Hitman: Absolution review (Xbox 360)

Parable | 662d ago | User review
Reviewing: Hitman: Absolution
Has Agent 47 still got the skills to remain as deadly as he once was in Hitman: Absolution?
If you were to ever discuss the Hitman video-game series with friends who have played it or long term fans, the first thing they will most likely discuss is what they had done during a mission. They would talk in graphic detail of how they stalked their victim to a remote location and snapped his neck, while others “strategically” thought about how they removed of their target and make it look like an unfortunate accident. No matter how savage or simple it was done, Hitman’s reputation has always been centred on how a player can deal with their target and escape unnoticed. Sadly however, the same cannot be said for Hitman Absolution.

The primary and most obvious problem with Hitman Absolution immediately strikes at you in the opening credits when you start the game; they have given Agent 47 an emotional attachment to his first hit in the game and in return, agrees to provide her with one last favour. You are meant to be Agent 47, the cold calculating killer. The man with a silent presence, one that has never raised his voice or spoken out of place; a man who has spent his life specialising and slaughtering men and women for large sums of money to suddenly develop feelings does not mould well with the game. You could argue that this is needed development for the series, a turning point in 47’s life or you could remember that the man is a genetically enhanced killing machine!

With the games focus directed towards Agent 47’s new found emotions, so are the missions. Instead of traditional hits which have you target rich sleazes and often dangerous corporate figure heads you are instead fighting off anyone who may harm the girl in which you agreed to protect. These kills in return don’t feel rewarding as a majority of them are low-tier thugs or crooks that Agent 47 would have normally just walked by in previous instalments in the series.

The targets themselves during missions are far too obvious and easy to find as the game itself seems stuck in a small rotation. One example of this which happens very early on in the game has you eliminate someone who considers himself the “King of Chinatown”, who will forever circulate the small market stalls, occasionally stopping in isolated areas to complete a shady deal. If with the right equipped disguise, you could intentionally follow him around until the route is reset to the very beginning. This isn’t a one off thing or done to build the players confidence so 47 achieves the hit, this happens with every mission in-game no matter how high-profile the target is.

What really drags down these missions are not the environments in which they take place in, but what little space they provide to players. While there is no denying that what is put on display really is quite outstanding from a visual stand point, is perhaps, possibly, there is very little on offer for the players. Unlike previous Hitman games, you are provided with very few entry points to engage in and the ones that do, will all interconnect with others.

When you aren't smashing in skulls and pushing unaware victims to their death, you will also spend a large part of Hitman fleeing and hiding from the police. Naturally you can engage in attacking the police officers one by one, however by the time you obtain the uniform of unsuspecting victim you can with ease waltz by everyone other officer you encounter thanks to the new “Instinct” mode which allows you to see when enemies are looking at you or the paths they are about to take. Who knew that by tipping your hat for a few steps could honestly have you walk past an entire swat team? “Instinct” mode takes what was once a challenging aspect to the series and removes it completely with a click of a button.

Also bundled into Hitman Absolution we have a free multiplayer mode entitled “Contracts” which allows you to customise and create your own personal missions for friends or the entire world to take part in. However in order for you to set up these contracts, you must first be able to complete them yourself. Although you can have some fun with this by having Agent 47 murder someone with a Sledgehammer whilst dressed up as a Mascot, the mode itself is very limited and the sense of true creative freedom feels very limited as you are unable to add any weapons or disguises into the environment, all of which you will have seen from Single-player.

Overall:
Agent 47’s years away from action has seen his aim become somewhat sloppy and poorly timed, shooting down concepts and key-game play elements that made the series so enjoyable. Removing the iconic bald headed Hitman from this game and replacing him with a generic character model, leaving a majority of this game untouched could have easily resulted in the same result for IO. There are obvious ideas and concepts that work and it’s was a noble effort, but using the reputation of the Hitman series was a bad idea. Agent 47 might have been able to escape this time, but not in the way he would have wanted.
Ups
Amazing Visuals
Great Voice Acting
Well Written Dialog
Downs
Bland Missions
Cramped Locations
Multiplayer Feels Forced
Score
7.5
Graphics
6.0
Sound
5.0
Gameplay
5.0
Fun factor
4.0
Online
6.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
xPhearR3dx  +   660d ago
Sorry, but I'm not buying into this review. You list a pro as "Amazing Visuals" then give the graphics a 7.5? Amazing sounds more like a 9-10.

