Developer: I/O Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
It’s been over six years since the release of Hitman: Blood Money back in May 2006, and the gaming industry has changed a lot during that time. Heavy action shooters like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are the most played games around, but with the new release, Hitman: Absolution is trying to buck the trend and put fun and excitement back into each and every kill in the game. In Hitman: Absolution players will stealthily make their way through the game by sticking to shadows, distracting nearby npcs and wearing disguises and costumes to blend into the environment and make it to the target. The game then leaves the choice up to the player whether they’d like to simply assassinate the target with a stealth kill with a silenced weapon or take the more challenging but rewarding path of eliminating targets with style with environmental hazards or some other unique weapon. Hitman: Absolution makes you a killer, and you’ll have everything in the world at your disposal to pull off the goriest assassinations possible.
The story of Hitman: Absolution picks up shortly after the events of Hitman: Blood Money. The Agency has been completely restructured after the betrayal from one of its own, and Agent 47 finds himself stuck between staying loyal to his friends and remaining a part of the Agency.
Hitman: Absolution is an open world adventure that stays on a somewhat linear path this time around, but Agent 47 will have more say in who he kills and how he performs assassinations than ever before. During the game’s campaign, you’ll use whatever tools or hazards you can find in the environment to take down targets, but the much talked about Contracts mode is included in Hitman: Absolution as well that allows you to choose your starting equipment, spawn enemies and otherwise create your own custom hit. The mode is a lot of fun to fool around in once the campaign is completed, and you and your friends can share your creations and compete to see who is the best Hitman!
Although its been six years since the last release, the series has aged very well. The game’s presentation isn’t just on par with other Hitman games, but Absolution is one of the best looking and most approachable games of the year. Agent 47 has some new moves at his disposal this time around including an activated slow-motion kill mechanic called Point Shooting and another activated ability called Instinct Mode that allows you to see where enemies are currently in the level, what paths they will take and what special events 47 can trigger to cause some of the best deaths in the game. This allows newcomers to easily pick up the new release and perform some of the coolest kills in the game, while veterans looking for a challenge can ignore these features altogether and crank up the game’s difficulty setting. Agent 47 will also have new physical abilities including ducking in and out of cover for more tactical gun fights and quick surprise attacks on unsuspecting enemies. Agent 47 also has a much larger wardrobe this time around that makes it easy to sneak his way through bustling buildings, but be careful not to tip off someone that wears the same clothes to work!
Hitman: Absolution is the finest action title of the year. You’ll fall in love with the addictive gameplay as you perform one hit after another all while exploring the open world environments that allow you to play and take out enemies the way you want, and our bald-headed protagonist has never looked better. The game’s graphical quality is top notch, and you’ll appreciate the game’s sound design even more. From the sound of a knife slicing into an enemy to entering a packed club, everything sounds great and has been tweaked to sound as authentic as possible. The soundtrack hasn’t missed a step even with the series’ composer Jesper Kyd missing from the score. The captivating score presents some elegant instrumentals that will make you feel like a true killer and have you looking to take one more stab at another horrific kill. Check out Hitman: Absolution on your favorite platform today!
Hitman: Absolution is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 and is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language & Use of Drugs. For more information on the game, check out the official Hitman: Absolution website.
4 out of 5