Agent 47 makes his come back after a few years of down time. Absolution picks up after the events of Blood Money, at the end of which everything went to hell. The plot is more linear than Blood Money. It involves a young girl who needs 47’s help and game’s tagline is: ‘how many lives will you take to save one?’ This gives you an indication on what going to be happening.
The game is split in two. After the fantastic opening ‘trailer’ (very reminiscent of a bond film) you can choose it’s personal (main story) or it’s business (online). The story is pretty standard fare, however the gamplay has evolved somewhat. Whereas before 47 was somewhat clunky and slow moving he has now upped his game; allowing for fast hand-to-hand take downs and slow-mo shooting that uses a tag and execute function, similar to Splinter Cell: Conviction.
These new features are great, however the new grading system punishes you heavily for being spotted or pretty much any overt or overly hostile act. This includes shooting people and killing civilians. The points unlock perks/ abilities and if your system is online you can see how you rank against both the world and Great Britain. The challenges system also encourages you to find innovative/ wacky ways of offing your target. These work similar to trophies/ achievements and boost your score.
All of this means that you will likely spend a great deal of your time with your gun firmly in it’s holster. Still, if you do want a good, old fashioned shoot-out there is nothing to stop you; just be prepared to take a massive hit in points. There is something satisfying about executing a flawless hit on your target and getting the silent assassin rank. However these moments are often sparse. I found that I was more frequently frustrated than flushed with victory. Occasionally I just shot the git in the face and ran away. Not subtle, but never the less just as effective as donning a disguise and poisoning their cocaine.
Hitman: Absolution is a little hit and miss; the multiplayer features a new and interesting approach. Instead of all out team death-matches. You pit yourself against other players in custom contracts. It’s just you versus computer enemies but a player has constructed and completed this contract at least once. Can you do it better than it’s creator?
The graphics aren’t as sharp as they could be but Hitman: Absolution is an enjoyable enough game, even if it can be a bit clunky and frustrating at times. The word that springs to mind is ‘meh’, but if you are a fan of the series don’t let that stop you.