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Hitman: Absolution review (PS3)

Anthonyii | 1145d ago | User review
Reviewing: Hitman: Absolution
Hitman: Absolution - The tightest game I have played all year.
Being a fan of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Contracts, and of course the deep but fairly accessible fan favorite - Hitman: Blood Money on the PS2. I was surprised when I first heard that a new Hitman game was announced especially after I thought IO- interactive pulled the plug on the entire series. It is almost like in all of the games- usually the main antagonist would think that Agent 47 is dead or some legend, but then soon discover the Hitman. So I was very excited for this game to come out after six year of mostly playing so-called GOTY shooters(that require no real critical thinking as required in the Hitman games- I have to add this red herring Hitman: Blood Money was so intense it made my palms sweat). So does Hitman: Absolution live up to the series cult classic status? Yes. To me this game is so well-balanced so pure that no critic could give this game a perfect score because it reflects themselves and usually people could like themselves only to a certain point. Maybe that is not the case, but the point is that Hitman: Absolution is definitely its own special thing and the perfect treat for fans. Now on to the review...

You are off to kill your first contract WONTREVEALSPOILER who compromised the agency (Hitman worked for) for some reason. The gameplay is at WONTREVEALSPOILER's mansion and the contract was placed by the now on the run agency. I find that the beginning could be a little troublesome for newcomers of the series. You would be asking who, what, when, what the hell do I do questions about the gameplay and story. The who, what, when are not as bad as newcomers playing Metal Gear Solid 4 but it would help if you played Hitman: Contracts and Blood Money. The opening tutorial did not make the game fresh for newcomers like Blood Money. But for experienced Hitman players, who cares about the tutorial?

If you are new to the series it is important to know that there are more than one ways of completing a mission. It is thrilling to play the game to maintain the highest score (known as the Silent Assassin rating). The new addition to this rating system is that you get to compare scores to the average World or U.S. score and get to see the highest scores a single person achieved per mission. And yes this is very well integrated in the single player game. This is the best scoring system out of all the Hitman games. The re-playability is so high it made me want to replay a mission every time I get spotted so I could compete in the rankings. I played the game twice and now almost finished with my third play-through and I still want more. The game gives the player a good sense of confinement in an open-world environment. This is what I believe most modern games can learn from. Every level is broken into pieces (though rather large pieces I might add) which enables the player to experiment with new ways of infiltrating or assassinating a target. The level of balance in the game alone is genius and unlike anything I have played before.

This is a stealth action game. Well experienced players rarely need to use weapons like (guns or explosives) but you could choose how you want to play. The Hitman is always equipped with his trademark silver-ballers, fiber-wire (for silent kills), and sometimes a beer bottle. You can pick up random stuff depending on your environment like a wrench, chef's knife, screwdriver, other nice weapons etc... You can dress up in disguises also to fool people. An IGN review pointed out that the new edition to the disguise system is flawed but in my opinion it is more realistic and inspired from elements of Silent Assassin. Like if you are dressed as a cop and then would walk closely to other cops they would soon recognize you as not being one of them unless you use your instinct mode to cover your face or use a trouble area to blend in (standing next to a carton of donuts- to make yourself look like you are eating donuts). A cool feature from Blood Money is that you get to throw objects (non-weapons or a knife) to distract people so you can sneak past them, is also in Absolution. Another big difference in the game is that viewing the maps are gone (and replaced with instinct mode). This may or may not be a big deal to some Hitman players but more important to other Hitman players. To me I did not see it as a big deal.

Graphics are on par and there is nothing visually distracting. The soundtrack is strong and haunting like the previous Hitman games but I would like to hear Jesper Kyd's rendition of the Hitman: Absolution soundtrack.

Overall the game feels like Silent Assassin in the story department (sometimes aesthetically), Contracts in the aesthetic department, and Blood Money on steroids in the gameplay department. It is a very fine blend of these elements and to me this is the overlooked game of the year.
Gameplay is the shining point in the game- not the cutscenes
Scoring system well integrated into the single-player
Level-design is off the wall
Maybe inaccessible to beginners
Jesper Kyd did not compose the soundtrack
Graphics Mostly visually perfect and drop dead gorgeous. Of course sometimes I see some imperfections like a cup suspended in air- which you will see only in the first level but rarely in the later levels. But never did I see a game not have their faults.
Sound Another of the shining moments in the whole series is the sound effects and soundtrack. Fans will flip when they hear opera later in the end of the game. But I wanted Jesper Kyd to compose it. Listen to the Silent Assassin soundtrack and you will know why I am bitchin' about it.
Gameplay You cannot get better than this. It is like hearing a virtuoso musician but in game form. Always different case scenarios to try out.
Fun factor Did I say the gameplay was good?
Online Well integrated in the story mode nuff said. I have not played contracts mode yet. Sorry.
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Derekvinyard13  +   1145d ago
Dam i didn't know jesper didn't do the soundtrack for this one! he was great blood money had an amazing soundtrack. shit that sucks
Eiffel  +   1144d ago
The scoring system is not well integrated into the single-player. It's obnoxiously annoying by taking up 1/3rd of the whole screen, convoluted and deters from players playing by their own style, forcing players who want a 100% to play by the developer's way, which for an open free choice game is beyond stupid. I've been penalized for being a pacifist by not killing a non-target enemy, choosing to subdue him. That makes absolutely no sense.

This game is far from a 10, I'd go as far as to label it the weakest Hitman since Contracts. An actual detailed story this time around doesn't do the gameplay justice. A definite step back for the franchise.
#2 (Edited 1144d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Ducky  +   1144d ago
You get penalized for taking down any non-target NPC. You just get a smaller penalty for subduing them, and that penalty goes away if you hide the body.
Anthonyii  +   1144d ago
You can get your pacification score back if you hide the body in a container. I did not see the score system that annoying.
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Anthonyii  +   1144d ago
You still have a good point! I guess I am one of the players that did not see it annoying. Is there an option to turn off the score system though?
Eiffel  +   1144d ago
I went through the options and did not see it, the only way to not get it is to play the game on purist difficulty, which for anyone who can't stand the score system is gonna be kinda screwed if they dive into the levels without learning them the first time. It'll be one big trial and error continuously.
#4.1 (Edited 1144d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
2pacalypsenow  +   1143d ago
Hate the Point system
#5 (Edited 1143d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
bunfighterii  +   1138d ago
What kills this game for me is the game breaking console save corruption glitch. It's stopped my progress 4 times now, and killed my vibe with it. Worst is IO haven't fixed it yet.

Damn shame because I was loving the gameplay, agree with your review otherwise.
Anthonyii  +   1138d ago
That sucks! Maybe your game is defective-because I did not get the corruption glitch at all(though I did hear about it). Did you try returning the game to get a non-defective copy?
#7 (Edited 1138d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
bunfighterii  +   1138d ago
It's not something that'll be solved by getting a different disc, it's a software error- head over to the Hitman forums at the official site, many threads dedicated to this issue.

It seems to only affect consoles. I'm on PS3. It usually happens when you restart from a checkpoint, the game crashes to a black screen forcing you to restart your system. On turning it back on you'll find the game no longer recognises your save.

The first time it happened to me, I wasn't far into the game, but the second third and fourth times, I have some seriously progress, only to have it wiped. There was as patch that claimed to fix it but it didn't, and some people even claim it's made it worse.

Real shame, because I love Hitman and love playing this game when I get to.

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Hitman: Absolution

Average Score 8.1 Reviews(200)