Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
PC Port: Nixxes
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Reviewed on: PC
The original Assassin finally returns after a 6 long years of break with Hitman: Absolution. This is my review of this latest installment in Hitman franchise. Note that if you think this review is way too positive and the score is a little overrated, then its mostly because as a long time Hitman fan, I'm too happy to see Agent 47 back.
We all know that Hitman: Absolution kicks off with Agent 47 killing his former handler Diana Burnwood. The story gets very interesting later with multiple turning point and the outcome of this incident. But its more interesting with multiple contracts done throughout the whole game has a different vision discovered at the end of the game. Overall the story of this game is quite good and interesting, yet it could have been much better with its current main plot.
Graphics of Absolution is amazing with plenty of beautiful vistas and tons of lovely locations and all of them are very highly detailed. In my opinion, the new Glacier 2 engine is probably the best new game engine in very recent time. The optimization is so perfect, even with all those NPC's gathering, enemies walking around and special effects inside the world of Absolution, I received 50-60 FPS all the time throughout the whole game. Nixxes definitely deserves a big thanks for this amazing PC port.
Music is quite good in Absolution but it should have been much better. Felt the absence of Jesper Kyd in this title very much. Square Enix should let him continue his amazing work as the composer of Hitman franchise. Even though Ave Maria was featured in this game, the soundtrack could have been much better. But the sound effects in game is very well done and voice acting is top class. Expressions of the NPC's, their voices and tone is very realistic.
Wonder what Agent 47 is looking for? He just sent a guy through that hole and he's making sure whether that guy reached hell or not.
Gameplay of Hitman: Absolution provides a lot of varities. You can play either as Silent Assassin style or you can go guns blazing anytime you want. The best thing is that you can finish the game without killing anyone or even getting noticed by the enemies. But if you want to play it as a shooter you still can do it and the game offer plenty of variations in that style too.
Its great to see the signature weapons like Fibre Wire and Dual Silverballers back. Disguise system also makes a return and its great to take disguise of anyone you want. The enemy AI is not good, sometimes in some case, they act like dumb. Even they can't remember if their partner is missing even while you take their partner away from there side. But sometimes they can be challenging thanks to the dumb awareness meter which is the weakest point of this game. Enemies can remember every face similar to their class, even they can notice Agent 47 from a 20 feet distant.
Sniper Rifle is barely featured in game, but when it makes an appearance, its great to use the most of it.
Different difficulties in the game is also a positive aspect and the toughest difficulty mode called 'Purist' is insane where you will get no hint or help from in game, not even the HUD which makes it toughest to choose for first time play-through. But the Purist mode also have a big problem. But there also lies a pretty bad thing of Purist mode and that's because of the enemy awareness meter. Purist mode actually too tempting to make you play Absolution in third person shooter style.
Presentation of the game is amazing in Absolution. The return of David Bateson is definitely one of the thing that I loved most. And this time he even talks more than previous games. The cut-scenes are very well done and voice acting and motion capture performance is one of the best in recent years. Every VA did a great job to show a top class performance. NPC's walking around, doing certain things and even their conversation with each other is done amazingly well. Enemies also give away some important hints about the current level with their conversations.
Hitman: Absolution has a big replay value thanks to the 5 difficulty levels with plenty of challenges on each level for which you might have to play a level 12 times to do all of them. And the replay value is unlimited if you enjoy the Contract mode. The new rating syatem is surely one of the strongest side of the game. It gives the player a wide varieties to test different play-style and to get the best possible ranks with most points.
- The story is very good, with different turning point in the game and interesting outcome at the end.
- Graphics is amazing with lots of beautiful vistas and tons of lovely locations and everything is very much detailed.
- New game engine which lets thousands of NPC gathering in a single screen.
- Game optimization is very good with 50-60 FPS all the time.
- Level designing is amazing with plenty of ways to kill a target.
- Huge game world with tons of things to try out and choose different path during re-play a level.
- Wide varieties in gameplay with return of some old mechanics with adding some good new gameplay mechanics.
- Cover system is pretty good.
- Great replay value with tons of things to do.
- Amazing presentation with fantastic voice acting and motion capture.
- Rating system is heavily rewarding which makes me try a checkpoint or level when I do something unnecessary or made any mistake.
- Great shooting mechanics and made this game a flawless third person shooter, depending on player's choice.
- Absolution is too much inspired by Splinter Cell series. The moves of 47 is more like Sam Fisher.
- Enemy awareness meter isn't very well tweaked.
- Music isn't the top class and should have been much better.
- Quick time events are quite unnecessary.
- Enemies respawn after restarting a checkpoint.
Few things that would make this game a whole lot better and few things I think should have been included
- A much better and comfortable enemy awareness meter.
- Well placed checkpoints and ability to save the session.
- Add a binocular and a sniper case.
- Not excluding Jesper Kyd from the composer.
- Exclude instincts, point shooting and quick time events from the game.
- Give Agent 47 the ability to whistle to attract enemies.
An example of enemy AI [Direct YouTube Link]
In overall, Hitman: Absolution is neither the best game in the franchise nor a successful sequel to Blood Money. But as a die hard Hitman fan I love the game because its still offer plenty of new and old mechanics with an amazing and huge game world. In a few words, Hitman: Absolution is a success.
My Review Scores:
Lasting Appeal: 9.6/10