The mission in Dartmoor also offers just three story assassinations prepared by the creators, but in this case, I wasn't complaining, as one of them allows the player to guise as private investigator. The writers of the series have outclassed themselves, allowing us to carry out a full-fledged investigation from beginning to end, just like in an Agatha Christie novel – interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, drawing conclusions, deducing who is guilty. Not only is this the most substantial scenario within the World of Assassination trilogy, it's also the best – even my favorite moment so far, the patient waiting for transplant in the first season's finale, pales in comparison.
By playing detective, Dartmoor has instantly become one of my favorite – if not the favorite – map in the entire series. Especially since the other two stories prepared by the developers, although not as elaborate, also perfectly fit the atmosphere of a gloomy mansion inhabited by a family with dark secrets. The unique atmosphere is also built by the location itself, which, while not the largest one, is filled with flavors and small details – it's hard not to appreciate the family cemetery around the corner, the servants who are always gossiping about the family's affairs or the numerous secret passages and secret rooms found in the building.
The glee of Dubai
I can definitely praise the technical quality of the build made available to us – although it's a pre-release version, it already worked much better than even the 1.0 release of Hitman 2. The game never once crashed, even when switching between active windows; the framerate remained at an even, stable level, during the play I also rarely experienced errors and they were rather small, such as NPC clipping through the door or disconnecting me from the server when trying to select a specific cache with a smuggled item. After what I've seen, I'm confident about the refinement of the final release.
Hitman 3 runs on the same, proprietary Glacier engine as previous installments in the series. Although the overall quality and detail of the setting seemed a bit higher than in the second season, I wasn't sure it was a matter of actual improvement, and not of the fact that, contrary to previous installments, I was playing on a PC. However, even if there are improvements, they are not significant – visually it's still the same game, not far from modern standards, but definitely not setting any trends either.
47 ways to feast
In addition to the main story campaign, Hitman 3 will also offer additional modes familiar from its predecessors – time-limited Elusive Targets, Escalations, which gradually increase difficulty-level, community-created Contracts, and a sniper mode played out on specially designed maps. It looks like the latter won't get any new content and will only offer the maps known from Hitman 2, plus it will be devoid of co-op.
Other modes will return in the traditional style – we can expect them to be added as part of free support after the game's release. The preview version didn't yet offer Elusive Targets and Contracts, but it did allow you to try out two new Escalations – and they weren't much worse than what the series has accustomed us to. The Ghost Mode multiplayer mode introduced in the last previous entry was completely removed, but it wasn't very popular anyway and hardly anyone will miss it.
So as you can see, Hitman 3 will be many things, but certainly not a revolution. This doesn't bother me in any way, as I had a fantastic time with the previous two installments and the formula is still not exhausted. The new maps, which I've already had a chance to try, are great, the released fragment of the story campaign left me with a huge appetite for more, the technical layer is already very good – all seems to indicate that on January 20, fans of the series and stealth games in general are in for a real treat. However, people who didn't like the formula of the World of Assassination trilogy and are looking for a major change or hoping for a return to the roots of the series will be unsatisfied. They will have to wait further.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stealth games are one of my favorite genres and I also have a lot of affection for the classic Hitmaninstallments. However, it wasn't until the 2016 reboot of the series that it completely captivated me and elevated the adventures of Agent 47 into the pantheon of games I hold most dear. In total, I spent about 200 hours with the first and second seasons of Hitman , and it looks like with the release of "three" this result will be improved by another hundred.
Michael Grygorcewicz | Gamepressure.com