The lights are on
The Hitman franchise often strikes
that thin line balance between overly homicidal tendencies and sadistic humor.
Absolution is no different as it paints a more than cynical view of current
America. Drugs? Check. Weapon manufacturing? Check. Morally questionable
biological engineering? Check. What keeps people coming back for more however
isn't necessarily the backdrop of which the game is placed, but the pure lack
of gravitas for which it stands upon. Where anything is a weapon, from the
daily used coffee mug to the power cable one would use to start up their
computer to read this. From a sheer comparative stance, Hitman: Absolution is
the same one would expect of the franchise, which could be exactly what the
stealth genre has needed.
story may not weave a gilded tapestry of ancestral abilities and fighting
figure heads, but it is for the most part a competent piece to explain why you're
there and doing what it is Agent 47 does best. While fans of the series might
have been looking for a more serious and heartfelt tone, the existence of
emotion and personal choice by Agent 47 should be enough to show fans that IO
interactive understands the need to create a more engaging character (and they
are getting a pretty late start). However as one might guess, the beloved (?)
hero is outshined by not only the antagonist, but some other smaller roles.
That being said the voice work is well done even if some of the characters fall
into some stereotypical tropes of all sorts.
follows up the classic formula by incorporating some previous mechanics as well
as adding quite a few such as point shooting and instinct mode. Both of which
are closely intertwined since the former relies on the latter. Instinct is
gained by kills as well as alternative objectives and challenges that the
developers have put into each mission. While it is a nice addition that shows certain
NPC path patterns as well as target location, it is very difficult to gain and
carry out in later missions. In normal mode, instinct is depleted when using
point shooting as well as blending in (which occurs when NPC's begin to notice
your disguise). This normally would not be a problem but the difficulty at
which it is to gain Instinct in a silent way, and the rate at which it depletes
when in disguise can lead to some insurmountable difficulties that take away
from the pure pleasure of exploration and exploitation. Often it felt like the
disguise almost didn't matter and the same could have been done wearing the
Point shooting to is a slight disappointment.
While the mechanic works fine, it too suffers from a lack of subtlety as Agent
47 steps out of cover (blatantly exposing himself) to dispose of the targets.
It is hard not to make the comparison to the recent Splinter Cell release which doesn't expose Sam Fisher when he also
pulls off a tag and kill cinematic. The controls however are tight and
responsive and the only real instance where they felt clunky was when 47 has to
drag bodies into containers and often geometry or what limb he grabs will not
only take you longer to get to the container, but consequentially leaves you
The musical score was enjoyable
(especially the music they play when you are in the campaign mode) albeit
forgettable and the visuals are stunning. The Glacier 2 engine provides great
detail and the visual flair that IO went with the high contrast and dingy
atmosphere worked well, as if Drive
met some grindhouse flick. The best part being that each mission provides a
completely unique experience from the prior one, as well as the one to come. Absolution
as well has plenty of replayability, whether it is through alternative objectives
that test your mitts or the new multiplayer contract mode which offers an
endless sea of creative scenarios created by the community at large. The way
you play a mission can be so varied that choice is ironically the best weapon
that Agent 47 has for the player, and contracts mode is a great display of IO interactive's
fantastic level design. While it may not be perfect, Hitman: Absolution offers a unique experience that few games dare
Very good review. I appreciated your keen observations.