A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The narrative suggests cold-blooded murder is acceptable if you have proper motive.
Positive Role Models
Agent 47 exhibits sociopathic tendencies. Though he does what he believes needs to be done for the good of the world, he appears emotionless and unaffected by the casual taking of life. Little, if anything, of what he does or represents makes for a good behavioral model.
Ease of Play
An optional tutorial covers all the basics. Returning players will find themselves quickly at home, since the controls and strategies are the same as in previous entries, but new players are likely to experience a fairly steep learning curve. Three difficulty levels allow players to customize the degree of challenge.
Violence & Scariness
Players are tasked to kill specific human targets in whatever way they prefer, which could include poisoning, drowning, stabbing, shooting, or even getting squashed beyond recognition in an enormous wine grape press. Realistic blood, gore, and sounds -- grunting, screaming, the thumping of flailing limbs -- accompany each kill. Players can kill anyone they see, including innocents, but they are penalized for it both in terms of score and making the game more difficult. Well-played missions will result in the deaths of only the primary villainous target(s).
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Strong language in spoken dialogue is rare, but includes the words "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Additional paid content is available as downloadable add-ons. This is the latest chapter of the Hitman franchise, which has spanned games and movies.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are frequently seen drinking and smoking. Agent 47 can pose as a bartender and serve drinks. One of the items players can pick up is a cannabis cigarette. Non-player-character dialogue includes several references to procuring and taking drugs, including "mollies" and other controlled substances.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Hitman III is an action game for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PCs. This is the latest chapter in a franchise that has spawned multiple games and movies. The game simulates the job of a professional killer-for-hire named Agent 47. Each mission sees 47 given a target (or targets) that he must eliminate (kill) in order to progress. Players can go about their tasks any way they like, being sneaky and patient and looking for an opportunity to make it look like an accident, or going in with guns blazing -- though they are penalized in various ways for killing anyone but their targets. Players will typically kill far fewer characters in this game than in most M-rated action games, but the assassinations can be quite graphic and intense. Depending on the manner of death, killed characters may bleed, scream, or flail. Some examples include: garroting, getting crushed by a chandelier, being drown in a toilet, and falling from a skyscraper balcony. Agent 47 appears to be acting for the greater good, but he has a sociopathic personality and is seemingly unaffected by almost anything he sees or does, from the lies he tells to the deaths he causes to the various twists and betrayals within the story. Parents should also be aware that this game includes a small amount of strong profanity, as well as drinking, smoking, and discussion of various illegal drugs, including cannabis cigarettes and mollies.
Is It Any Good?
Older gamers who enjoyed the first two games in this trilogy should have little reason to complain about this one. While nothing will be the same for Agent 47, his allies, or the organizations he's targeting by the end of Hitman III, much of what's done is rooted in the proven mechanics and strategies of its predecessors. Good players will exhibit patience, a willingness to listen to random conversations to discover valuable intel, and the ability to detect and quickly take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Much of the fun comes from replaying missions, using what you already know to be a smarter, more efficient assassin while discovering additional storytelling tidbits. A lot of enjoyment also comes from simply exploring the game's beautiful and expertly crafted environments, such as a regal old mansion whose ornate halls and rooms are filled with secret passages and long hidden family secrets. Players lucky enough to play on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S will have the added benefit of enhanced resolution, superior frame rates, and terrific lighting and reflection effects that make these stunningly designed levels feel even more realistic.
That said, there are some things that could have been tweaked. Agent 47's environment traversal abilities -- vaulting over railings, walking along ledges, taking cover, climbing up and down pipes -- feel somewhat clunky, and lack the smooth movements for similar actions found in other games. And figuring out whether you're in view of a guard or bystander when you want to do something that might arouse attention can still be a crapshoot, requiring frequent saves if you think there's a chance you could get caught. But these are fairly minor quibbles. Hitman III, like its two predecessors, feels distinct from other stealth action games in the way it strives both for maximum realism and memorable scenarios. If you're looking for something that rewards brains over brawn, this might be the ticket.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.