The time has finally come Hitman 3 has become Hitman: World of Assassination. In a comprehensive package, which now includes everything from Hitman 1, 2, and 3. If you already own Hitman 3, this upgrade is completely free. On top of that, this most recent update finally brings the release of the long-awaited Freelancer Mode.
Game Name: Hitman Freelancer
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S (reviewed), PC
Publisher(s): IO Interactive
Developer(s): IO Interactive
Release Date: January 26, 2023
What is Hitman: Freelancer
Freelancer is a new way to experience the world of Hitman. It takes everything we love about Hitman and says what if we made this our version of a rogue-like? It is great! In Freelancer, players have to take down various criminal syndicates in a series of increasingly difficult levels. Of course, with this being a rogue-like, you start with essentially nothing, instead, now you have to locate gear and currency while on the job.
This is Different!
While the core moment-to-moment gameplay is the same, Hitman Freelancer is a very different experience. Not only do you start your Freelancer campaign with nothing, but the way in which you get new gear is also different. You can still find some tools around the maps, especially if you’ve learned them well from the main campaign. You’ll quickly notice that less equipment is lying around in the Freelancer mode, well, don’t worry! There are some new ways to get gear and weapons. firstly, look for arms dealers, which you can find on the map. However, nothing is ever for free, and these will require Merces, the new currency introduced in Hitman Freelancer. You can gain merces in a few ways, mainly through completing missions and any bonus objectives you have. However, you can also earn them by disposing of couriers, as they always have some merces on them. If you have the time, you can also find caches or crack open safes as you search for gear and merces.
When choosing your campaign in Freelancer, read the dossier. I’d recommend checking both the maps and potential bonus objectives you could get. You want to have maps you are familiar with and bonus objectives that suit your style. Each campaign has a series of missions, progress far enough, and you will reach a showdown mission. These are the final missions for each campaign, with an added layer that involves finding your target based on a brief, using observation skills. Be careful, failing missions can be disastrous as you will lose half your merces and any weapons/gear you have on you at the time. Failing a standard mission doesn’t result in a game over, but it does put territories on high alert, making future missions more difficult. Be unlucky enough to fail a showdown mission and its campaign over. So take your time and plan accordingly.
Like the core Hitman experience, you’ll have a sense of progression in Freelancer, even when you fail. This is because Mastery still exists, but this time, it is Freelancer Mastery. As you progress, you will gain mastery levels, which is perhaps more important in Freelancer than in any other Hitman title. Not only will it unlock some customisation options for Agent 47’s new safehouse, but it will also allow you to do things like carry more gear into missions. This becomes extremely important as you have more weapons and gear available to you, some of which require more than one slot to carry.
So not only do you have a roguelike progression loop, but that loop uses the existing Hitman Mastery system in a way that makes sense allowing players always to feel progression as Mastery is permanent. It keeps me constantly wanting to come back for more.
Freelancer is a fantastic rogue-like in its own right, add that to an already exceptional base game, and this is the ultimate version of Hitman.
It provides a new level of challenge for experienced players, though, for new players, I’d definitely recommend jumping into the base game mode first. You’ll just make things harder for yourself if you don’t! Once you get the hang of it, each run of Freelancer feels unique and meaningful. It gives Hitman a new dimension, the risk vs reward makes every decision more meaningful, with another level of replayability. I can’t wait to play more as I build towards the perfect run, in this, as close as it gets to a perfect game.
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Hitman: Freelancer Update Review - Improving A Masterpiece
The Ultimate Hitman Experience
Freelancer is a fantastic rogue-like in its own right, add that to an already exceptional base game and this is the ultimate version of Hitman. It gives Hitman a new dimension, the risk vs reward makes every decision more meaningful, with another level of replayability. I can’t wait to play more as I build towards the perfect run, in this as close as it gets to a perfect game.
- A Fresh New Way to Play
- Highly Replayable
- Excellent Progression
- Risk vs. Reward Gameplay
- Clever implementation of rogue-like elements
- Freelancer assumes you’ve previously played prior Hitman games
- Hitman Freelancer Update Review - Improving A Masterpiece