After a too-long 6.5-year series hiatus, Hitman: Absolution once again puts you in the shoes of Agent 47, the cool, collected, and ruthlessly efficient assassin. If you’re not familiar with the series, this action-stealth title is all about stylistically taking out your target and strolling away unnoticed. There are occasions where you can walk right up to your contract, shoot him in the head, and then try to escape in the crossfire, but doing it that way not only garners very little in the way of score, it also makes you miss the real fun.
As the game opens, Agent 47 is sent on a mission to eliminate his former handler, who has gone rogue. But after successfully sneaking into her safehouse, avoiding and blending in with guards and gardners alike, the hit comes with a price: He’s tasked with protecting a mysterious girl, finding out why powerful people want her, and in doing so he’s persona non grata with his ruthless employers, who are now after him along with the bad guys.
Hitman: Absolution has 20 missions in all. Though your overall goal is to unravel the mystery behind this girl and why she’s being sought out, the missions take place in a wide variety of different kinds of areas – such as a dilapidated hotel, a crowded Chinatown market, a sleazy gentleman’s club, a heavily guarded mansion – with varied goals and targets. Sometimes your goal is to take out a single target, sometimes you might have multiple targets, and sometimes you just need to escape with your life. To get to the bottom of the mystery, you’ll need to call in some favors, and the side missions these contacts send you on lead you to some fascinating locales and some very dangerous situations.
Because Agent 47 is now a wanted man, he doesn’t have access to a James Bond-like collection of tools to equip himself before the missions. While he starts the game well-equipped with silenced pistols, he’s forced to trade those before an early mission, and is stuck with a loud, obvious revolver. That doesn’t turn the game into a shooter, however, as a careful examination of the environment can often lead to other solutions for eliminating the target besides going in shooting. Sure, you can take out a target by shooting him and then trying to blend into the crowd and escape, but it’s much more satisfying to take other actions that will eventually lead to another character taking the target out for you, for instance.
One tool that Agent 47 does have at hand is his assassin’s instinct. This can be used to show enemy positions, and to blend in when you’re in danger of being discovered. Instinct is limited resource, though, and at higher difficulty levels you have to use it very sparingly. When you do have to take out a target, you’ll want to hide the body, as discovery will put other enemies on alert. (You might stop to grab their clothes as an impromptu disguise first, though.)
If you played Hitman: Blood Money, which was released not long after the Xbox 360’s launch, you’ll appreciate the improved game mechanics, such as a cover system you can use when your stealth goes awry and the shooting starts. My favorite mechanic in that situation, though, is to “fake surrender,” then grab your assailant and use him as a human shield.
It’s the game’s multiple ways to approach a mission that add a lot of replayability. Each level features multiple challenges, and it’s fun to go back and try to see if you can solve all of those, and find a different method for completing the mission. There are also five difficulty levels, with the most hardcore, Purist, turning off all your HUD indicators (health, radar map, etc), disabling the Instinct modem, and making enemies almost supernaturally observant.
The game’s longest-term replayability, though, is likely to come from the Contracts mode. This innovative sandbox lets you create your own custom hit contracts in a level (by selecting a weapon and then playing through the level and choosing your NPC contracts, which may be different from the regular mission target), and then challenge your friends to complete the mission faster and more efficiently. The scoring system comes into play during regular missions as well. When you blow your cover, kill an innocent, etc, you lose points, while you gain points for mission goals and creative solutions. When you finish a level, your score is compared to the average score of other gamers, as well as that of your friends.
The levels in Hitman: Absolution look fantastic, and the game’s cutscenes offer an unprecedented level of background story. Series fans will need to adjust to some changes in gameplay mechanics, but in the end, they make the action even more interesting and challenging. For those looking for a game where taking down the enemy requires observation, planning, and cunning, rather than just a fast trigger finger, Hitman: Absolution is right on target.
Article by Denny Atkin (Gamertag: Editer)
Looks like a great game, I haven't played with this series for a long time!
I'm getting this game.
Fudgin looking forward to play this game.......yea buddy !
i thoght i would get a pic from the front
The game is amazing! So many ways to execute the targets!
It looks and sound awesome. I never got around to playing Blood Money, but I think I will definitely get this game.
this game is cool
I am geting this when it probaly come out
game is awesome! highly recommend it!
One of the best n versatile with well rounded replayability....a must buy
awesome i saw the gameplay and its amazing
damn good game!!!
get this game!!!