Killing someone is easy. You can shoot him in the head, stab him with a knife, or push him off a ledge. But if writers didn’t think out of the box and wow audiences with creative displays of bloodshed, movies wouldn’t be so exciting.
The same holds true to a video game like Hitman: Absolution that focuses on the straightforward act of killing but gives players the tools to take out their targets to their liking. The end result is a different kind of Hitman game that focuses on choice and yet is the closest players will get to feeling like a true assassin.
Hitman: Absolution is more like a puzzler than a shooter. That’s because you need to think your way around the game rather than blasting your way through it.
i think It’s weird watching game worlds get smaller as technology gets better: it’s no surprise that Hitman: Absolution showed a game that was more linear and ‘corridor’-like than previous iterations, as the reality isn’t so far from the truth. Settings and locales have been scaled down, levels are broken up into stages and sections, some of which involve you simply going from A to B, others that involve you killing someone, and it gives off a very compartmentalised feel to everything. I’m sure IO would argue that there’s less space, but more detail, but almost from the off fans of the original games may be disappointed by the onset of ‘modern’ gaming.
Absolution’s biggest triumph is also its biggest weakest – the Rating system. As you go from mission to mission, section to section, you’re given a score based on how well you perform depending on what you do. Completing objectives gives you a lot of points, as does completing them in style. Being spotted is bad, as is killing non-critical targets and civilians, and so on. It’s an addictive and utterly compelling and the bane of my life and wonderful, just like a good score-attack mode should be. Your score gets further modified by completing in-game challenges, which also serve as a hint as to what you can possible do in the game. Usually these only add a 5% modifier, but if you complete enough of them you can really rack up the points.
So, Hitman: Absolution then. IO would maintain until the day they die at the hands of a hitman that it’s a game full of choices. On one level that’s true, but if some choices are really choices that no sane person (or someone wanting to do things ‘properly’) then is it really a choice? This game has its share of interesting and mundane sections, and whilst it does a few key set-pieces quite brilliantly, on a whole it’s a fairly underwhelming experience. It’s hard to really give a final say as to whether or not you should buy it – maybe if you can find it cheap? The Contracts mode is really what’s going to keep this game going though.