Hitman: Absolution review (PC)

GoldenRimz | 663d ago | User review
Reviewing: Hitman: Absolution
The "this time -- it's personal" cliche fits better than ever. 360, PS3, and PC gamers click here!
“Nothing could piss on this day!” – Guard before he took his daily afternoon window dive.

Hitman: Absolution is the first Hitman game I’ve played, and it’s left a relatively positive mark on me. There isn’t much to say about the story as you spend the game chasing after a little girl, but there are memorable characters. The game’s main antagonists hilariously mirror one another in the way they operate, look, and fail. As Agent 47, you work to do what you were designed to do – the impossible.

A friend of mine (yes, the same one from the last review, don't judge me) once described his first impression of this game as “trial and error.” He should probably start writing these reviews because that epitomizes Absolution. Many of these levels are filled with scattered puzzle pieces. Certain things you find and do can lead to “signature” kills for discretion and bonus points, but they’re extremely circumstantial. For instance, in one level, you find a set of wires, use a wrench to expose the circuitry, and turn on a generator so a guard electrocutes himself when he goes to take a piss.

How was I supposed to know he was going to take a piss? I probably wasn’t: Trial and error.

Absolution plays a lot like Splinter Cell. There’s a huge emphasis on the “stealth” element and you’ll spend most of your time crouched behind walls. The only difference is that instead of interrogating guards, you’re choking them out with a string of piano wire and stuffing them in a random closet. Aside from the assiduously detailed graphics, one major pro of Hitman is that it plays into its own surrealism by allowing players to work with 47’s ‘instincts.’ These are presented in a meter that gives players a special edge over their adversaries, and best of all, using the visuals it provides alone comes (mostly) without consequence.

Agent 47’s instincts give you a special visual mode that allows him to see guards through walls, predetermine where they’ll walk and spot important elements of each mission. Some of these are entry points and some of these are things you have to sabotage that you have no idea why you’re sabotaging. That’s where patience comes in. It’s your biggest weapon, and stalking guards during their patterns usually clarifies why each element is important. Seeing as guards do their rounds (my spidey senses aren’t too good with people’s bladders), they’ll probably do the same things over again. Even pissing.

One thing I like about the game is that you don’t have to do things the way it tells you to. You can create distractions and silently choke guards to death, scout out walking patterns and wait until they're correctly positioned to sneak up on them, or just break out your silenced handguns and pick them off. Assuming you choose the latter, one of your options is “point shooting,” a mechanic that taps into the true genetically enhanced badassery that is Agent 47. You stop time, quickly aim and tag your targets before your instinct meter runs out. Once you do that, you sit back and watch an awesome cutscene of 47 doing the dirty work.

Of course, while all of these things are cool, Absolution isn’t a game without flaws. With the point system, you’re penalized for knocking people out (because pacification is apparently a bad thing) and you’re penalized for killing people. The game can’t make up its mind. It promotes killing creatively on targets but killing guards (who you’ll sometimes find more practical to kill than sneak by) is apparently a bad thing. These are the same guards who would shoot you in a heartbeat. The only way to negate the penalty is by silently killing them and hiding their bodies (o glorious hypocrisy), which is also contradictory in the sense of demoting the player's ability to choose -- a feature the game advertises.

Some of the button inputs can be irritating. For instance, the same button used to hide bodies is used to pick up weapons. Guards tend to drop weapons the moment you kill them, so if you happen to strike near where you have to hide the body then you may find yourself trapped in a loop of switching weapons instead of stashing corpses. The "blending" feature is automatic when in disguise, so if you're crouching and using instinct to look at your enemies in bad environments then Agent 47 has a nasty tendency of randomly standing up when he's too close to someone. Fortunately,the blend feature automatically gets rid of heat so 47's spontaneous logic of 'OMG ACT NATURAL' seems to register well with everyone.

Nevertheless, with the new disguise system, Absolution is a game that takes the element of surprise very seriously. With Agent 47’s instincts, you’re capable of sneaking by guards and abandoning your rouse the moment their eyes are off you – a thing I had to learn myself. I was more accustomed to recklessly burning through meter but once you've played for a while you realize that guards stop noticing you when you pass (the game does a crappy job of explaining this). Unless you’re in a completely different disguise than the guards around you, you’re bound to get noticed; many times trying to blend in with the current set of guards is useless. It doesn’t do much to reduce the heat on you so the real challenge is finding an outfit of someone else who needs to be there but isn’t there in excess.

In other words, if there are plumbers and everyone around you is a guard, then get handy with a plunger.

Challenging, but realistic.

And that's how I summarize my adventures with Agent 47. While sneaking through levels and constantly reattempting individual segments became redundant, I'm still glad I got to enjoy the overall experience. Absolution is great. If you're looking for a solid game, then Hitman: Absolution is something worth trying, but don't hold your breath for anything amazing. For the good and the bad, you can expect this to be a challenging game that doesn't follow the commonplace doctrine of "easy gameplay, good impression." Like me, you'll probably get bored with essentially doing the same things over and over again with drastically different level design, but that doesn't necessarily make Hitman a bad game. While Absolution will challenge you and frustrate you to the point of cursing at the screen -- but you can at least take comfort in the fact that it does so the right way.

