It’s been almost 13 years since the original Agent 47 blessed our screens, taking out enemies without question for the agencies behalf. Six years has passed since Blood Money and Agent 47 is back but the idea of being undetected throughout the entire game is long behind him, now the choice is yours. In a much more unconventional approach players are encouraged to kill targets in a multitude of ways.
Hitman has always had a relatively simply story, your given targets and you have to go kill them. In Absolution this is still your main goal but there is a slightly deeper story here, the Agency are after you because you have taken an asset that ‘belongs’ to them. You must still hunt down targets and kill them but you now have choice in how you go about this. No longer do you have to sneak past everyone and just kill your target, but you can pretty much do as you please. It’s clear that the developers want you to experiment with different weapons and methods of killing and it works brilliantly.
I found myself constantly restarting check points because I didn’t like the way that I killed someone, the funny thing being that when I killed someone accidentley or if I used a weapon I didn’t mean too, I never got angry, I was just happy to restart and try again. I ended up on some missions for hours trying to perfect my kill method.
There are 20 missions all in all that are broken up into two or three smaller location based missions, all of which offer a truly different and unique setting for you to hunt and kill your targets. You could be in the middle of China town with hundreds or people tracking your target or it could be in the middle of a nursing home with hardly anyone around. There is a great amount of diversity in the maps and it makes it a joy to play.
The way you are scored in each mission is based on how you kill, you will start at 0 points and this can go up and down based on your performance. If you end up killing loads of civilians then you will lose points very quickly, the same can be said for leaving bodies out in the open or being spotted. On the other hand you will be rewarded for signature kills and disposing of bodies and also for collecting evidence and completing challenges.
The strange thing is I never really saw the benefit of having a high score other than the bragging rights, you can unlock costumes and weapons for the other modes but other than that I just didn’t see the point and at first it can really make you feel negative about killing people. The trick is to simply ignore it and enjoy yourself, this is when you can start having some real fun.
I was impressed by how many weapons were available throughout each mission, from your mundane bottle and plunger to your hammers and swords. There are tons of weapons and guns which just allows you to constantly experiment I very rarely found myself using the same gun or weapon twice.
The problem that Hitman has is it doesn’t succeed with the shooting elements as well as I would have hoped. The sniping aspects are great and it feels like a true sniper game at times, but with some of the more basic weapons it just feels a little lack luster compared to some of the melee combat.
Agent 47 has an ‘instinct’ mode which allows him to predict enemies paths and also allows him to enable activate point shooting, where you can slow time and pick your targets until you are willing to unleash hell and take them all out in one go. It can lead to some very cool moments especially when you have 7 guards on you and you just take them all out before they even knew what hit them.
The instinct mode isn’t just used for seeing paths of guards and killing people, it’s essential when you are in disguise. This is another huge part of the game where you can take enemies clothes and walk among people going unnoticed to a point. This is probably the biggest flaw with the game too, you can be wearing a run of the mill cop outfit and yet a random cop will end up saying something like ‘hey, don’t I know you…’ and you are just sat there thinking really? You know every single cop in the world or something? It might be a bit of a drag but I quickly moved passed it because the game performs so well. With the instinct meter filled you can activate it to blend in so other people wearing the same outfit cannot detect you but if you run out they will try and pursue you.
The great thing is there are tons of disguises and some of them are hilarious to walk around in, it just adds another element to the game that is well received even though it could have used some slight tweaking.
Hitman Absolution also looks stunning especially when playing on the PC, with some amazing lighting and truly inspiring visual effects this is one game that will really impress visually. This graphics are truly complimented by the sounds of the game too, NPC’s feel very much alive and all the little noises that you would expect to hear in these thriving environments are all there.
Other than the single player mode there is a Contract mode which essentially uses the previous maps and missions from the single player mode, but allows you to create your own challenges and compete on the leaderboards, it is a very unique idea and is a great deal of fun to play especially when you have friends how also play the game.
Hitman offers something that a lot of games already offer and it isn’t without small flaws, that being said it is a truly immersive experience and players will very quickly find themselves enjoying trying to find unique ways to take out their targets. With its stunning graphics and satisfying story, Hitman is one that may have been missed by many but it’s well worth picking up.