Htman Absolution Review
After much anticipation and a six year wait since Hitman Blood Money, Agent 47 is finally back.
This is not the usual hand holding game that we have become accustomed to this console generation. Throughout the game the player is thrown into various areas with minimal hints and left to figure out the best way to take out the target as stealthy as possible. The variety is immense with many options available to take out your target including poisoning food, setting of car alarms to distract and disguising yourself.
Walking around disguised can be very frustrating because the enemies seem to see through it with such ease it becomes more of a hindrance at times. You can use your instinct so they don’t recognise you but it drains very quickly. My overall experience ended up being trial and error, working out the patterns of the enemies and having to deal with a checkpoint system I haven’t seen since the PS2 era.
The checkpoint system is extremely frustrating and poses a huge challenge, there are very few scattered at various points throughout the levels so you will find yourself being backtracked fairly far, the enemies will also respawn back to their original positions so will find yourself waiting around listening to the same conversations over and over again before the A.I starts their walk patterns. Why IO Interactive decided to take away the option to save anywhere like you could in Blood Money is beyond me, any other save option in this generation just seems redundant.
Many fans of the long running series may be disappointed with seemingly small levels but rest assured they are very well designed with many routes for you to take including crawling through vents Metal Gear Solid style, Climbing up ledges and into windows or just simply walking through the front door disguised as someone. The title offers great replayabily because there are so many ways of completing each area and you are also scored on your progress and compared to your friends.
Some of the areas are bigger than others and include of all things a bar, a busy street and a strip club to name a few. Missions can include having to kill multiple targets in a very busy area without being seen which poses a huge challenge but there are so many options available to make the killings look like an accident, some of the methods are very comical and include making a power cable live and an enemy urinating in that area so he gets electrocuted or covering an area in gasoline so an enemy smoker starts a fire and dies. The option I used mostly was to sneak up behind an unsuspecting enemy and strangle them, I’d then hide their body in a trash can and then disguise myself in their clothes.
It is never a good idea to go into any area all guns blazing as you will find yourself dead pretty quick, with limited ammo for a silenced pistol being stealthy is the key. Distracting guards by setting off car alarms or cutting the power supply are only a few of the options available.
The cutscenes are gorgeous, the story is intense and sometimes a little crazy, some of the characters come over as slightly bizarre (See if you can spot Lynch for Kane and Lynch in one of the levels) but it is enough to keep you going right to the very end just to find out what happens. Previous Hitman titles have shown Agent 47 like some robot who just mercilessly kills people but in this title you see a much more human side to him, a man that has feelings and can be caring and compassionate.
Overall Hitman Absolution is a great experience with only a few frustrating features which can easily be overlooked, it is presented beautifully with gorgeous graphics and detailed areas for you to explore. It proves to be a challenge but very rewarding at the same time. I just hope we don’t have to wait so long for the next title in this amazing franchise.