Hitman: Absolution Review: A Sneaky Affair

Hitman: Absolution Review: A Sneaky Affair

Hitman Absolution Preview

Hitman: Absolution was a much anticipated game published by Square-Enix and developed by IO Interactive. Fans of the series have had to wait a long time since the last installment, Hitman: Blood Money was released in 2006. The new installment of Hitman picks up where Blood Money left off with a couple of twists and turns. So does Hitman: Absolution capture the old madness of Hitman: Blood Money? Or does Agent 47 get caught while trying to sneak by consumers.

Hitman: Absolution Review

I should preface this review by saying that Hitman: Blood Money was one of my favorite games of 2006. Leading up to the launch of Hitman: Absolution I was super excited. With the release of the Saints trailer, a lot of fans, including I had our suspicians. Hitman: Absolution in the long run, I feel, focuses on tits and swearing more than it did on gore and, more damning, gameplay.

There is no doubt that this is a Hitman game. There is still stealth to be had, dudes to choke with a garrote wire and insane accidental kills to eliminate your targets with. They have refined the series mechanics in a way that is a little bit more enjoyable to play. While the garrote in past Hitman games are hard to use, this iteration makes it more of a useful tool. Sneaking around and staying hidden is also a lot easier to do with with some on screen notifications and sticky cover that works really well.

One gameplay mechanic that has changed for the bad however is the disguise system. Before if you picked up a guard outfit, you were good to go. In Hitman: Absolution this is not necessarily true. Any guard wearing the same outfit will recognize you almost immediately as not one of their com padres. This means moving into the next room, and getting by defenses is a lot harder than in past games. Some people will say this is more realistic. I, however, just thought that it made the game less fun. One of the greatest things about past Hitman games was finding the perfect disguise to get you past each section, and this one it is just more effective to sneak by everyone.

Another thing that bothered me while playing the game was the cut scenes. There seemed to be a big focus on sex and swearing in almost every single one of them, even to the point of it being weird. I don’t know what they were trying to prove. That they were a gritty game? The kills themselves get that across just fine enough. One of the main antagonists would swear profusely for pretty much no reason at all. It was just off putting and excessive after a while.

Other than the swearing and excessive sexual theme, the story and cut scenes were pretty enjoyable. You are motivated by something different in Hitman: Absolution than you have been in the past. The new Agent 47 has some feelings, not a whole lot, but some and this is a nice change. They give motivation to the character so that he is not just a mindless killing machine, but doing his job for a reason. I think this was a smart move and kind of weird considering the focus on superfluous violence that is usually a staple of the franchise.

The graphics all around are good. The detail in characters allows you to identify targets in a meaningful ways. Square and IO Interactive wasted no time or money giving players a real cinematic experience. Tons of well known voice actors were used in the cast to give players the best acting experience they could buy and it shows. Also when a major event happens, changing Agent 47, it is reflected in the character model. Seeing the outfits and his physical appearance change gives you a better sense of immersion and a better sense of being a real part of the Hitman Universe.

Being immersed in the universe is a good thing, because if you grab Hitman: Absolution you will probably be playing for quite a while. With 20 single player missions alone the campaign is huge. There are tons of ways to tackle each situation with multiple different play styles available. If you want to run through a group of guys, unloading clips and being a bad ass, you can do that. If you want to get the silent assassin rating though countless hours will be dumped into finding exactly the best routs and kill sequences to take out your enemies with care.

After finishing up the campaign there is still a ton of content to go through. There is a whole separate game mode called contracts. These contracts are player made, unique hits, that players can sort through and make themselves to challenge one another. After completing a few of them, people can really get creative with the systems that are in place in the Hitman: Absolution engine. Pick your targets wisely and challenge your friends to do it better than you did for assassinating fun.

All around the package is good. A couple of things here and there like the disguises and the focus on expletives and sex however, keep this game from being a great Hitman game. It just seems like the whole focus for this game was to hit as wide of an audience as possible and it might just do that. But for fans of the Hitman games from the past, they may not get the game they were expecting. Keep and open mind if you have the $60 to drop for it and I’m sure you will have a good time.

This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Hitman: Absolution