Hitman: Absolution by Square Enix, is the latest (the 5th to be precise) incarnation of the Hitman saga, the long running story of a cloned professional assassin code name ’47’.
For those that aren’t aware of this game or the series, it’s a stealth ’em up type game by genre, so you should play without the usual gun-ho attitude, though that is apparently still acceptable in this version.
This time out, good old 47 has to clean up the mess left in the previous game where 47’s handler Diana Burnwood, suddenly goes rogue, carrying out a catastrophic sabotage that includes publicly exposing the “Agency” (the shadowy organisation coordinating all international assassination contracts).
Agent Benjamin Travis reforms the Agency and issues a kill order on Diana, assigning 47 to make the kill and bring Victoria, a teenage girl in Diana’s care, back to the Agency. Shooting Diana, 47 hesitates before the coup-de-grace, she asks 47 to take a letter she wrote and keep Victoria from the Agency.
Thus ensues a story of protecting Victoria, and finding out why she is so important.
Since the entire series is based on an elite assassin, you can expect more of the same thing really – though in this version there are many different ways to take down your target, the given arenas are riddled with pathways and routes to your victims, and many differing ways of ‘doing them in’.
There’s a great addition of ‘instinct’ that can be used to some advantage, highlighting enemies and targets through walls, indicating the exit or interesting items, or acting casual in your disguise as you walk past enemies. This gives an additional help in times of need, and depending on the difficulty setting, is a finite resource.
You’ll also need to hide bodies and yourself, use a neat little trick to slow time, highlight enemies and take them out in one flourish.
There’s also the addition of little in game challenges in the form of ‘wear all the disguises’, ‘collect all the weapons’ etc. that promote multiple play-throughs’, and a scoring mechanism that unlocks better abilities for 47.
I’m writing this before finishing it so you’ll have to bear with me a little, my opinion may change once I get there, but…
The game in general is good – it’s not such a huge jump from the previous incarnations that fans are going to get all ‘teddies out of the pram’ about it but there’s two main overlaying issues I am feeling here:
- The scoring system is getting in the way
- It gets a little repetitive for me
Now I’m a completionist when it comes to games like this, so I’ll go to the Nth degree to figure out how to get the certain something, so maybe these two issues are down to the way I play the games.
This means that I feel a little irritated when I get punished for something like disabling a guard that isn’t the target in the form of negative score -it’s not like I’m attacking innocents, it’s a guard for goodness sake, I’m supposed to get past him however I choose.
Also, playing for a bit soon reveals that, although the environments are lavish and lovingly created, the basic game play is flawed and you end up doing the same things in another, slightly different place. This is the bit I find repetitive – maybe it’s just me!
Still – the game is good (if I play it in reasonably short bursts)
I’d give it 5/10
I think I should put here that I never got any further with this game – I got bored! It’s now uninstalled and removed for ever…
I have also downgraded the score for this reason.