[PS3 Review] Hitman Absolution
It has been 6 years since Blood Money, so if you are asking if this new installment was worth the wait, well, the answer is yes. The man with the iconic barcode tattoo and black suite returns. Hitman Absolution is more personal, more Violent and more gruesome. It will force you to view the world through the eyes of a true predator. What is more lethal than a contracted killer? A contracted killer with a personal vendetta. Agent 47 is the most dangerous man on the planet.
The story picks up after Hitman: Blood Money. Agent 47 first assignment is none other than his own handler in the agency, Diana Burnwood, who has gone rogue. The Agency led by agent Benjamin Travis put a kill order on Diana and assigns 47 to make the hit and bring back a teenage girl named Victoria.
While I am not going to discuss the plot for the sake of spoilers, but I can confidently confirm that Absolution is Hitman’s most personal plot to date. Delivered with terrific voice acting and dark humor, the characters are well written with a sense of darkness and corruption. The locations where the story take place are reflections of a sickened world, as the powerful rule with fear, money and intimidation, while the weak watch in hopelessness.
In these dark environments, Absolution shines the most. A specific cutscene I recall of our antihero walking out of a burned church with a pistol in his hand. You will feel no mercy for the ones who sinned; there is always one obvious choice. Villains in Absolution are obnoxious, crude characters with no remorse for a human soul. From the primary target, Blake Dexter, a foul-mouthed, cowboy-hat wearing crime lord with a small army at his arsenal, to the Saints, an agency group of female assassins dressed as sexy nuns, for no given reason. This vengeful journey is no place for the weak. Agent 47 knows that it will take more than his precious “silverballers” to get the job done. Compromises had to be made. At the end of each level you will feel relieved.
Hitman Absolution has gone under major surgery to make the series more accessible to newcomers. The new “Instinct” ability for example, accessed using R1; much like Batman’s detective mode in Arkham City, will help players see through walls, highlight items of interest and mark the trails of enemies to indicate the path they’ll be following. Although some might argue that Instinct makes the game too easy, but it doesn’t. It will help players plan accordingly, adapting to the constant changes made by the game. On that note, Hitman veterans can rest assured, as Instinct will be deactivated on the game’s highest difficulty.
Absolution provides players with a license to kill. Every highlighted object can be a deadly tool in Agent 47’s hand and it is up to the player to decide how and when to use these tools. However, gaining access to some of these items will not be a walk in the park and the weapons laying around are not always the best option available. Yes, it is possible to shoot your way out in some scenarios, but Absolution will award your patience if you choose the ultimate path of an assassin.
Surprisingly, the deadliest tools in 47’s arsenal are the outfits he collect. Most outfits can be acquired by taking out enemies and NPCs in each level. However, Absolution makes this process a lot harder. For Example, wearing the same outfit as an enemy on the level will make your presence questionable. You can blend in by using Instinct, but it will burn down your Instinct meter fast, leaving you in very dangerous predicaments. This makes unique outfits more valuable and harder to find.
Absolution encourages players to explore. Planning and executing then waiting for accidents to happen, are Absolution’s brightest moments. Unfortunately not all missions are equal or addictive in terms of what they can offer. China town mission, for example, was crying out to be replayed in every way possible. Not to forget the genius scoring system that influence most hardcore players to compete with their friends for high ranks on a global leaderboard.
Absolution’s equivalent to multiplayer, Contracts Mode, is a well-executed great addition to the Hitman series. Contracts allow players to create hits based on the campaign levels and challenge their friends and the online community to best their score. For a player to create a contract he needs first to demonstrate his ability to pull it off. You can choose any non-civilian target and execute the assassination, while the game will record how and what you did and the contract will be created using the same circumstances. You can also choose to play other contracts provided by the online community. It is both fun and challenging.
Hitman Absolution is a solid return for a long awaited series. The outstanding visuals, great scoring system and open world stealth in Absolution will provide constant challenge for newcomers and old veterans alike, while “Contracts” is a very welcome addition to the series and it will keep you coming back for more.
[review pros=”Outstanding visuals
Genius scoring system
Terrific voice acting
Open world stealth
Contracts” cons=”Corny story
Unequal levels” score=92]
This review is based on a PS3 version Of Hitman Absolution purchased via PlayStation Store.