It's great to have Agent 47 back, but in Absolution, the Hitman series is just a pale shadow of its former self.
Here are some problems, in no particular order:
1. You no longer feel like a Hitman: Agent 47 has gone rogue and is on the run. As a result, you constantly feel more like you're being hunted down than hunting other people down. And there goes all the charm of the former hitman games down the toilet.
2. The story is boring: They introduced a story, which is nice in theory. But the plot is painfully formulaic and predictable, and the characters are so comically stereotypical that they lack, well... character. The story just falls on its head.
3. All the creativity is missing: I definitely miss the creativity behind the older Hitman games. You had to really think hard of a good strategy to reach your target. Now, your strategy can be to just hide behind conveniently place objects, move from one cover to the other. Or you can even just easily kill all your targets and get away with it. I miss picking my weapons before each mission. I miss the map, which allowed me to plan my moves. I missed gathering intelligence which was relevant to the assassination. Taking away all of those elements makes the game less satisfying. It feels more like one long, bad, boring movie.
4. The sets, and the checkpoint system: The game is now divided into several, mostly linear segments. Instead of carrying one meticulously planned and complicated assassination, you carry out several assassinations in each stage. Instead of having one large area to study and focus on to develop a plan, the game plays out something like this: you move from point A to point B, assassinate a few enemies, then reach a checkpoint, then move to point C, assassinate one or two enemies, then reach a checkpoint, and so on.
5. Assassinations feel more like murders. It's a bit related to my first point, but in this game, you are just simply not a Hitman anymore. A hitman is paid to assassinate people. In this game, you are just after your own personal enemies. They know you're coming. You are not a mysterious silent assassin. You're just some killer who's going after other killers. This all just cheapens the assassinations. It cheapens the game.
To put it plainly, assassinating someone in Absolution is just nowhere near as satisfying as it once was.
As a standalone title, it's a decent game. As the new Hitman, it is every bit as disappointing as I was worried it was going to be after I saw the trailers.
Please bring the old gameplay back.
Voice Acting: 8/10
Production Values: 7.5/10