Skip to main content

What the new James Bond game should (and shouldn’t) take from Hitman 3

Hitman 3 received rave reviews from critics, and many fans are looking forward to what developer IO Interactive will bring from the franchise to its next game, which is currently titled Project 007.

While the world of assassination will translate nicely over to James Bond, the upcoming game cannot simply be a copy-and-paste title. It wouldn’t feel right to just make “Hitman 4” with Agent 47 swapped out for 007. There are some key adjustments IO will need to make on top of the already laid foundation to produce the Bond game it is capable of creating.

Keep the intricate environments

The most important attribute that will make Project 007 shine is, thankfully, the element IO absolutely nailed in Hitman 3. Each level, from Dubai to the Carpathian Mountains, offers varied and thrilling espionage adventures. Even after several replays, I’m still finding new areas in these locations, despite feeling like I had thoroughly explored each destination in past playthroughs.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yet the environments don’t feel aimless. Every nook and cranny has a purpose, which either helps or hinders Agent 47 in enacting his assassination. It’s this delicate balance of level design and attention to environmental detail that will be most crucial to translate to Project 007.

The flow of the game needs to change

Hitman 3 is a modular experience where players pick and choose a location, and then adjust Agent 47’s starting area, along with his gear loadout. While Hitman 3 continues and concludes a story told over the entire trilogy, it’s far from the focus of the series. Instead, the games wisely make their sandboxes the defining feature.

Project 007 will require a more linear and directed experience, with set pieces that organically flow from one to the other, which could clash with the level design strengths previously mentioned. IO will need to figure out a way to move the action from one location to the next rather than just dropping James Bond on the doorstep of a new environment.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are also elements to 007 that aren’t touched in the Hitman trilogy, namely driving and car chases. James Bond will need to run, jump, drive, fly, and maybe even ski, where Agent 47 might have simply walked. We’ve yet to see how IO tackles more mechanical forms of movement, so that’s something to keep an eye on.

Rework the action from the ground up

With new traversal elements in mind, the entire action design of Hitman needs to be reworked. Agent 47 excels in picking up objects, stabbing enemies in the back, and very little else. The moment an operation goes south in Hitman 3, having the assassin face off against a horde of enemies in a firefight usually results in a clunky experience that ends with 47’s death.

That’s fine, as Hitman is designed for as sneaky and untraceable an experience as possible. Project 007 will require set pieces similar to the action-heavy sequences of an Uncharted title, and they’ll need a James Bond to rise to those occasions. The playable Bond will need to be a far more fluid character than Agent 47, and just as capable in hand-to-hand combat and gunfights as he is at garroting an enemy in a dark corner.

Have it be just as interactive

Bond might never need more than his Walther PPK handgun to take out a room of enemies, but that doesn’t mean that should be the case. Part of the delight of playing Hitman is discovering which items can be picked up and potentially turned into deadly weapons, or what environmental elements can be used as a distraction.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Project 007 should dial the interactivity up to 11, adding more unique elements than the Hitman games, which tend to sort their objects into one of three buckets: Something to kill with, something to distract with, something to unlock with. If the Bond game changes up the formula in terms of Hitman’s modular locations, the objects 007 utilizes should be more specific to each scenario, while still being as abundant. They should also serve multiple purposes, as the gadgets Bond brings onto a mission often do.

Those gadgets should be far more interesting than the pretty vanilla tech that Agent 47 is equipped with. Shock mines and rubber duck explosives feel like the work of Q, MI6’s purveyor of gadgets, in his early days. IO Interactive should think of some of the wilder tools in Bond’s arsenal and run with them.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hitman 3 created the groundwork for the ultimate Bond game, but its formula will require to be shaken, not stirred, in order to achieve that aspiration. Hopefully, IO Interactive can prove to be as innovative as it is iterative.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Caswell
Professional video producer and writer, gaming enthusiast, and streamer!
Everything we know about Hitman 3: Release date, locations, and VR support
Hitman 3

It’s hard to believe that the Hitman series is now 20 years old. The stealth action franchise spawned a dozen games, two movies, and even a successful mobile spinoff. Despite all that, the series has only taken off in recent years thanks to a 2016 reboot. After four years of momentum, the series’ next installment is poised to be its biggest yet and cement Hitman’s legacy. Here’s everything we know about Hitman 3.

HITMAN 3 - Announcement Trailer
Rounding out the trilogy
Hitman 3 is the last game in the World of Assassination trilogy, which started with 2016’s Hitman reboot. It’s a sandbox stealth action game where players head to a variety of open-ended locations and take on assassination missions.

Read more
Hitman 3 coming to Epic Games Store as a timed PC exclusive
Hitman 3

Hitman 3 is coming to PC, but with a catch. IO Interactive’s upcoming stealth game will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for 12 months when it launches in January.

IO Interactive announced the deal in a blog post which revealed new details about the game.

Read more
PlayStation has a secret weapon up its sleeve: the Hero Project
Three colorful PS5s float together in a line.

The video game industry is changing. As financial growth stagnates, companies like PlayStation have experimented with ways to adapt as markets and trends change. Where it was once able to rely on its first-party blockbusters to build and maintain an audience, it is looking more likely that it will need to invest in new strategies to prepare for the ways the industry is shifting. We see this with a bigger push into live-service and mobile games, but there's another initiative that isn't going to pay dividends in the near future but could set the groundwork for future success: the Hero Project.

Sony's Hero Project isn't a widely publicized or highlighted initiative -- even by PlayStation. Still, it's something every PlayStation owner should be aware of. It has the potential to be its secret weapon in the long run.
The world needs heroes
PlayStation's Hero Project is currently in its fourth iteration. Beginning in 2016, it kicked off with three rounds of the China Hero Project and has currently expanded to include the India Hero Project. The goal of these initiatives is to allow game developers from said countries to pitch their games directly to a special PlayStation committee. If accepted, Sony will then offer the team support with finances, technologies, marketing, and occasionally publishing.

Read more