I played Hitman 3 for 20 hours, and I haven’t left its first level. Not because I didn’t beat him. Oh, no it’s because I can’t stop beating him. I have murdered the two targets in Dubai dozens of times. I managed to kill stealthily with poison, parachutes and chandeliers. I wore all possible disguises. I played climbing missions. A lot of people have told me how great Hitman 3’s other missions are: the Dartmoor murder mystery, the Berlin club or the city streets of Chongqing. I believe them! But how am I supposed to move on when I haven’t figured out how to tackle the looming task of throwing five kitchen knives at five different targets hanging in the air around Dubai yet?
I had a feeling it would happen. I already owned the first two games in Io Interactive’s Hitman trilogy, but hadn’t touched them yet. Stealth puzzles have a habit of putting my free time in as dangerous a vice as Agent 47’s. As the deliberations on PC Gamer’s Game of the Year approached, I remembered them all. the praise of our Hitman 3 live review and decided it was finally time to bite the silent bullet. After spending 20 hours in a single weekend raking the entire Burj Al-Ghazali tower in Dubai, it’s clear that I was right to fear Hitman 3.
Thrill of the Kill
It started off innocently enough. Because it was my first Hitman tour, I decided to do one of the missions in Dubai. These guided story paths walk you through target assassination quest-style to help you introduce each stealth sandbox level and how it works. The Bird of Prey mission is hard to miss, starting with a conversation overheard in one of the common areas between two guards and another assassin. I was asked to neutralize this rival and disguise myself in his clothes to secure a first encounter with one of my real assassination targets, Carl Ingram. After doing Ingram’s dirty work a bit (a few freelance assassinations) and more disguise (as the apartment keeper), I finally killed him on the top floor of the tower.
With that done, I figured I should also take on the (In) Security story mission that helped me kill Dubai’s second target, Marcus Stuyvesant. Well, with two story missions completed, shouldn’t I just do the third mission, How The Mighty Fall, and take out both targets together? By this time, I had started to feel comfortable in Dubai, rummaging around various areas of the tower uninvited. It was then that I heard a curious exchange between two guards about a security drill scheduled for the next day.
“It’s easy,” explains one to the other, “we’re stationed here and down, near the card reader. We get an alert – we both swipe our cards and bingo – lock.”
“What if the other guard uses the bathroom?” “
âWell it’s timed so if that were to happen I should be able to go down and activate the other sweep as well. But I guess it will take a bit of practice … “
After hearing many real conversations about the importance of listening to Hitman NPC conversations, my ears pricked up. Can a person start both alarms if they are fast enough? This is not world-building gossip. It’s a challenge.
I used Agent 47’s instinctive vision to look through the walls of the tower and spot the two alarm points: one just outside the penthouse office and another upstairs in a corridor. In my penthouse guard uniform, I could safely walk past the cleaning staff and up the back stairs at the right time to avoid being spotted by a guard who would recognize me. With a planned route, I managed to trigger the alarm system on my first try.
After figuring out the timing, I had exactly zero seconds to celebrate before my co-conspirator radioed me that the two targets were heading for the helipad to evacuate. I had forgotten how to get to the helipad, pacing in panic, wondering if I had shot Officer 47 in the foot. I was lucky, hearing on the phone. radio that the two targets were in fact leaving the helipad. “Their last chance is in a parachute,” my contact warned me. “Make sure that doesn’t happen!” “
Skydiving? I saw parachutes. Or have I seen parachutes? With a little more panic as I stomped, I remembered seeing them on the wall conveniently hanging next to the alarm outside the penthouse office. I sabotaged it there, opened each parachute case and was delighted to find the âsabotage parachuteâ prompt.
I stabbed a fatal hole in the two escape chutes and hid in a corner just in time for the two targets to run up the stairs from the top floor to the penthouse flanked by a contingent of guards who were already too late to save them from their fate. In delight, I slipped behind the doomed troop, watching Ingram and Stuyvesant both be invited to leap from the roof of a tower into the clouds by their own well-meaning protectors. I saw two “target eliminated” notifications followed by a “We have them, 47” on my radio.
That’s when Hitman 3 grabbed me by the neck.
Since this first big gain of a little curiosity, I have been chasing the same adrenaline. After successfully completing this kill combo, I was determined to crawl through Dubai level by level in various disguises, listening for new tricks to shoot and special kills to set up.
I disguised myself as a chef in the penthouse to poison Carl Ingram’s dinner. I found the exact angle at which I could hide behind the main atrium stage and throw a gold brick at the head of the sheikh. I couldn’t just take on the challenges that I naturally fell into. No, no, so it’s now time to dig into the full list of Dubai challenges and tick off each one: kill both targets with one sniper rifle shot, escape the level by helicopter, and take a photo of the sleeping sheikh.
Now I am too deep. I’ve been in Dubai for 8pm and my pride demands that I check off every challenge before I go. I have been here before. Sunk cost error? Never met.
I still have to pass the third level of the Sinbad Stringent climbing mission, which requires me to find five kitchen knives and use them to hit five different targets, often in tight areas, all over the tower. After that, it’s time for a costume-only silent assassin run, which I certainly haven’t thought about a route for yet.
Maybe I’ll get to Dartmoor before 30 o’clock, but I don’t make any promises.