Hitman Absolution is a stealth action adventure game developed by IO Interactive, and follows Agent 47 as he tracks down a girl and kills a lot of people along the way. I rented the PS3 version from Game Access instead of buying it but after playing it, I would definitely buy it for PC at some point in the future during a Steam sale.
I had not played much of the previous 4 games, I played most of the first Hitman but it was really frustrating which is probably because I was trying too hard to be fully stealth. I tried the same thing in Hitman 2 and was starting to get frustrated when I just stopped playing it. Hitman 2 is still installed on my computer along with Hitman Contracts and Hitman Blood Money, hopefully I get back to playing them now that I know the better way to play.
Hitman Absolution allows you to play fully stealth or in a number of other ways. Most importantly though is realizing that if you are discovered the smart thing to do is just gun down whoever saw you and hide their bodies. Then you can go back to stealth mode if you like. In addition to allowing a number of different means of play the game lists out a bunch of “challenges” for the level. These are like achievements except that instead of just “kill 100 guys with the garrotte wire” it lists a bunch of interesting things to try, many of which cannot be performed in a single play-through This should lead to lots of replay-ability because the level could play out quite differently if you perform a public hit by killing someone with a piano and then will be forced into a shoot-out. What is great is that the shoot-outs don’t feel like broken add-ons to a stealth game, it feels as if this was just as viable an approach.
I actually beat the game a few weeks ago but I have kept it since then wanting to replay a few missions where I know I could have played through it very differently. For instance there is a part where you choose whether to find a key card to open a back door or take out everyone in the room and grab a Luchador outfit (I chose the second path). With the wrestlers outfit you go into the next stage as the wrestler himself and wrestle in a cage match against a guy you need information from. If I hadn’t done that I definitely wouldn’t have ended up in the cage match and probably would have had to question him at some other point during the stage. Another great addition to the game for replay-ability is the contracts mode, where anyone can play through a level and choose a target to kill with a specific weapon and escape. This then becomes a public mission others can choose to accomplish.
Until I went looking for a screenshot for this post I had forgotten how amazing the game looks. The picture above is actually in game and the rest of the game looks that filmic and amazing. The cut-scenes are equally well shot and acted, the voice acting in general is spectacular. 47 still sounds a bit monotone, but I believe that is the point of the character because he has always sounds like that in every game (probably due to them all being voiced by David Bateson).
To reiterate I still have the game disc in my PS3, I have not returned it and will probably play it again before sending it back. Also I can really see myself purchasing it in the future on Steam if there is a decent sale, then I’d have to play it all over again with PC controls, perhaps.
Pros: Great stealth and action, fun over-the-top story which is well told and acted, allows you to disguise yourself as a scarecrow and kill people in a corn field 😉
Cons: Some of the mid-level check points put you in a terrible position if you need to restart since all the characters you kill up to that point will respawn behind you.