Hitman: Absolution is quite different than the previous games in the series.
In fact, it’s a completely new direction with more focus on action with a little sprinkling of stealth. IO Interactive have also added a scoring system to the game which determines the final ranking of each mission you play.
This game really is one of the most prettiest games I have ever played, due to the crisp, clean visuals, that not only has rich and varied environment design, but also is a powerhouse when it comes to brute graphical strength.
That’s due to the new Glacier Engine in place and of course Square Enix’s generosity to provide their PC developers with a lot of resources and time. We’ve seen that before with Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and now with this. There are some niggles though, sometimes everything looks so plastic-y, it’s hard to describe but it’s not really a big issue. The overall visuals are spectacular and something that will make your jaws drop.
Now I have a concern though, see I am not really fond of the direction IO has taken here, and it’s being reported that the game will be produced every year, so this is not something that is favourable to franchise, but if Eidos Montreal goes back to the previous Hitman policy where the pacing was slow and you really had to put in a lot of effort to get to your target, then that would satisfy fans of both gameplay types.
Newcomers to the Hitman franchise who are just playing this game first will be enthralled by the amount of action on offer, and the laundry list of weapons and equipment available to do your mission like the Hitman you think you are.
The story is about revenge and how Agent 47 takes on his previous employers with some additional villains added in who try all the tricks in the book to make you cringe. Agent 47 has to protect a girl who is being chased due to her ability to perform inhuman moves when coming in contact with a specific isotope.
Bah… the story is rubbish, but it could keep you interested if your standards are really low.
There are a lot of missions here which are all unique and they don’t really recycle the levels at all, so that’s a positive thing for sure. It will take you a while to beat the campaign on the normal difficulty, but that’s the thing, you must play stealthily and kill enemies without being seen. You know not raising an alarm and using accidental deaths to dispatch your enemies.
It’s something that you will come to love if you use the instinct mechanic properly, which shows you locations and items that you can exploit to take our enemies in ingenious ways. It’s limited, however, and you would really need a lot if you are just using a disguise to walk past enemies.
It regenerates slowly too, so that’s something you definitely can’t rely on. I am not really fond of all these mechanics IO has added to the game, it distracts from the core Hitman experience where it’s just you, a bunch of disguises, and the targets.
However, there’s a Contracts mode which you can use to create… contracts, and upload them online for other people to try it out. You can also play the default IO levels or try out new ones that others have uploaded. You can filter between the contracts so navigation is not really an issue.
Creating contracts is simple and you are put in a single player level where you get to choose three targets as marks, and also finish the level so that others players can be sure it’s not absurdly impossible. That’s something the game requires you to do as well before accepting your level. It can get boring after a while because you have already seen these levels, but Hitman purists would love a challenge where you have to use a specific weapon or disguise to kill your targets.
It’s a game that showcases how developers are creating games with mass market in mind; while that’s a little unfortunate, Hitman: Absolution offers enough content and replayability factor for the average gamer to spend a lot of time in the game. It’s not something that will resonate with Hitman fans but is fun nonetheless.