"One example of this which happens very early on in the game has you eliminate someone who considers himself the “King of Chinatown”, who will forever circulate the small market stalls, occasionally stopping in isolated areas to complete a shady deal. If with the right equipped disguise, you could intentionally follow him around until the route is reset to the very beginning"

This has been in every Hitman game. Remember the casino in Blood Money? The target is in a loop, same with the target in "A New Life". The King of Chinatown specifically is much easier due to it being the first sandbox map in the game (Plus its the second mission) and the game still showing you how to play. Later targets are not as easy to just follow around, especially targets who are heavily guarded.

"“Instinct” mode takes what was once a challenging aspect to the series and removes it completely with a click of a button. "

You can turn it off. If you want a challenge, play on Purist mode, there's a reason it's there. In fact, that difficultly is more challenging than anything in previous titles. No mini-map, no hints, no hud, nothing.

"However in order for you to set up these contracts, you must first be able to complete them yourself. Although you can have some fun with this by having Agent 47 murder someone with a Sledgehammer whilst dressed up as a Mascot, the mode itself is very limited and the sense of true creative freedom feels very limited as you are unable to add any weapons or disguises into the environment, all of which you will have seen from Single-player. "

It's like that for a reason. If you didn't have to play them first, people would make impossible contract conditions and you would spend hours going through crappy contracts to find legit ones. And not adding weapons or disguises to the environment is false. Before you make the contract it lets you select the starting weapon and disguise. Sure, specifically placing weapons within the map would have been nice, but the same for disguises is pointless. Adding a Chicago police uniform to a South Dakota map is pointless. If you want to do something like kill everyone in a chicken suit, you can do that by making it the starting disguise, then switching it up halfway through if you want.

Personally, I feel like you reviewed the game without actually exploring the aspects of it. Then complaining about the game not being challenging because of certain features when there's an option to turn them off is your own fault. You choose to play that way, when what you want is simply an option you choose not to do.
Chris558  +   660d ago
Well said proud of you son
Eiffel  +   660d ago
I'd like to add that Instinct replaced the god like map from previous games, it's now been limited to a radius field based on 47's perception.

In any case it adds to the difficulty for casual players considering you earn the use of the ability as you progress.
#1.2 (Edited 660d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Valenka  +   660d ago
That's not entirely true. Instinct is available from the start. You just earn upgrades for it as you progress.
Eiffel  +   660d ago
Instinct is gained as you progress, once you run out the choices you make will depend on how much you get back throughout a mission. i.e critical choices such as silent take downs add.It's not inexhaustible.

My point had nothing to do with how it's upgraded.
#1.2.2 (Edited 660d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report
Ducky  +   660d ago
Hmm, I was under the impression that instinct doesn't deplete if you're using it to scan the environment (under the Normal difficulty at least)
It only gets consumed when you're trying to 'blend in' or point-shoot.

So it can act as an unlimited-use 3D map, but you sacrifice the shorter range for being able to see the trajectory of NPCs.
xPhearR3dx  +   660d ago
@FatOldMan

You're correct. On normal and lower you can continuously use Instinct to scan the environment and enemies paths acting as an unlimited 3D map per say. On Hard or higher, Instinct will deplete when held. Even if you're just using it to find throwable objects or searching for paths such as ledges or ladders.
Number-Nine  +   657d ago
i was going to say the same thing. "amazing visuals"......7.5? lol

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Hitman: Absolution

Average Score 8.0 Reviews(235)
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