Hitman Absolution: Review

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It’s time once again for the adventures of everyone’s favourite bald, suit-wearing, barcoded assassin, Agent 47.

 

Set after the events of Hitman: Blood Money, the game begins with 47 given the task to eliminate his former Handler, Diana Burnwood, who, without explanation, betrayed The Agency by sabotaging their funding and database and in the confusion, disappeared. Needless to say, without giving anything away, things are not as they seem and *Insert Suspenseful Music Here* Agent 47 unveils a more sinister plot that has him leave the Agency and branded as a traitor to protect an innocent girl.

 

Instinct Mode – The red lines showing the enemy predicted movement.

Absolution is everything I could have hoped for in a sequel; everything from previous titles seems to have been given a fresh coat of paint and they have added in plenty more features to keep it fresh. The two biggest and most prominent in my opinion are the introduction of Instinct Mode, which is kind of like Detective Mode in Arkham City. It shows target movement, an x-ray-like vision of enemies and it also shows the location of points of interest, such as objects that can be used to stage accidental kills or useable items. However, for those who really like a challenge, there is a new ‘Purist Mode’ that completely removes this feature.

 

The other is the Challenge and Scoring system. If you are like me and suffer from a serious case of Achievement Whore-ism, this will be a curse, even though it is completely optional to use. The system provides you with specific Challenges on each level that range from killing a target in a certain way, to finishing every section of the level without the use of disguises. Completing these challenges awards you points and a score modifier when you complete the level. However, you can choose to not do these and finish a level however you wish. I mean, you could just garrotte or shoot your target, but isn’t it so much more satisfying to sabotage a petrol can near some fireworks and wait for your target to finish his cigarette, flick it on the ground, igniting the fuel, setting him on fire and setting off a spectacular fireworks display…. I think we all know the answer to that.

 

New Point-Shooting Mode – For the cost of some Instinct, this will allow you to tag targets and fire multiple shots in quick succession. Much like in Red Dead Redemption.

Add this scoring system to Purist Mode and you have yourself a damn challenging game. Forget your Assassins Creed, Thief or Splinter Cell, if you want a real stealth/assassin challenge, get this game. No game will ever make you feel like a real assassin as much as this.

 

IO Interactive didn’t cheap out on their graphics budget. Absolution is visually stunning.

 

 

 

I will confess, I did not get time to finish Absolution (much to my sadness). I spent far too much time restarting levels because one guard saw me or a failed to accidentally kill my target. The loading screen and I became firm friends… I even counted approximately how long it took to load and what I could do in those forty-nine seconds before I had to restart the level…. If the kettle was pre-boiled I could make a coffee and a peanut-butter and jam sandwich.I did run into a few very annoying problems though, I did have the game freeze on me during the loading screen more than a few times, which would only go away by turning off the console. The A.I. can be a little inconsistent, while hiding in a cupboard; a guard walked past and just stopped, glaring at the cupboard and wouldn’t move, I waited about five minutes and he didn’t move. So I had to restart the level again.  I was also on one occasion, spotted by a guard through a wall… I was shot and killed through a wall. I’m really not sure how that happened.

 

I love the Hitman series, and this sequel has given me even more to love about it! If you are a fan of the series, you should already own this. If you are still new to the series, play Blood Money first, trust me this game will make much more sense if you do.

 

Now, I must get back to failing this mission and banging my head against the coffee table.