Hitman World of Assassination – finally emerging in a physical edition – is essentially a repurposed and repackaged Hitman 1, 2, and 3 collection. That means it includes the main campaigns, the contracts mode, escalations, elusive target, arcades modes, and some featured “live content”. There’s also the rogue-like “Freelancer” mode that should have launched with the game in the first place, and the “Sarajevo Six” mini-campaign that was previously a PS4 exclusive DLC.
For those who have been sitting on the fence or held out to wait for a physical edition, you might need a quick history lesson. IO Interactive has come a long way since their Hitman “reboot” in 2016. Hitman (2016) was originally an episodic release title – featuring the iconic Agent 47 – published by Square Enix. Eventually, IO Interactive found a new publisher, WB, and the sequel Hitman 2 was released as a full package in 2018. Fast forward to 2021 and a newly independent IO Interactive self-developed and published Hitman 3. Now, in 2023, they’ve opted to update Hitman 3 into Hitman World of Assassination to better reflect all the content on offer in their game.
Hello Agent 47
In Hitman World of Assassination, players will finally be able to play through and conclude the story of Agent 47 and his long-time handler Diana. “Providence”, a super-secret organisation, is at the forefront of the game’s plot and plays a major role throughout all 3 campaigns. IO Interactive has crafted a masterful tale across all 3 campaigns and I won’t dig into the plot as that might ruin the game’s sense of intrigue and mystery for first-time players. While it is possible to skip cutscenes, mission briefings, and potentially entire missions to choose another location in the world, first-time players should absolutely not do this as it’ll ruin the surprisingly well-told story.
Thankfully, Hitman World of Assassination onboards you a lot better than ever before. Players will be taken through the tutorial missions, taught to play the game like a true Silent Assassin, and then guided through the core missions for each game’s storyline in chronological order. Gone is the haphazard “missing content” problem that would have prevented you from enjoying all 3 Hitman games in one neat package if you hadn’t purchased the “right” versions or upgrade path.
50 Ways to Say Goodbye
Moving onto the gameplay, Hitman World of Assassination plays incredibly well, with over 5 years of refinements and upgrades. At its core, Hitman has always been about creativity and problem-solving. Just the murderous kind with a lot more brutality and death, of course. Eliminating your target is the main objective and everything else is gravy. Players can make use of multiple methods and tools to assassinate their targets in each level, and there’s an almost endless amount of fun to be had in planning, executing, and replaying a mission as you unlock different entry points and different gear load-outs. Mission modifiers complicate matters further and introduce even more re-playability.
Each location in Hitman World of Assassination offers plenty of content and there’s no shortage of insane speedruns thanks to the global leaderboards and time-tracking. While being stealthy and staying true to the “Silent Assassin” moniker should be your modus operandi, you can simply throw all that out the window and go rushing in guns blazing. This will, however, affect your score and ranking in missions and you will face a lot of heavy resistance at times without upgraded gear.
In Hitman World of Assassination, new players will approach levels from a particular starting point, gather intel from the environment or other people, and then use these “opportunities” to perfectly execute their target. Although it looks and plays like a third-person shooter, each level can be treated as a puzzle that needs to be solved using the correct pieces in the correct order. You will need to poke at every nook and cranny and will be rewarded with some truly creative methods of execution if you do so.
We could spend pages going through the many ways to take out your targets in Hitman World of Assassination. You have all your conventional deadly tools – think knives, firearms, hammers, wrenches, poison, and golf balls – for Agent 47 to use, but there’s plenty of freedom within levels for indirect kills. Ceiling fixtures, household appliances, vehicle incidents, and more – the opportunities are almost endless when you consider the sheer amount of disguises and environmental objects on offer in each level.
The enjoyment factor in Hitman has always been up to the player – for better or worse depending on your creativity. The constant push to explore, innovate, and execute is the game’s key selling point – and with three games worth of content and refinements, Hitman World of Assassination has absolutely nailed this aspect.
It takes time and effort to learn all the ropes, but there’s a such massive sense of satisfaction when you successfully pull off an assassination and complete a level without any mishaps occurring and achieve that Silent Assassin rating. Thankfully – and a boon for perfectionists – you can save and load whenever you want.
What’s new for returning players?
Graphically, Hitman World of Assassination benefits from several upgrades and remains a beautiful title that runs incredibly smoothly on PS5 – always a plus point in our books. There are so many moments players could be enamoured by the gorgeous locales, and there’s so much attention to detail within the levels to make them feel like lived-in spaces. The Dubai skyscraper, for example, has beautifully ornate windows and floors with an exterior environment set up high in the clouds. It looks so convincingly terrifying, that those afraid of heights might be triggered. I’d not be surprised if many players first wander around just admiring the levels in all their glory before actually getting on with the task at hand.
The World of Assassination update also fixed numerous issues across all three games – but that said, there are still quite a few bugs and glitches you’ll encounter. Content-wise, the Freelancer mode is the star of the show but suffers from quite a massive flaw – you need to have a permanent internet connection to the Hitman servers in order to enjoy it. In a world where quality internet connectivity is not standardised or stable in some regions, this is a crippling problem that effectively ruins an otherwise amazing game mode that feels like a breath of fresh air for long-time fans.
The game itself has a video that explains the mode perfectly (which is embedded below) and the gameplay loop is unparalleled in its addictive “I just want to do one more mission” feel. The generative content in the Freelancer mode was the right call to keep this IP going, and it works so well here in alleviating the repetition that comes from tackling the same targets over and over again. When you combine an incredible number of tools and environments with endless targets and modifiers, there’ll always be a new challenge available.
Ultimately, Hitman World of Assassination is a title that comes highly recommended from us, for both new players and those yet to complete their collection. The foundations established by Hitman (2016) are still as enjoyable as ever, but it’s been expanded and refined with Hitman 2 and 3 to the point it can keep you coming back for more. Even if the connectivity requirement for the Freelancer mode is an issue, there’s still more than enough replayability here to keep you entertained for hours on end. Hitman World of Assassination is the definition of a complete package.
Hitman World of Assassination was reviewed on a PS5 using a code provided to gameblur by the publisher. It is also available on PC, Xbox One/Series S|X, and PS4.
Hitman World of Assassination (PS5) ReviewHitman World of Assassination (PS5) Review
- All three brilliant Hitman games in one package
- Tons of replayability
- Graphically beautiful and runs great on current-gen hardware
- The reelancer mode's always online requirement
- There's still quite a few lingering bugs and glitches