In the end, like me, you'll likely remember Absolution as a rewarding experience, if you remember it at all.
Ups
Amazing graphics
Great stealth elements
Solid combat system
Downs
A bit repetitive
"Trial and error"
Score
9.0
Graphics Each environment is well-developed. Absolution meets and slightly surpasses the expectations for most seventh generation games with its weather system. Everything is designed with a meticulous attention to detail, which helps to pull you even further into the game and its universe.
9.0
Sound I rate the sound so high because the voice acting in this game incredible. Agent 47 hangs around some serious scumbags and the way each character is voiced does extremely well to depict that. The chatter and old acoustic music you hear around bars does very well to put you directly into each level.
7.5
Gameplay Hitman falls a little short in this area. While I certainly love the mixture of environments the game presents, you're essentially doing a lot of the same things in different ways. Absolution is gritty stealth -- sneaking through environments, maneuvering past enemies. Not much more than that.
6.7
Fun factor Hitman is fun but after a few levels you want to play something else. This game gets a little bit redundant and that can be a huge disadvantage. Absolution is good in hour-long bursts but once you play it too long its purpose is served. There is also a lack of replay value.
0.0
Online
7.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Ducky  +   661d ago
"The game can’t make up its mind. It promotes killing creatively on targets but killing guards (who you’ll sometimes find more practical to kill than sneak by) is apparently a bad thing."

This is what being an assassin is all about. You must be like a ghost which only strikes the target and leaves everything else unchanged.
It is more challenging that way. When you take the easy way out by just neutralizing a pesky guard and leaving their body in the open, then you're penalized accordingly.

You can still do the mission however you please, you'll just end with a lower score by being more reckless. The score is used as a comparison to other players, and is there as a competitive incentive to encourage players to strive for the cleanest kill.
#1 (Edited 661d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
-GametimeUK-  +   660d ago
Agree completely here. I'm not very score obsessed in these sort of games. I judge my own actions. If I want to leave a trail of bodies, but remain undetected just to make a point then I will. If I want to be as clean as possible I will. I like the diverse options the Hitman series gives me.

Having said that, I am speaking purely about Blood Money. It is the only one I have played and I purchased it recently at that. I assume this Hitman stays close to the formula. I am undecided on if this game is worth my time.

Currently LOVING Blood Money!
Ducky  +   660d ago
Absolution's formula is pretty different from BloodMoney.

BloodMoney gives a lot of freedom to explore the environment freely.
In Absolution, almost everyone is suspicious, and you have to be stealthy if you want to explore. It is more stylish, but also more restrictive. You have to play it in a different mindset than BloodMoney.

You might be better off playing the older Hitman games (Contracts and SilentAssassin), since Absolution is kind of a mix between the two. It has the difficulty of SA, with the level design of Contracts.
#1.1.1 (Edited 660d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
Valenka  +   660d ago
You didn't even give a rating for or even discuss the Contracts mode.
2pacalypsenow  +   636d ago
Its Probably the worst of the Series . It has way too many graphics glitches At least with my nvidia GTX 690 , I couldn't use msaa because the game would crash , also sometimes it shows a black screen at start up making me use Shift-tab to fix it also No 5.1 audio on PC, The game penalizes you for doing what an Assassin Does "KILL" .Its still a bad ass game tho and it has Really Nice graphics minus the highly compressed Videos ,but too much change from the original formula, it feels like a Splinter cell game and not the good splinter cell ones . Also i miss the Jesper kyd music
#3 (Edited 636d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Anthonyii  +   635d ago
I did not get many graphics glitches on the ps3 version.You can also get your points back if you kill non-target civilian silently and then hide the body but that might be taken out of the PC version-I do not know.
Anthonyii  +   635d ago
**I mean kill non-target,non-civilian silently:)
Anthonyii  +   635d ago
The reaction to this game is so mixed it is amazing! I kinda disagree with the game being repetitive I thought it was the complete opposite of that. You can say the same thing of most other games. COD 4- shoot kill, MGS4- sneak on your ass then boss fight, GTA 4- party with your homies, complete a mission by shooting and then driving from the cops, Uncharted shoot,jump,solve puzzle and kill. Hitman Absolution is like either shoot kill or knock someone out, put them in a closet, take their clothes, then when you are in a group hide your identity, distract them with something, and each level has different case scenarios depending on the environment.I also disagree that it has little re-playability value. My first impression of the game when I first pressed select(PS3 version) to see the many ways of killing the King of Chinatown(I said to myself O man I am definitely going to play this game again) since you get added points from the different kill thanks to the point system-throughout the entire game. Compared to the games I have played this year (Portal 2, Uncharted 3, Max Payne 3, and GTA IV) I have to say I have played Hitman:Absolution more times than any of these games since Hitman:Absolution gives you more incentive to play again and again. But whatever fits your 'gaming libido'.
Anthonyii  +   635d ago
There might be some truth as to why the ps3 version had the best score for Hitman:Absolution. I do not know-but I think it is interesting to add.
Anthonyii  +   635d ago
Re
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#4.2 (Edited 635d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

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Hitman: Absolution

Average Score 7.9 Reviews(208)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
JP 2011
US 20 November 2012
EU 20 November 2012
AU 20 November 2012
PS3 Release Dates
EU 20 November 2012
AU 20 November 2012
US 20 November 2012
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 20 November 2012
EU 20 November 2012
AU 20 November 2012