Review by Man0nFire_
"Sorry Excuse For A Hitman Game"
The story follows 47's attempts to fulfill the dying wishes of his ex-controller Diana, by keeping a girl called Victoria safe from the Agency and other forces trying to hunt her down. Io Interactive has therefore tried to bring 47 forward from the emotionless killer to a more complex and a dimensional being; this is not the first time that 47 has shown personal warmth to people; remember the priest in Hitman 2. Instead of playing through missions where the Agency assigns contracts for the player to complete, in Absolution, 47 has become a rogue agent and therefore only assassinates people who present a problem to him. Therein lies the main problem; most of the game becomes a rather linear affair with 47 going from point a to b and not actual assassinating a target. Also this game relies too much on action; e.g. escaping a burning building or starting a fight in a saloon just so you can speak to the bar keeper or competing in a shooting competition!
Therefore should you play the new installment of Hitman? Well yes; I admit I have only so far highlighted the negatives. The game plays very well in the sense that you truly feel that you are controlling 47 and when you do kill a target the same sense of joy of completing the mission is evident. Also Blake Dexter, the main antagonist of the game, is both funny and menacing at the same time; it's just a shame his supporting goons are witless fools. The only gripe I have with the game play mechanics concerns the problem of disguises; when you take a cop's uniform, dispose of his body and then walk around the level you need to make sure that you have enough instinct or the other police will recognize you as an imposter. The disguise system is a major burden in this game, especially in the later levels when you can't walk a meter before you are found out and shot in the face. Also it is not always clear why you have been discovered when you have used instinct to blend in or why you are trespassing when you are wearing the correct disguise.
Hitman Absolution is a very good starting place for new gamers thinking of playing the series; however to seasoned assassins I think Io have moved away from the core gameplay element of assassinating targets in hostile locations. With 20 missions (although some take literally 5 minutes to complete), contracts mode and 200+ of challenges to overcome you definitely get value for your money. It's just a shame that Hitman has moved away from its roots and now offers a sometimes unsatisfactory gaming experience.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 11/28/12
Game Release: Hitman: Absolution (US, 11/20/12)
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