on November 22, 2012
Back in 2006, many of the Hitman lovers enjoyed the last Hitman title, Blood Money for the last-gen consoles. The gameplay, story, and especially, epic ending of the game left Hitman fans wanting more. Unfortunately, no Hitman game was in sight. Then, in 2009, Square Enix announced they were in development of the FIRST Hitman for the current-gen consoles. After six years, since Blood Money, Absolution is finally upon us. After watching many videos, I was surprised to see the game is a 180 from its last-gen editions of Hitman . Not only have it obviously changed, graphics-wise, it changed gameplay-wise, as well. The question is, are these changes for the better?
CONTRACTS: This is a new addition to the game, which allows players to choose their own targets to take out. Plus, the player can also choose what weapon to use and how he may go about taking out the target. For example, a player can choose to take out a target, but NOT be seen by anyone, when doing so. This achievement will earn the player money for purchase of new disguises, weapons and upgrades. During the campaign, it is best to find as many weapons, items, and disguises as possible, so they will not have to be purchased in this mode.
GAMEPLAY: The game is powered by the Glacier 2 engine, which is highlighted by the physics of CPU AI movements. The movements of 47 are very swift and responsive. In fact, many of 47's movements can be compared to how Sam Fisher's movements are in the Splinter Cell games, which means players can now access cover and look around at a 360 angle. I would also compare the sneaking around to the Metal Gear games, as well. In this game, there are just SO many ways to go about taking out a primary target. On one level, I was given the option to take out a target in 12 different ways. That way could be by taking him out, wearing various disguises, taken him out quietly, poisoning his food, blowing his car up or taking him out with guns blazing. Not to mention, players can get reward for doing so, which enhances the replay value of this game, like no other Hitman title.
What separates Absolution from the previous Hitman games is an increase in interaction. Players do not have to rely solely on weapons to take out enemies, anymore. Unlike the previous Hitman titles, 47 can now use hand-to-hand combat, as well as face-to-face combat tactics. These are cool because he can punch someone. However, the enemy may counter the attack. When this happens, a quick-time event will come up ala Heavy Rain, which prompts 47 to make another attack and eventually land a lethal blow to his enemy. If not done promptly, 47 might be taken out by an enemy with his OWN counter attack. Also, 47 can use surrounding objects to down foes, as well.
While playing through a level, many items can be picked up and used to distract or eliminate enemies. For example, 47 may see a book. Well, the book can be thrown to distract an enemy, so 47 can sneak by him. Also, 47 can that very book as a weapon, as well. Deadly weapons can be used in the same fashion. Nothing is cooler than seeing 47 throw a knife or an ax at an enemy's head. Speaking of weapons, there are many guns that are available in each level of the game, either by finding it or disarming and enemy. When collected, the weapons will be saved and can be used in contract missions. This also applies to acquired disguises, as well. The only downside to Absolution is 47 can no longer choose acquired weapons, prior to starting a level during the campaign.
If 47 has to take on multiple enemies, no problem! Prior to firing a weapon, there is a new feature called Point Shooting, which allows 47 to mark multiple enemies and take them out with precision ala Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction. When this is done, the game will go into slo-mo and 47 will automatically take out those marked enemies. 47 can also climb and hang onto structures. What's more exciting are 47 can now take enemies over the edge or shoot, while standing on them.
The use of disguises has been a trademark of Hitman games. However, in Absolution, they must be used with more caution. For example, if a guard disguise is picked up, it will likely work. However, it is best not to get too close to other guards wearing the same uniform. With that being said, there is a new Blend-in mode. This can be activated, while passing guards. When this is activated, the screen will dim and the game will go into slo-mo. While this is happening, 47 will not look surrounding enemies' eye-to-eye, when passing them. Timing is critical, when activating the Blend-in mode. In addition, he can also "hide". This happens when 47 is wearing a disguise and appear to be performing an action that the person in that disguise would do. For example, 47 can dress as a cop and pretend to eat donuts. On the other hand, he can be disguised as an electrician and pretend like he is working on an electrical panel. There is meter that shows the reliability of the disguise. If the meter goes down, the disguise will slowly lose effectiveness and may eventually be compromised.
If the instinct meter gets TOO low, and a civilian in the enemy's area sees 47, he could get suspicious and start to follow him. He may say, "who are you?" or "you're not fooling me!" Meanwhile, this would be the time to flee or lead this person to a place, where 47 can quietly take this person out because if not, two scenarios happen. First, that person is going to alert enemy guards. While this is going on, a picture of 47's disguise will be shown on the screen. This indicates the disguise has been totally compromised. Meanwhile, a SUSPICIOUS message will appear on the screen and the searching enemies will be shown in yellow on the mini-map. If 47 is out of sight long enough, a CLEAR message will appear on the screen. All of this is also reminiscent of the Metal Gear games.
The second scenario will happen if 47 is seen by an enemy. They might try to subdue 47 or just shoot on sight. If the enemy tries to subdue 47, he can now do what's called a fake surrender. 47 will put his hands up in submission. When the enemy gets too close, 47 can disarm and use him as a human shield, which is also a new feature. When or if this happens, a full alert will commence, which means you have to start shooting. Meanwhile, enemies on the mini-map will be shown in red. Depending on the circumstance, this alert level may not change for quite some time. The best thing to do if 47's disguise is about to be compromised is to try to get away, get another disguise or quietly take a suspicious person out, prior to these scenarios even taking place.
The instinct mode also allows 47 to see which paths enemies will take. The nearby enemy can be seen through walls and it will show a trail, which indicates an enemy route. This is a feature that has similarity to Batman: Arkham City for Playstation 3. Not to mention, 47 can scan surrounding areas for places and items of interest. Of course, if players believe this feature is too supernatural or make the game too easy, it can be turned off. In addition to disguises, an increase in concealment has been added to the game. In the past, 47 could only hide one body inside of a container or closet. Now, he can hide two bodies. 47 can also hide in a closet or container, rather empty or with a max of one enemy in the container. While hiding, 47 can peek around. 47 can also crawl through vents for concealment or to find an alternate route to another area.
GRAPHICS/VISUALS: Don't be fooled by the 420p/720p output of this game. The graphics are VERY good. They are not quite as vivid as some Sony-based games, such as Uncharted. However, the sharpness, framework, physics and attention to detail are second-to-none.
SOUND: The game has Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Every sound in the game is very realistic. The coolest feature is hearing enemies or civilians carrying on a conversation, which gives the game a very immersive feel. It is very interesting in hearing some of the things that they have to say. Also, when navigating through a crowd, the sound makes the player feel like they are watching a movie.
VERDICT: This game has the graphics, story, and the gameplay that easily makes Absolution the best of the series. Diehard Hitman fans owe it to themselves to purchase this game. The game welcomes new players to Hitman, but if these players still happen to have a last-gen console, they should pick up those editions of the series, as well.
on November 26, 2012
I'm a rabid consumer of stealth, action and roleplaying games and pre-ordered this game several years (yes, YEARS) ago. I've played all the previous games in the Hitman series and am perhaps one of the rare hardcore female fans. The combination of elegant stealth, creativity, and guilt-free mayhem has always really appealed to me! I'll keep this short for those who would rather be sneaking with their fiber wire. My overall rating is 4.5 stars out of 5, but my 'fun' rating is pure 5 stars.
1. Many, many hours of gameplay for those with perfectionistic tendencies about their hits. A few of the challenges (our of ~250) felt a bit grinding, but in general the challenges were extremely fun to beat and added a lot of replay to the game.
2. The spirit, and original voice actor, of Agent 47 is still there. Big plus. Sure, he's been slicked up in high-def, but the same cold-as-ice deadpan voice and distant demeanor is captured.
3. Don't expect a mimic or reboot of past Hitman games. The bar has been raised in video games since 2007, and Absolution integrates novel gameplay like 'spy vision' (think Dishonored and the new Batman games) and 'slowed-time shooting' (think Red Dead Redemption). The new additions more than make up for the loss of extensive weapon customization (although you can do this to some extent in the 'Contracts' play mode).
4. Beautifully rendered environments and stunning cutscenes. My PS3 was obviously at the limit of what this gen of consoles can do.
5. Interesting and well-planned contracts - essential of course! A couple times I had to pause the game after laughing for a while about an ingenious...er...success.
6. Hilarious, tongue-in-cheek dialogue*. There must have been hundreds of mini-conversations throughout the game.
7. Some new fun weapons, like the katana and proximity mines.
8. Great sound/music that is often particularly appropriate to certain actions/events. The developers really knew how to maximize the tension through the soundtrack.
9. Amazing crowd AI. You can hide in a small crowd, but it will eventually move and disperse randomly.
10. Never crashed, after 40 hours so far. Taxing graphics too! Take that Bethesda!
*exceptions noted below
1. There's a lot of gratuitous and rather lame examples of sexism. Some of it didn't bother me, like the latex-wearing killer nuns. That sits firmly in the realm of crazy video game fantasy and was just kind of funny. Other references and dialogue in the game bothered me a lot. For example, all bathrooms are men's rooms, complete with condom dispensers branded 'Its a Man's World.' Women are either strippers and sluts, or stupid, helpless sheep. Breasts reach epic proportions and the character development is nil. References to 'going home to my b!#&h wife' and 'popping nuns' were also a bit questionable. After playing games like Mass Effect 3 and other women-positive games, this type of 'let's set a level in a strip club' seems really outdated and almost a little sad. Did they think the game wasn't good enough without the T&A and demeaning dialogue?
2. Overt homophobia in some of the dialogue, especially when the main character is standing close to another guy. See above reference to outdated/sad.
3. You don't get paid for doing the storyline hits. There was something kind of satisfying about seeing your bank account grow in the previous games. Hits in the 'Contracts' play mode do pay.
4. The villains just didn't seem villainous enough and the NPCs were flat.
1. The story was a bit boring, but the engaging missions and challenges made that not matter so much. The story seemed like window-dressing to the heart of HA - the cold and stealthy pursuit of the perfect kill.
2. Some glitches in the AI like floating bodies, guns. This was rare. A few times I was unable to interact with an item.
3. I bought some of the DLC guns and disguises before realizing you can't use them in the main game. Doh!
4. A couple times, the story made 47 seem a bit too 'soft.' I like my contract killers cold, thank you.
Overall, a very enjoyable game with a few flaws that I hope the developers will heed for the next game. I can't wait to see what will be possible with the franchise on the PS4!
on November 20, 2012
I am 22 y.o. Russian who lives in CA. I never write reviews. Normally when I buy a video game, I return it, resell it or just give it away in 80% of the time. Because generally I find them boring, or they have bad graphics or a very low frame rate or lag on ps3.
I bought this game today and I will keep it! I played this only for 4 hours and I don't make a real review for this game here. This is more like a message for those who liked hitman 2, hitman 3 or any other stealth games and yet not sure if they want to purchase hitman absolution - Go Get It.
This game has a very clever story, nice graphics, solid frame rate, picture looks very smooth. The game has the best sound effects I have ever heard in any video game before, in my opinion even better than in battlefield games. It has 5 levels of difficulty for every type of player. Conversations in this game are just the best. Every guard, police man, etc has something going on in his mind and they all talk to each other, it makes you feel like every AI that you pass or kill or interact with in any way has his own problems, manners, etc. I always stop and listen to them, it's fun and sometimes they share some information that helps you to get closer to your target. I did not play contracts mode yet, this should be fun too, compete online with other people create contracts or complete contracts other created... you get the idea.
This is a high quality product.
Sorry about my Russian, I mean English lol. Happy Holidays!
on November 22, 2012
I have played 3 missions so far but I like it a lot.
-Great game's concept
-Fantastic sound effects
-Slow pace game, but fun (not your regular 1st personal shooter, like COD or Halo)
The not so good
-Very short missions
-Graphics are ok, but not the best
This is a stealth game, so do not expect being running in the middle of a hall killing people like crazy. You need to think, look around, fail (die) and start all over again. It can be frustrating, or fun? ... depending of what type of gamer you are. But if you are trying to "kill time" and have fun, this game is perfect; stimulates your senses and delivers a different type of game's experience, where patience and strategy are the two key factors.
The storyline is ok. It could be better or more elaborated, but it is extremely well complemented by the awesome sound effects. You really get into the game thanks to that. Like other reviewer pointed already, sound is at same level than Battlefield , which is a very realistic and immersive war game
Who should get this game? ... if you love stealth games that make you think and you have time to enjoy and learn while failing. Who should NOT get this game? Those who love shooting or fast pace games; this is not that type of game and you will get bored easily if that's what you are expecting.
I cannot compare to previous Hitman's release though. I played that one long time ago and just a few times. So I would not be honest in getting any comparison or side by side review. But I guess the main concept, which is stealth and strategy, remain untouched.
I'll try to update a few days or weeks later, after playing the other modes and difficulties.
-- UPDATE --
Ok, had the chance to play more, especially the new "contract mode"
I was missing the main part of the game, I think. The new contract mode it's a lot of fun. It basically allows you to customize some missions (part of the main storyline or game) and design objectives based on your target, weapons and killing mode. To give an example. You can create your own contract from 1st mission and say your goal is killing character "B", with a knife, you dress as a chef. If successful, then you get some virtual money that later you can use to get more weapons.
The fun part of "contract mode" is that you can play contracts that have been made by others., for free. You won't compete with them but with the mission goals itself, trying to be successful with the best time. This expands the levels and the overall game's lifespan by a ton, as the options are practically limitless.
Really like the game. A nice variation to my other fast pace games like COD. When I'm not in the mood of run and rush, I just enjoy playing with this one. And so far, I'm. spending more time playing this one than COD Black Ops II, honestly.
on November 25, 2012
First of this is one of the most beloved/hated series in video game history. So I knew reviews and people's opinion of this game would be all over the place. My best friend picked up this game first and he said it sucked and wasn't worth the wait. I told him I'll play it first and I'll be the judge.
I was immediately blown away. Graphics sound story are everything I wanted. This hitman game is like the perfect offspring of batman arkham asylum and uncharted. The atmosphere and stealth gameplay is like batman. The cinematics and overall level design is closer to uncharted. Now I know that's not what diehard hitman fans want to hear. But for a fan who loves batman uncharted and hitman this is one of the best games this year.
I would recommend this game for anyone who enjoys stealth story and style. But rent first to be even safer. Don't allow anyone to decide for you.
on February 5, 2014
So I bought this game originally on the PC, and then recently on the PS3. I only got into this game recently, due to the fact that I honestly am not a fan of any of the previous titles. I bought the first one forever ago when it was still new, and then I bought the PS2 Triple Pack of the last 3 in the series, but I didn't like any of them. I felt as if they were ultra scripted in every detail of what you did, and I just could't get into that style of gameplay. Having said that I have to say that everything I hated about the previous games has been removed. This game really gives you the feeling of choice. The greatest part of this game is piecing things together, something I really enjoy in video games. I like being able look into all the different possible ways I can kill these guys. Like for example, you may be able to kill a guy behind the alley when no ones looking with your piano wire, or you could wait for the target to put himself into a situation where you can set up a trap that appears as though it was a simple accident. Like putting poison in someones drugs and other cool things. I have read that hardcore fans of the series didn't like this game, which suggests to me that it was a niche series to date. But from someone who hated the previous titles, I can honestly say that should they make another Hitman game, I will definitely be pre-ordering it after playing Absolution.
on November 13, 2014
this is the first hitman game i've played, so i don't have the bias of comparison and i can tel you that i found this game to be extremely tedious. it wasn't fun at all. i found myself just wanting to finish the stages not out of interest to see what happens next but just to get the game over as soon as possible.
you pick up some weapons along the way but you barely get to use them. its hiding, hiding and more hiding. you make the mistake of firing one shot and a small army is on your back; you kill most of them and think "whew! just two more to go" then lo and behold 'backup arrives'. why give you guns at all?
then there's disguise. you put on a disguise (mask and all) and still everyone knows its you: whats the point?
i saw that this game got a lot of good reviews; for the life of me i can't see why.
on November 22, 2012
Being a huge fan of the Hitman series, having played all of the previous games, i'd like to get off my chest the things that might make you reconsider whether you should buy it or not; and since there are many reviews with only very high expectations and appraisal, you can convince yourself and contrast other reviews with mine.
So why i consider this fifth installment is the Worst Hitman game ever, (in my humble opinion):
First, it's a corridor gameplay, which means a single level is separated in pieces and you can't go back from where you were at the beginning. also it's a Point A to Point B in terms of entry/exit.
