Turning his back on the Agency, Agent 47 finds himself hunted by both the Police and The Agency. Unlike previous Hitman games, Absolution does not depend on individual contracts for the storyline. Instead, the two have been separated, the story mode ‘Absolution’, and the contracts mode, aptly named ‘Contracts’.
In Absolution, Agent 47′s character develops through a clear storyline. The story itself is quite mediocre in terms of the plot, and you can pretty much tell what’s going to happen. Without trying to give much away, it can be summed up with one sentence. ‘Try and find the girl while killing a bunch of people’.
In Contracts mode players can carry out contracts, they can create their own and share them online. Players can setup competitions for contracts and invite friends to participate, seeing who can complete the contract the fastest. By successfully carrying out contracts, you are rewarded with Hitman Money, which is used to unlock weapons, parts and outfits.
The stealth is quite similar to other Hitman games, requiring you to use effective cover and disguises to slip past undetected. Absolution’s main feature is Instinct, a complete game changing addition, which allows Agent 47 to use his superior senses. Instinct has four key features, spotting objects of interest, anticipating enemy movement, blending in and point shooting.
With the AI receiving an IQ boost (probably a bit too much) due to this you will be using Instinct a lot when you play Absolution. The NPCs like police/guards/chefs etc. will realise you’re not really one of them pretty quickly. This means you can no longer put on a disguise and stand next to people without them suspecting a thing. This is where Instinct’s blending feature comes in to play allowing you just enough time to blend in and slip past.
Point Shooting allows you to utilise Agent 47′s true lethal potential. With Point Shooting you can mark multiple targets and execute them in one swift action. Designating targets uses up a lot of Instinct very quickly so selecting your targets fast would be advisable.
Absolution features some very large levels, to make it less painful, a Checkpoint system has been implemented. By activating a marked checkpoint, you can always replay a scene, very handy for when you mess something up. This saves having to restart the level when you make a tiny miscalculation. The checkpoint system also has its failure, if you end up restarting from a checkpoint, any entities you killed/subdued prior to the checkpoint will respawn, and any weapons you dropped or disguises you change out of will no longer be there.
The visuals are very current gen, there nothing ground breaking to report about it. The only noticeable difference between the Lowest and Ultra settings is more grass and detailed shadows/vegetation in higher settings. In terms of performance even with the lowest graphics settings, your system can be reduced to a crawl in some cutscene/stage transitions.
Verdict: Lives up to expectation, best stealth game since Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: 20 Nov 2012
Platform played on: PC