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Hitman 3’s Escalations Feel Brilliant But Easy

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I’ve been playing quite a lot of Hitman 3 over the past few days. The game is the culmination of everything that’s great about the Hitman Reboot Trilogy, and I thoroughly recommend that you play it if you enjoyed either of the two previous games. However, there’s something about the Escalations in Hitman 3’s destinations that doesn’t sit right with me. They feel like they’re meant to be a challenge, but they’re also not quite as difficult as they could be. I understand that there has to be a line, but I’m not sure it was pushed out as far as it could have been.

If you don’t know what Escalations are, I’ll explain it. They’re small contracts within the mission locations of Hitman 3. They have three levels of challenge. The first is a set of targets and complications. The second adds more, and the third adds even more, usually with a twist at the end. By the final level, everything about the Escalation has been pushed to the max, and it’s pretty damn hard to actually complete your objectives. I’m not sure if it’s the layout of the maps in Hitman 3, or the way that Escalations have been planned by a developer, but they seem far easier than those in the previous games.

In the past two Hitman games, Escalations have forced me to play around with each location, moving to areas that I’d never usually explore in the core mission. That’s because I need to get a certain item or avoid removing my disguise. In Hitman 3 though, you’re basically walking through each area so fast that no one will ever notice you. Sure, the complications are fun, like having to hide every bead or unconscious body, but there are so many points to hide them that the challenge is almost lost.

I hope that Io Interactive ramps up the difficulty with future Escalations. They’re introduced more over time with their previous games, so my hope is that they do exactly that with this game as well. More Escalations would make for some incredible experiences, but as it stands the game is pretty bare bones in this one department.

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