Hitman 3 is heavy on lore. Despite all its disparate locations and genre sendups, the stealth action game is coherently linked together with a narrative through-line that pays off three games worth of plot. And no matter which of the game's several endings you pursue, it appears that the story could keep going in subsequent games.
Of course, that means there’s a lot to keep track of for new players or those who haven’t played Hitman or Hitman 2 in a while. All the shadowy organizations in play make the game’s ending especially difficult to parse on the first pass. Luckily, it’s all pretty easy to understand when it's laid out flat, so here’s a quick explainer of what happens in the game’s finale. Naturally, spoilers ahead.
The Hitman story so far
Here’s a quick refresher of the key things you need to know before the game’s last chapter: The World of Assassination trilogy is about Agent 47, a mysterious assassin who’s contracted to take out hits for the International Contract Agency. Working under Diana Burnwood, Agent 47 carries out a few seemingly unrelated hits. Soon, he discovers that the hits aren’t random at all; He’s been tasked with killing members of a secret organization called Providence, and another organization called the Shadow Client is handing down the orders.
Providence eventually convinces Burnwood to pull a 180 and hunt down the powerful Shadow Client instead, which is the primary plot of Hitman 2. Agent 47 agrees to the hit in exchange for information about his mysterious past. Long story short, Agent 47 does another flip and ends up teaming with the Shadow Client, his old friend Lucas Grey, to take down Providence. He eventually learns that Providence is controlled by three partners and a second-in-command called The Constant.
A man named Arthur Edwards is The Constant, and he orchestrates hits against the partners in an attempt to rebuild Providence. He also turns Burnwood against Agent 47 by revealing that the hitman assassinated her parents. Not only that, but Edwards offers Burnwood the Constant title alongside the intel.
Near the end of the game, it appears that she agrees to the deal. Burnwood turns on Agent 47 and knocks him out with a neurotoxin. Heading into the game’s final chapter, it seems like Burnwood has sided with Providence.
Hitman 3 ending explained
Of course, Hitman 3 is a game about deception.
As it turns out, this is all part of Burnwood’s plan. She hands Agent 47 over to Arthur Edwards, who plans to wipe Agent 47’s memory and turn him into a subservient killer. Edwards takes him onto a train to perform the procedure and Burnwood’s plan becomes clear: She played along with Edwards so she could get Agent 47 in an enclosed space with him.
Agent 47 wakes up and proceeds to kill his way through a train full of Providence members. Eventually, he works his way up to the front and comes face to face with Edwards himself. The player can either choose to kill him or simply wipe his memory here, but the outcome has the same result either way: Burnwood takes control of Providence.
She uses that power to destroy the organization from the inside, putting an end to it for good. Essentially, she pulled a long con that involved pretending to join Providence so that she could give Agent 47 an opportunity to strike. Clever.
The game ends with an epilogue that hints that the series isn’t over. One year later Agent 47 calls Burnwood to let her know he’s still in the assassination game. This time, his focus is taking out the people in power, presumably to stop more shady groups like Providence. While the Hitman series is likely on hiatus while IO Interactive moves on to its upcoming James Bond game, the door is wide open for more hits.
Hitman 3 secret ending explained
There's actually one more ending that can happen here, which changes things drastically. When given the option to take Edwards out, pick up the serum and don't do anything for about a minute. You'll eventually get the option to inject yourself with the serum instead. This will wipe away all Agent 47's memories.
If you do that, Agent 47 wakes up in a padded room. "Wake up my friend," a voice says. "It's the dawn of a new day and you have things to do."
Diehard fans will recognize that this is the exact opening of the original Hitman game, so Hitman 3 kind of brings everything full circle ... if you choose that option, that is. Either that or Agent 47 goes through a similar cycle to become an amnesiac assassin yet again.
No matter which version of the ending you accept as canon, the door is wide open for more Hitman games.
Hitman 3 is now available on all major platforms.