Is it a crime for me, as a long time gamer, to say that I haven’t played a single Hitman game? I just never got around to them! But here I am, reviewing Absolution, a game that has received mixed reviews. However, I go in with an open mind focusing on the game itself and giving IO Interactive the review they deserve.
Agent 47 is not just a man, he is a legend. He is cold hearted, and kills whoever his target may be, even if it’s his old handler from the Agency, Diana Burnwood. Totally confused on why she would sell out the Agency he, comes at her swiftly, like a shadow in the night, then hovers over her as she lies wounded on the ground, gasping for air. She asks him to look over a letter she wrote which involves a young woman named Victoria. Now, 47 is going against the Agency and trying to figure out why Victoria is so important that he must do whatever he can to protect her.
I couldn’t help but think of the Transporter movie franchise as I played a character in a suit who is a deadly weapon, tasked with protecting an attractive young woman in a school uniform. There isn’t much to go on in the story, and I wasn’t a huge fan of how they put it together, or some of the characters. Agent 47 showed some humor or a bit of emotion when he needed to, but that wasn’t much of a problem because this is a man who kills people for money; I don’t expect him to be full of character. However, every one of his enemies were pretty much the same thing. It was just one sadistic, sexually active, psychopath after another who didn’t really add anything to the story. I guess I wanted a little more character development instead of a repeat of the last person I choked to death. Even though the sexy nun assassins were a nice touch, but I could tell they were going for the grindhouse atmosphere in here, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Side characters were at least descent with the Nun (the real one) and Birdie, but they didn’t receive as much screen time as the rest of them which was unfortunate.
While the story wasn’t all to my liking I really did enjoy the gameplay. You are in a third person view where you start off each mission with barley nothing, finding whatever you can to perform your task. The main objective is you going through the entire level without being caught or even killing anyone besides your target, if you want to. There are various amounts of different items you can pick up to distract your target or bash him or her over their skull. Want to throw a tomahawk at their forehead? Go for it. Does throwing them out the window sound like fun? Try it out. Sniping the back of their head seem like a good time? Have some fun with it. In each area you have targets to kill, but you can kill them anyway you see fit and they even put up certain challenges to complete in each level.
While you are running around trying to find your target you can acquire costumes with which to engage your enemy. You can find these items lying around a back alley or maybe in a certain room, but another fun way would be to subdue or kill your targets taking their clothing and leaving them in their undies inside a box or cupboard. Hiding bodies is a very important thing if you don’t want to alert your enemies that there may be some Tom foolery afoot. Instinct will help you hide from your enemy, find their paths, and locate certain items of interest.
I would say the one downfall for the levels would be the fact that it doesn’t have as much replay value as you would think. They can be short, and if stealth mission aren’t something you really appreciate you will find yourself running and gunning through them in five or ten minutes. And, to me, some were very pointless, only lasting just a few minutes in order to move the story along. There was no need to make an actual mission for some of them.
Online, you can perform contracts to have other hit men around the globe to complete. It is all the same levels in the campaign, but you can kill up to three people in each area. Depending on what weapon, how you killed them, and what you are wearing, whoever accepts your contract will have to do the same exact thing. I thought this was a fun way to get creative on how to kill your enemies, and the harder the kills are the more money you collect. You receive bonuses for things like not getting caught or hiding all the bodies, if the contractor did it.
Well, after a week of playing and trying out many of the challenges I can say that I had a fun time with this. The story was somewhat descent, along with the graphics, but as a fan of stealth based games, the gameplay was a winner. I’m sure those of you who played the previous releases want to chuck bricks at me or shoot me with your Silverballers, but it actually gets a thumbs up from me. The game isn’t perfect, but it still had a lot of fun moments.