One of my favorite aspects of Hitman 3 is how it has become a singular location for the entire “World of Assassination” trilogy — if you own all three games on one platform, you can access any of their missions from within Hitman 3. It makes World of Assassination an actual mechanic rather than just a subtitle for IO Interactive’s games.
Google’s streaming video game service Stadia takes things to the next level with its “save state” feature. When playing the game on Stadia, a player simply has to take a screenshot or video capture of their game, and the service ties all of their current settings to that image. It will then generate a link they can send to a fellow Stadia player, and when they open it, they are given the option to play that save state.
What does that mean for Hitman? The game is designed for multiple replays — missions can be tackled repeatedly, as players choose a different loadout and difficulty setting every time to slightly alter the experience. When another player opens a save state link, it immediately kicks them to the start of the level featured in the captured screenshot, along with whatever outfit, location, and starting gear has been chosen.
For example, I started out the opening Dubai mission from Hitman 3 in the briefing room of the skyscraper featured in the level, with Agent 47 dressed as one of the building’s staff. I had also smuggled some grenades into the kitchen trash if things ever got heated. Using the Stadia controller, I took a screenshot much like I would on any other modern console controller.
When I sent the link to the screenshot to my co-worker and they opened it up, it gave them the option to play my save state. Once they chose it, the game immediately opened up at the beginning of that scenario. This works for every level in the entire Hitman trilogy, with the first two games bundled into the Stadia Pro subscription, making this an incredibly fun extra feature for those who subscribe to service. If you have Hitman 3 on Stadia, and would like to try out this exact scenario for yourself, you can click right here.
Stadia has stumbled since its launch, and the forward-thinking exclusive features it touted at its debut have slowly trickled out. Unfortunately, its precedent of shortcomings has eclipsed some genuinely interesting developments, but I hope this save state feature breaks that pattern. Watching it work in real time is kind of magical, and it doesn’t feel like a gimmick — it’s a genuine reason to not only play Hitman 3 on Stadia, but to check out the Pro subscription and fill out the rest of the trilogy. The more people that play Hitman on Stadia, the more useful that save state feature becomes.