely recalled: elaborated in level design, rich in creative possibilities and deep in the gameplay, they are by far the best iterations related to the famous killer and will surely delight many fans. However, despite good critical acclaim, 47's latest adventures did not reach the general public. We refer above all to the second chapter, since the first, once it got out of the problems linked to development and ended the fragmented distribution, met with considerable success; the second and last chapter, however, despite being able to propose better situations and level design, has not been able to replicate the sales data, and to date we still do not know how it went, but given the deathly silence, we assume that things are not go for the best. And this is really a shame, but, fortunately, there is still a third season on the horizon.

Hitman 3: what to expect?

From the new adventure of 47 we expect an even wider creative freedom, always very elaborate and vertical maps and, finally, a better glance thanks to the new consoles. Nonetheless, we believe that the controller sensations in hand will be the same: as happened with the release of the second season, which introduced small opportunities for mimicry, Hitman 3 could bring some substantial improvements, but nothing that upset the experience.

The risk, therefore, is to find another commercial failure on the hands, and as shown by the already announced project dedicated to 007, this could lead the team to turn to something else, setting aside a little the famous 47.

And you, instead? What do you think of this new course in the Hitman saga? And above all, what is your past with the series? While lacking that pompous marketing and million-dollar triple-A look, the latest Hitmans pack all the capabilities of IO Interactive and some peaks of excellence in level design. If for years you have been craving a free stealth game capable of giving vent to your imagination, you will find in the last two seasons everything you are looking for. Never as in this case would it be the case to spread the word; games like these absolutely deserve more attention.

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