The developers at IO Interactive seem to enjoy having fun with each entry in the Hitman series from the very first game released in 2000 to the current title Hitman 3. Each game always has tons of Easter eggs for fans to uncover. Some of which allude to TV, film, and books, and there are others that will make references to the series lore.
It’s refreshing that a game on the surface appears to be dark and brooding isn’t afraid to have a sense of humor. With each level being a huge sandbox for players to explore, it’s likely that there will be a lot more Easter eggs being discovered in Hitman 3 for a long time to come. In the meantime, here are 10 of the best that have already been uncovered.
10 The Return Of Potato Jesus
The “Potato Jesus” painting is a reference to a botched restoration job performed by an amateur – allegedly without the permission of the church – on a revered painting by Elias Garcia Martinez known as “Behold the Man”.
In typical internet fashion, the Potato Jesus quickly became a meme finding its way into several forms of media which include the Hitman franchise. It first appeared in the Sapienza level during Hitman 2 and it appears again in Hitman 3 in the Berlin level.
9 The Lord Of The Rings
One of the more surprising Easter eggs to appear in Hitman 3 is the reference to The Lord of the Rings books and movie franchise. The fifth location in the Mendoza vineyard requires Agent 47 to find his way into the retirement of a respected lawyer.
However, the entrance is heavily guarded and 47 won’t just be able to walk in through the front door without challenge. The sign next to the guard reads “no admittance, except on party business” which is part of the same message that Bilbo Baggins has at his front gate during his birthday party.
8 Knives Out
The Dartmoor level in Hitman 3 is by far one of the best in the entire franchise, which includes the titles that precede the World of Assassination trilogy. It takes Agent 47 into a murder mystery that’s very reminiscent of the film Knives Out, which itself is a nod to classic whodunnit films and TV shows like Poirot.
From the outset, the reference to Knives Out is obvious as just like the film, 47 has been hired by an anonymous benefactor to find out who the murderer is. There is also a baseball that can be found outside the mansion just like the one in the film that has been thrown out of the window by the Richard Drysdale character played by Don Johnson.
7 Developer QR Code
The developers at IO love dropping in references and allusions to the things in pop culture that they love. This time, however, they’ve added in a little well-deserved nod to themselves in the Chongqing mission.
During this mission, there is a man with a QR code on the back of his head. Get Agent 47 to scan his head with the Camera and an image of the developers will pop up. Whether this was intended as an in-joke or a tribute to the hard work that has gone into this fantastic series the developers at the studio deserve all the recognition in the world for one of the best trilogies in gaming.
6 Freedom Fighters
Released in 2003, the action game Freedom Fighters was a popular action game developed by IO Interactive. The game was already referenced once in the Colorado mission from Hitman 2, but the reference in Hitman 3 is a little more subtle.
During the Berlin mission and in Chongqing there are arcade machines for the Freedom Fighters game. The logo and the character art depicted on the machines is exactly as it was back in 2003. Hopefully, this means that Freedom Fighters could make a return one day.
5 The X-Files
When taking the overarching plot of the Hitman series into consideration, it’s obvious that the developers at IO Interactive have a level of enjoyment for including secret shadow organizations and government cover-ups in the storylines.
One of the first TV shows to popularise this was The X-Files starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder respectively, and there’s an Easter egg in Hitman 3 to celebrate it. In the Berlin mission, there are walls covered in graffiti with one section that depicts a UFO along with the number 1993 and a telephone. 1993 was the year that the X-Files launched on network television. Once found, use 47’s camera on the graffiti, then keep an eye out for a phone booth that requires a four-digit code type in 1993 and enjoy the secret X-Files-inspired exit.
4 The Lee Hong Pawn Shop
Eagle-eyed Hitman fans that have been playing the games since the original game Hitman: Codename 47 or Hitman: Contracts will remember the missions that included the Triad boss Lee Hong. Lee Hong also happens to be one of Agent 47’s so-called Five Fathers.
The Five Fathers the five men that donated their genetic code creating Agent 47 and the other clones. In Contracts, Hong was eventually assassinated by 47 but his legacy still lives on in Hitman 3 as his name can be seen displayed in neon lights during the Chongqing missions.
3 The Swing King
Hitman: Blood Money remains one of the best entries in the entire franchise. The very first main target in that game was Joseph Clarence, an amusement park owner that was also known as the “Swing King”.
The amusement park was used as a location to cover up a drug-smuggling operation that he was involved with and was eventually killed by Agent 47. In the Berlin mission, there is more graffiti on the wall that alludes to the now-deceased Swing King.
2 Spongebob In The Bath
In Hitman 3 the Spongebob Squarepants reference makes a return. The original allusion to the cartoon character was made in the Miami mission during Hitman 2 in a fish tank that is represented by a pineapple accompanying a sponge.
In Berlin, there’s a room containing a pretty disgusting looking bath filled with filthy water. If players examine the water very closely, however, they will notice that there is another pineapple coupled with a sponge hidden in there.
1 Untitled Goose Game
While it’s very easy to compare stealth games like Sniper Elite 4 and Metal Gear Solid to the Hitman series, one of the closest games in terms of gameplay and exploration was surprisingly Untitled Goose Game.
The developers of Untitled Goose Game have openly admitted that their game was inspired by Mario 64 and of course, the Hitman series. In terms of causing all kinds of environmental shenanigans, the parallels between the two games are definitely evident. IO Interactive must have noticed this too as they included a no Geese allowed reference in the Berlin mission.