While seeing the mostly great reviews and YouTube content on Hitman III since January, it kind of bothered me how the story of the trilogy was being misrepresented.
“This game has a story?”
“Who plays Hitman for story? If you’re playing Hitman for story…”
“I don’t give a damn about the story in Hitman games” skips cutscene
This type of sentiment was repeated again and again.
A couple of things were common among these people. They didn’t really know much about the story from 1 and 2, and a lot of them mixed up ICA with Providence. Now this is of course in part due to the initial episodic release model and the 5 years that the story took to unfold, so you can’t exactly be surprised by this reaction.
But the people who never gave the story a real chance, also never held back on giving their severely uninformed opinions on the matter. That’s a little unfair.
I’m not saying that the story is Shakespeare, or even on par with the better videogame stories out there like RDR or LOU. But it is my belief, that taken in its full context the story is an engaging and interesting one, and it has it’s clear highpoints:
- Grey as character, the side he brings out in 47 and how he ultimately stays true to his brother.
- Diana acting as a vigilante conscience of 47 is a cool more modern take on Hitman and its morality.
- The development from Agent 47 to a man with agency.
Those are just some of the things I appreciate about this story.
I have always enjoyed Hitman for the universe and the Hitman fantasy. The gameplay, story, universe, characters in one full experience. I have a feeling there are many players like me, even if the voices of the “who cares about story in Hitman”-crowd are so loud at the moment. This sentiment wasn’t really a thing with the original games back in the early 2000’s mind you.
I’m really glad that IOI stuck to their guns and really put the story front an center in H3 (even with internal pressure to do otherwise, as the Forest podcast revealed). Just play the new escalations, and feel how empty everything feels with no narrative connected to it. Even if you don’t like the story, narrative is always important to the overall experience of a game. Humans are narrative-driven beings.
The bigger point I’m getting to is that you can very legitimately play the Hitman trilogy for immersion and story, and I wanted to make a formal case for it and see if people agree.
“It’s a game about bald clone with a giant tattoo on his head that no one notices where you dress as a flamingo.”
Yes, just go straight to the most goofy disguise in the trilogy and make that the whole game. Hitman is an open experience where you can choose to go for the goofy stuff, but you can truly play this as a cool and immersive Agent experience as well (with dark humor sprinkled in there of course). You don’t have to choose the most flashy outfits.
And in some outfits, yes you truly have to suspend some disbelief to accept that no one notices 47 sticking out. But again, if you push the game away from the goofy stuff, most of the time you’ll be dressed as one of 100 guards (which 47 obviously looks the part) or one of 100 staff members. I’m not saying it’s realistic, but it doesn’t have to be as ridiculous as people make it out to be.
And for the barcode tattoo. No one knows about 47 or his appearance in the universe. So if you saw a barcode tattoo on a waiter (which is NOT in fact giant like people keep saying, but actually pretty subtle in the new games) in a universe where the game Hitman did not exist, I don’t believe you necessarily would go straight to concluding that he is an assassin.
I respect all playstyles in Hitman, and I believe one of the hallmarks of the game is its ability to cater to all of us. But I could hope for bit less ridicule for enjoying the immersion side of things.
Anyone with me?
- Yes, it’s very important to the Hitman experience
- No, I don’t care about that at all
- They are ok, but gameplay rules
Btw, I’ve been wanting to make this topic for a while, and Sunny Bunnyhop just released this excellent video in part about the trilogy story, and I really agree with his take. I highly recommend it: