Hitman: Absolution is a stealth based game that belongs to the popular Hitman series and builds on the diverse stealth mechanics of the franchise to date. Like many of the Hitman titles before it this 2012 addition will have you slowly calculating your next move in a variety of assassination style missions that introduce different settings and objectives.
The game world is set in the aftermath of the previous game (Hitman: Blood Money) where players will once play as Agent 47 as they hunt down their old handler Diana Burnwood and then fulfil her dying wish by protecting Victoria from The Agency. From here the player goes rogue themselves and continue their role as a hitman in exchange for information relating to Victoria. With the genetically engineered assassin at your control and the International Contract Agency (ICA) central to the plot there are familiar friends, enemies and a cast of new characters that continue to build on the world of the Hitman series.
Much of the game storyline is told through extensive cutscenes which is a notable change from the previous Hitman games which results in a deeper story than what you would have experienced to date from Hitman adventures. Additionally players won’t be able to select their equipment from The Agency and have to focus more on what the environment has to offer given players being branded as a traitor to the ICA soon into the story.
Gameplay levels are orientated mostly around cities in the United States with some based on realistic locations while others are derived entirely from believable fiction. A large shift from previous games in the Hitman series in this regard is the change to much smaller maps with checkpoints scattered in between. While this removes much of the exploration emphasis it means far less frustration for the player where one miss step can really hurt your chances of a successful assassination. This also ties closely to the environmental focus of Hitman: Absolution given your lack of ICA support by reducing the time necessary to scout the entire map for potential assistance tools.
In each mission your primary objective is to achieve an assassination although there are multiple paths to achieving this challenge. Stealth generally offers the most options for players to achieve their objective but combat can also play a role and is a much more enjoyable experience with the cover system receiving some notable upgrades. In order to help Agent 47 players can use an instinct mode which gives you information on your objective, objects of interest or can help you see the patrol routes of enemies so that you don’t mentally have to retain these in your own head and can leverage the impressive genetics of Agent 47.
Hitman: Absolution also encourages players to replay levels through the scoring system which keeps track of your performance and compares it to others for those that want to gauge their skill level relative to the community of players. While some of the changes in Hitman: Absolution might feel like a watering down for long-time fans it means the game is much more suited to newcomers looking to get in on the stealth gameplay that the Hitman series has to offer and is well known for.
- Continues to develop the stealth gameplay of the Hitman franchise.
- Long campaign (15hrs+) with plenty of mission design variety around your core assassination goal.
- Focus on story telling through high quality cutscenes.
- Instinct mode can help you discover information for tougher levels and recall that information during a level.
- Score system compares you to others and encourages replaying to min-max your stealth achievements.
- Buy Hitman Absolution (Amazon)
- Buy Hitman Absolution (Humble Store)
- Buy Hitman Absolution (Microsoft Store – Xbox One)
Review Platform: PC