Welcome to a new era of gaming. The coronavirus pandemic, now entering its second year, has killed over 2 million people and infected almost 100 million. It upended the global economy, emptied Microsoft HQ of developers, killed cosplayers, delayed games, introduced a new mask-based fashion trend, and prompted at least one developer to take a bizarrely neutral stance on vaccines.
And now it’s in our games too.
In the first level of Hitman 3, “On Top of the World,” you can hear target Carl Ingram mutter: I bet the people with coronavirus get more tranquility than this.” And then you can kill him, silencing his coronavirus quip and rendering him eternally tranquil.
So yeah, COVID-19 exists in the world of Hitman 3, even though nobody seems to do anything about it. Nobody is wearing masks, nobody is socially distant, and Agent-47 seems especially cavalier about all the blood that he’s spraying everywhere. Although given you can go through the first level in about 17 seconds, that’s basically not even enough time to qualify as an exposure.
Hitman 3 isn’t the first to acknowledge the existence of COVID-19. That honor goes to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, where Layla Hassan writes a letter where she reveals that she’s COVID-free and is well isolated.
After Valhalla came Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and Watch Dogs: Legion, which both mention the coronavirus, along with NKA 2K21’s announcers talking about it in the commentary. WoW: Shadlowlands didn’t have an overt reference, but there is a doctor that insists you were a mask before traveling.
Hitman 3 had the biggest digital launch in franchise history, according to a Twitter post from developer IO Interactive. It also came with a whole bunch of positive reviews, which mirrors our very own Kirk McKeand’s four stars out of five.
Next: Upcoming Warner Bros Games Will “Focus On Live Service”
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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.
The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.
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