Secondly, no more Journalistic news of how you did your stuff, (which was funny and cool reading details and watching easter eggs hinting the next levels) when you compare it to Hitman Blood Money.
Third, personally i find that the story sucks, in the manner that in all of the Hitman games, the levels made you visit locations around the world. Here it's only the USA. Oh and early on from the tutorial Diana is no longer you handler (so no more this comunication and relation with her)/ 47 becomes highly sentimental which doesn't seem very 47, if you share the idea (sure he was emotional leaving the Asylum in Hitman 1, but this isn't the first behaviour i'd have expected for this game).
Fourth, lack of orchestral music with the Jesper Kyd touch, makes it less ambientalistically Epic.
Fifth argument, the evidence of QUICK TIME EVENTS in diverse parts of the game! and wierd Minigames that doesn't feel serious/it breaks from the mood of the story and can be tedious for some.
Sixth, No choosing of your Loadout at the beginning of missions.
Seven, No CUSTOMIZABLE GUNS.
Eight, you cannot do Innovative kills, you get Slapped to the face and the "point system" that was added is like a teacher kicking you in the balls when you try to do something else besides what you're supposed to do: there's only a few ways of chosen by the game itself to accomplish your contracts. So Hurray for Linearity!
Nine, DLC costumes and weapons? Seriously?
Ten, where's the PDA map?
Eleven: this should be called Hitman: Abomination.
- Graphics and weather/elements (fire water etc.) are enhanced
- Sound effects are really well done
- There's a bigger crowd system kind of like in A Murder of Crows in "Hitman: Blood Money", but of course with better organization, they don't feel like they're just dumb AI's hanging in there.
- The AI is a little better in terms of being resourceful in groups, and add to the suspense but they still remain dumb in alertness and aren't enough unpredictable.
- There's a variety of starting guns or costumes that can be unlocked throughout the main story, but some of those costumes feel more goofy than being part of the levels.
- Even if i didn't like the turn of events inside "The Storyline" it still opens up to a more interesting plot, with that Lonewolf attitude of 47 protecting a girl (with latent capabilities), which will be unfolded in Hitman 6... let's hope the gameplay won't be a CoD or a generic dumbed down Shooter.
- More gamemodes for higher replayability
Overall it feels like the developers wanted to change completely to the line that they were following in the last 4 games, and took an approach that is more similar to Splinter Cell Conviction in terms of Story/movielike mechanics, rather than a more complex, full-er game. IF you want a change and a different perspective, try it first, and buy it then; if not, well there's still hope they turn back taking back the good elements which made the previous games to stand out from the whole bunch of games out there.
on November 13, 2013
STELLAR! That is the word that comes to mind. To all the naysayers of this game, you are in the minority. This game is great. The visuals are so great. Rain that looks like real rain falling on objects. Watch the train pass by in Chicago and it looks like a real train passing you by on a platform. The weapons are great. My favorite are the throwing objects. Grab a knife and if a henchman gets suspicious and starts following you, you can turn and throw to eliminate the threat; axes too! One of the targets was about to off one of the innocent street vendors and I threw my knife to save the day, eliminate the target and he went straight into the sewer. I was in awe. This is the first game I have played on PS3 as I waited til PS4 came out to get it cheaper and I don't recommend that because the enemy AI is great. They hunt, backup arrives, they take cover, they dive, they shoot around corners and above objects they crouch behind. I know this game has elements of assassins creed and red dead redemption, but this is without a doubt the best game I have played to date. It is a masterpiece.
on January 19, 2014
I started playing this game from strictly the stealth angle and I found myself getting a little frustrated and bored. Once I started mixing up the stealth and action 50/50 I started enjoying it a lot more. The graphics are good and the controls are excellent. It'd be nice to replay levels and try to get better skills and points by being more stealth if I was into that so stealth addicts should find a lot of satisfaction. For a great mix of gameplay, I prefer games like the Last of Us and Far Cry 3 but this was still worth the small price that I paid for it. There's many ways to complete a level but I still found some of the levels to be too small and either too easy or too hard, depending on how I tried to execute it. Either way, it's a good game and worth a try for anyone that likes similar games.