To the uninitiated, the title might seem pretty bland for a game with so much hype around it. But those who know who the ‘baldy’ being referred to here is, well, they are probably flying in anticipation right now. Because this is no ordinary bald guy we are talking about here, he is Agent 47, the original assassin. And when he is without a gun, you definitely know he is up to killing baddies in the most interesting, grotesque, bone-chilling manner.
Yes, Agent 47 is back with a vengeance and he has an impossible target to achieve. In its pursuit, Hitman: Absolution revives the best aspects of the series that has been dead for half a decade. Absolution shines, take a look at how!
47 Shades of Hitman
Hitman: Absolution picks up from Hitman: Blood Money and takes the game mechanics further. The USP of Hitman series has always been the ability to approach a target in N different ways. I could stab my target, shoot him in the back with a silenced pistol, take him off from a building 2 miles away or simply walk up behind him in the toilet and strangle him to death. Hitman: Absolution gave me this much freedom, along with a lot more.
What’s new is that the game is a lot darker than its predecessors. The entire story, setup and environment give you the feel of how a real assassin game should feel like. The men are sick, twisted perverts with a history of crime, violence and addiction. The women are either prostitutes or presented in the most inappropriate manner. All of this adds to the class of the game and you feel as if you are in a world that requires some punishment, punishment that you would soon be dealing out in huge servings. Speaking of the world, Hitman: Absolution develops a graphically intensive environment in each and every mission. The crowds actually feel like crowds and present the challenges of killing in public adequately. This aspect is a lot better done than some wannabe creed games of assassins. (Oops, I did hurt someone there, didn’t I?).
The sound system creates the perfect atmosphere for the game. From a high tempo track for a showdown to a subtle track for a silent assassination, the game’s sound system is perfectly made. You feel connected to the world with each and every sound, even the minute door creak here and there.
On the other hand, there are some hicks. For instance, Agent 47 has always been an assassin who just knows one thing, protocol. He does not feel, does not question and does not brood; he kills, and does it in style. Absolution exposes his humane side earlier in the game, when he empathizes with a young girl who is all set to become a super-crazy-overpowered assassin he is. And, he rebels. The whole story follows Agent 47 saving that little-clown-of-a-future-assassin and fighting his former employer. That’s so not Hitman. Does this affect the game? Hell yes. The storyline loses its grip halfway through and slows to a turtle’s pace.
Resurrection comes in the form of combat mechanics and freedom given to players in the game. So much so, that I decided to give it a full section!
Bringing It Down, Hitman Style
Combat in Hitman: Absolution is divided into two main parts. The first part is the close combat mechanism and the tools at 47’s disposal. Sedatives, grenades, guns and the trademark fiber wire are some of the weapons our beloved baldy has in his arsenal. The good part about this is that you have unlimited options to finish a mission. You can use your weapons or just make the environment work for you to cause ‘accidental’ deaths. The freedom is what drives Hitman: Absolution.
Apart from the combat, there are some new additions that I loved. Point Shooting is one power-up that slows down time, allowing you to wreak havoc in the level. While I did find it pretty interesting, I suggest you avoid using it as it would literally transform Agent 47 into Gunzerker from Borderlands. The idea of Hitman is to enjoy stealth-based killing, better enjoy it that way. You can keep it as a side tool for unlocking an insane killing spree once in a while though.
The Instinct mode is another addition that lets you understand the environment and know the people around him. Agent 47 can sense people around him and the relation they have to him. While it does power down the older, omnipotent mini-map, it gives you a lot more insight into the environment. I would say that it is an interesting addition for new players but nothing big for the experienced ones.
Hitman: Absolution hits the jackpot in terms of gameplay and environment. The combat mechanics are great, the environment and NPCs are well constructed and the sound plays along with the plot. The story and narrative, on the other hand, make the game lose out on a perfect score.
I will give Hitman: Absolution 8.5/10 as it leaves some expectations hanging in the air (with a fiber wire). I sorely wish there was a better storyline because Agent 47 deserves a power packed comeback. Alas, the irony of life! At that note, I will leave you to try out the game. Happy gaming and thanks for reading!