Published on September 15th, 2023 | by Nathan Misa
Hitman: World of Assassination PS5 Review
Summary: The best and most content-rich way to experience the modern Hitman trilogy for newcomers and long-time franchise fans alike.
Sandbox games are a dime a dozen these days, but there’s still nothing quite like IO Interactive’s long-running Hitman series, especially the latest trilogy, now rebranded as Hitman: World of Assasination.
The stoic Agent 47, his iconic barcode and his global assassination tour offers immersive stealth gameplay, open-ended mission design and an intriguing narrative that is finally brought together into a common user experience, along with visual upgrades, new gameplay modes and more.
Hitman: World Of Assassination is essentially a re-launch of the modern Hitman reboot trilogy, bringing Hitman 1 (2016), Hitman 2 (2018) and Hitman 3 (2021) together into one streamlined package. The recently released retail version contains licenses for all three games on one-disc, while owners of a digital copy of Hitman 3 will get a free update that provides access to all three games and their free DLC to-date, with most paid DLC available in one Deluxe Pack (there are three exceptions – some costumes, weapons and the Sarajevo Six Campaign sold separately).
It is immediately apparent that this re-bundling of the three games was sorely needed to reduce the barrier of entry. Anyone who played them on launch and endured the influx of season passes, timed contracts, free starter packages and deluxe edition content will likely recall some confusion from navigating menus and trying to figure out what content you own, what has to be installed and what is timed, owing to the original releases’ episodic distribution model. Now, with all three games finished, the user experience here is finally simplified, and you can play levels across all three episodic campaigns, Escalation missions and Contracts much more easily. In addition, the free Freelancer DLC is a game-changing mode for players who like roguelikes, which changes up the story-driven, mission-based structure of the main game into a persistent, replayable experience that sees you take down four syndicates of escalating difficulty on your own terms, improvising on-the-go as the objectives, targets and threats are randomized.
The more exciting prospect is that Hitman: World Of Assassination brings Hitman 1 and Hitman 2’s content into Hitman 3, meaning you can play the first two games in Hitman 3’s game engine, and all the benefits it brings, such as improved visuals (better lighting, screen space reflections, cloth physics, superior textures), better performance (with the added bonus of a smaller overall game size of 77GB) and additional gameplay mechanics (blending in with crowds, area cover, mirrors, etc). This was all previously available upon Hitman 3’s original launch, but navigating the legacy passes required to bring that owned content forward was a task. Now, you can launch a desired mission and get stuck into whatever level you feel like within the same user interface.
For those unfamiliar with the series or just jumping into the modern reboot trilogy with the World of Assassination re-launch, expect highly polished third-person stealth gameplay centered around multi-layered sandbox levels and player choice on how to approach your high-profile target and kill them. You plan your initial loadout for each mission based on your playstyle preferences (firearm-fever or Silent Assassin?), and explore a hand-crafted environment filled with dozens of NPCs going about their business, interconnected pathways, and ongoing events (called mission stories), all of which can be manipulated or interacted with. There’s a lot of learning to be had as you figure out the best approach to reach your end-goal of assassinating your target, and a lot of the fun is in failing and trying again to achieve this outcome in the most optimal way (or, for some, to experiment with just how sneaky or chaotic things can get!)
Visually, Hitman: World of Assassination looks and plays amazing on next gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, getting a resolution bump to 4K (1800p for PS5) and a locked 60 frames-per-second compared to the trilogy’s original launches on last gen hardware. As mentioned earlier, it’s clear the game makes good use of the better hardware, with improved shadow and texture quality, an-isotropic filtering, subspace screen reflections and loading times.
The Final Verdict
Hitman: World of Assassination is the best and most content-rich way to experience the modern Hitman trilogy for newcomers and long-time franchise fans alike, bringing together all three games in one cohesive package and with all the engine and gameplay upgrades of Hitman 3 integrated into the first two titles. Considering this is a free patch for existing Hitman 3 owners (which also introduced Freelancer mode) and all on-disc for those buying the retail version, there’s never been a better time to experience all three games than now.
Primary Format – Games – Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One
Game Genre – Stealth game
Rating – MA15+
Game Developer – IO Interactive
Game Publisher – IO Interactive