Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 2 April 2013
Finally, after six years Agent 47 makes his triumphant return. Does this latest adventure achieve success or has it been marked for failure?
Hitman Absolution picks up not long after Blood Money's conclusion where Agent 47 is betrayed by his handler at the ultra secretive agency, the story begins with the assassin in a difficult position that will outline the entire context of the story that proceeds. The story is well written and even manages to inject a little humour into its somber backdrop to its credit. The voice acting is of good quality and thankfully Dave Bateson returns as 47 which was for a time uncertain, purists become attached and rightly so. The disdain with the decision of Ubisoft in axing the voice of Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher has drawn widespread criticism for changing a winning formula.
Anyway, perhaps the biggest difference that you will notice with Absolution are the graphics. Blood Money was not a bad looking game but this takes it to the next level. The Glacier 2 engine looks fantastic and the crowds come to life even more than they did in Blood Money which were already impressive.
Now, to some drawbacks. The hideout of old is gone and as a result you're stuck with whatever weapons 47 can find in a given level. On the other hand, the contracts mode allows you to stipulate all those formalities, provided that you have found the weapons in game. Alternatively, they can be bought with credits which can be obtained through playing the campaign and contracts, but more on contracts later.
Purists may find Hitman too forgiving when compared to previous versions. Once again the "holding hands" approach of Square Enix titles does appear. The argument is a little stretched in that all the hints can be turned off and the gluttons for punishment can always opt to play on expert if they do desire.
The layout of levels is also perhaps too guided for some. Although it is entirely the player's choice, the challenges within the game give hints of how certain things can be done within a level. This allows experimentation but also erodes the uncertainty and trial by error of previous versions.
There are few negatives though overall and one of the biggest positives of Absolution would be the contracts mode. Instead of bolting on some lifeless multiplayer expansion, IO Interactive have created something unique and this should be applauded. The premise of contracts mode is to go through a level in the campaign but you choose the targets and the conditions of which the contract must be completed. Not only does it add replay value to the game but it also allows the player to be creative, akin to say the Forge in the Halo Universe. It's not that deep but is a start and at least IO Interactive have chosen to do something different when they could have gone in a different direction.
Graphics 9 Some of the best graphics on the system the engine looks great and melds with the graphics really well with some occasional hiccups.
Sound 9 Top notch voice acting throughout with all the right sound effects to match. Conversations within the game world add further to a great orchestral score.
Gameplay 8 Simplified it is but the player can still set the difficulty, therefore any challenge can be accounted for.
Lifespan 8 Solid campaign clocking in at around 10-15 hours. The contracts mode adds replay value in addition to replaying the campaign.
Hitman Absolution was worth waiting for. It is perhaps the most accomplished Hitman title to date and whilst things are signposted more than they were previously, this can still all be changed by the player which is crucial. Hitman is as fun as ever, here's hoping this is built upon as opposed to turning the series into a yearly "churned out" update. 9/10.