HITMAN ABSOLUTION REVIEW
Itís been 6 long years since the last Hitman game, and the world has moved on since then. Do we still need Agent 47 in our lives?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Dec 4, 2012 14:54 (Dec 4, 2012 14:54)
Written by: Ian
It’s been 6 long years since the last Hitman game, and the world has moved on since then. Do we still need Agent 47 in our lives? IO have also had mixed results in the last few years, with the lacklustre Kane & Lynch games and the odd Mini Ninjas coming out of the studio, with no Freedom Fighters or Hitman in sight. Here’s hoping six years away has not been too long ...
For what is I think the first time (forgive me if I’m wrong, it’s been a while), Agent 47 is presented with a coherent storyline that covers all 20 levels, rather than a collection of seemingly unrelated hits at the bequest of the agency. That makes for a much more interesting plot that allows you to discover a bit more of the personality of 47.
So, you may have seen ‘story’ videos showing 47 blowing the crap out of stuff and assaulting some sexy leather clad nuns. Thankfully this has turned out to be mostly PR rubbish. The core of the game plays just like the Hitman games of yesteryear, albeit with some more modern elements thrown in. Some of these work well, but others feel like a bit of a miss-step.
Checkpoints, in particular, are sparse (if you get them at all), and the general lack of them makes the game crushingly hard in some places. There was definitely an element of frustration to some levels. Some are far too long as well, split into 4 or five stages, and taking well over an hour to complete. Given that the checkpoints are only temporary as well (i.e. you lose them when you turn your machine off), you need to be prepared to put some serious time into some of the early levels in particular.
The stealth system has seen some improvements though, and you now get a warning of when you’re about to be discovered. The tutorials give you a better idea of the game mechanics, and you can now also distract people and use more objects in the environment that I can previously remember. The game is still a devious little thing, giving you seemingly endless ways of murdering people and watching from afar, and when you do nail it, there’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction that few games can match. It’s good the stealth has been improved too, because with many of the multi-part levels, the objective is no longer to always kill someone, but to get to the end of the level unseen (or at least alive), nick a load of stuff, or to set up your next murder. It actually adds some nice variety, and if you want, you can always take some people out on the way. Be warned though, even with the new ‘instincts’, which allows you to shoot in slow motion, increase the capacity of your disguise, or work out where enemy AI patterns will be walking, the shooting still isn’t very good. That’s kinda deliberate though, in order to encourage stealth.
You get 20 missions, some of which are split into several levels, so this is probably the most generous Hitman game in terms of content too. With the new Contracts mode, it’s also the most social, and therefore the scores you’re awarded at the end, and the challenges you complete are more relevant than ever before, which can only be a good thing.