So, my unpopular opinion, at least by the comments others made after the game was released:
Having 47 destroy the ICA at the end of the latest game was a stupid thing to do. The Agency had always been essentially the third character of the series; 47, Diana, and the ICA organization. They have been what allowed all of the Hitman missions to happen how they did.
I cant even believe that some people think that it’s better that 47 and Diana no longer have the ICA, that they should be “freelance” assassins. Folks, even in this weird Hitman world, you can’t just go freelance like that, not while keeping the high number of high-risk missions 47 got on a regular basis.
There has to be an organization, there has to be a network of communication, intelligence gatherers, informants, couriers, background checkers, etc… Diana is good, but she can’t do all of that on her own. 47 had equipment delivered, escape vehicles left ready for him, target dossiers with full intel provided. The idea of an operation consisting of only 47 and Diana is not only stupid and impractical, but we’d never get to see the really complex contracts like The Gilded Cage except once in a blue moon. Do you know what it looks like when 47 is reduced to performing lower-level hits without the ICA’s support network? Go play Absolution again, because that’s what it looks like.
And the reason for it was stupid, too. 47 choosing to make his own decisions? He was an independent contractor with the Agency! He could choose to decline any contract offered to him, he didn’t just go wherever they said and whenever they said! Hell, the Farewell confirms that Diana had actually been filtering the contracts offered to them all along to ensure they only ever killed guilty people. It was alway a choice for him.
And, he’d already been down this road before! He already left them before and made the choice to return to contract killing and doing things his way at the end of Silent Assassin! Then he went solo for a while after Blood Money, but came back into the fold. Then, Absolution happened, but he and Diana saved the ICA in Blood Money and exposed Travis’s bullshit in Absolution, so the Agency owes them the benefit of the doubt. They never controlled him, he was their golden boy, they bent over backwards for him to be comfortable with what he did, he brought them so much money.
The whole thing was just stupid, like when Resident Evil tried to ditch Umbrella, or if James Bond decided to stop working for MI6 and do his spy work on his own time. Stupid.
Fortunately, there’s a way around this, if IOI is smart enough to pursue it. Since there has to be some kind of agency that 47 and Diana are part of to make the whole operation work, and since they have to be making money off of it for this series to still be called Hitman and not Vigilante, then what needs to happen is that they bring back a reestablished ICA. They’ve come back twice before, it can happen again. Diana can use the money she made over the years in her job, plus whatever she siphoned off of Providence before shutting them down, and remake the Agency. She would not want all the power to herself, so she’d set up a new management board to oversee the company, with herself as the top administrator. The board could be composed of former clients, like the Highmoors, the woman who was a shareholder for Ether who didn’t like the virus idea, Locksley, the parents of the girl from the Meat King’s Party, the man who ordered the hit on the Swing King, etc.
And to top it off, they can still avoid the trap of the series just being a vigilante justice series by focusing on the concept of no one being untouchable. 47 and Diana both seem to dislike not just evil people, but the more broad and general idea of people getting away with things without consequences… whether those people are good or bad. So they could still accept contracts on people who are not necessarily bad guys, but who have pissed someone off and gotten away with it, even if what they did was ultimately a good thing. Rather than being crusaders for justice in the good/bad sense, they could simply consider themselves the agents of consequence, regardless of their targets’ moral alignments.
IOI, take note of all I’ve said here, and please fix this grave error going forward with the series. The ICA needs to come back if the series is to continue even vaguely like how it had been up to this point.