Hitman: Absolution roaming the streets
Agent 47 is back in business. It’s been six years, but there’s finally stealthy murdering to do again.
Hitman is back. Not since Hitman: Blood Money, which came out in 2006, have we been able to satisfy our murderous tendencies in that stealthy way, that this assassination simulator series excels in.
The danish developer IO Interactive have churned out a new game engine called Glacier 2 and Hitman: Absolution is the first game based on it. Considering it’s running on 6-7 year old hardware (we’ve played the Xbox 360 version), it delivers very impressive graphics at smooth frame rates. The possible amount of AI characters on screen at the same time is also staggering, especially the Chinatown level (which you may or may not have seen a gameplay trailer of already) is absolutely breathtaking, the first time you experience it.
Don’t give up
It’s not about clearing a mission in your first try, every time. If you go into this game with that mindset, you’re going to have a really frustrating time. Instead, you need to arm yourself with patience and be prepared to learn about your surroundings by being observant, so you eventually will be able to take down your target. It’s trial and error done right and it results in great value for money, because you don’t play a mission just once.
You have your assorted suits and outfits you can disguise yourself with, spread out over the missions, but you have to be careful not to awake suspicion. For example, if you fit out yourself in a gardeners outfit, other gardeners will notice that you’re not one of them. This mechanic is to some extent, pretty logical. However, in the Chinatown mission it’s a little weird (or even annoying), that any street vendor can raise the alarm if you’re wearing a vendors outfit.
You also have your arsenal of weapons, which you can use to finish your job. Whether it’s C4, a sniper rifle, a silenced pistol or your trusted fiber wire, the weapon of choice will allow you to kill the target, or guards in your way in different ways.
You’re rewarded for ingenuity
The missions are packed with challenges. If you blow your cover after sneaking around for about 15 minutes, you don’t have to abandon your effort and start all over. Why not whip out your C4 and see if you can unlock the explosive challenge? You’re encouraged to wreak havoc once things go awry and that’s a great way to spin it. It makes you feel that you didn’t just waste 15 minutes of your life trying to complete the mission in the most perfect way possible.
The main story in Hitman: Absolution spans across 16 chapters, which should take you around 15 to 20 hours to complete, depending on how meticulous your assassination work is of course. I wouldn’t be surprised if it would take you even longer than that, if you want to experience the many different endings to each mission. The game has a huge replay value even if you just consider the main story, but on top of that, you can take your skills to the playground called Contracts, which is a brand new game mode.
In Contracts you can create your own assassination missions and share them with your friends or just about anyone from anywhere in the world. You choose the target, the mission criteria, and then you actually have to complete the contract yourself, so people know it’s doable. Contracts adds a whole new dimension to the Hitman formula and it’s one that fits perfectly into the universe. There’s nothing more satisfying than creating your own contract, knowing your buddies will be pulling their hair out by its roots, trying to figure out how the heck it’s done.
Agent 47 is a smooth operator
I don’t know if Hitman: Absolution is for everyone. If you are of the Call of Duty generation where something has to happen all the time, you would probably miss the point of Hitman or don’t find it enjoyable at all. The perfect kill takes patience as well as ingenuity.
However, there’s nothing quite like Hitman: Absolution out there unless you find the six year old Hitman: Blood Money in the bargain bin at your local GameStop. Perhaps you should get that first if you’ve never ventured into Agent 47’s universe. But then get Absolution promptly thereafter. It’s absolutely worth your money.