Hello again , so I said there would be a blog, and indeed there is, and in this blog I thought I would give my opinion on a game I got about a month ago , a game that has been getting some mixed reviews to say the least, some really like it, some hate it, and that game is Hitman Absolution.
So the first Hitman game in some 6 years (if I remember correctly) is a bit of a different animal from its forebears, and this is arguably the reasons for the mixed opinions , I was hesitant to buy it because of this, though eventually I found it on sale, and have played through it .
More specifically I got the PC version of the game, but we will get to that in time, regardless, all the screenshots in this review are from the PC version , directly from my PC.
Story - From the begining of the game, you can already tell effort went into the story, it begins with Agent 47, the protagonist of the series, on the way to murder Diana , the woman who in previous games , gave 47 his missions at the Agency (the mysterious organisation 47 works for). With some hesitation ,47 accomplishes this mission , but then proceeds to switch sides, so to speak , and fulfill Diana's last request to protect a girl the agency is looking for. Obviously once its discovered that 47 betrayed the agency , everybody and their cousin are now after him as the girl is valuable in some way you will discover later on.
This story is actually quite an achievement for the series, anybody familiar with the earlier games in the series, will know the story was always pretty weak , they got better later on , but for the most part you were not getting to know any characters well , and that includes 47 himself. Absolution changes that with better story telling which helps immerse you in the world, the people you fight are not just contracts you know nothing about, but in some cases legitimate enemies
However, the one problem the heavy story introduces is linearity , something that will be discussed later.
Gameplay - This is the area where people are rather divided about, and with some good reason . traditionally, Hitman games put you in a large open world with a series of targets, you were to kill someone, steal something, or usually both, and then escape, how you did this was entirely up to you.
Hitman Absolution has many of these things, and the abilities that 47 had are retained, you can still kill enemies from behined with your fibre wire , you can still take the costumes of your enemies to better disguise yourself, this is still a stealth game in every way with many of the skills and abilities one finds in other stealth games.
Where the potential problem arises is how these skills are implemented, because of the story , your missions are not as open ended, nor does every mission involve killing anybody, in fact, most missions do not have a specific target as such , in fact alot of the missions have you go to a certain place, and sneak past the guards, also do not get select what weapons you have at the begining of each mission , your weapons are dictated by the story, and what weaposn you pick up during the game.
You still get to roam the levels freely, but your goals don't always make it necessary to do so , though the levels themselves have the flaw of being smaller than the average level on any of the older Hitman games (at least as far as Contracts or Blood Money were concerend)
Moreover, the costume system has been changed, to what is arguably a more realistic, but also somewhat more troublesome system. As mentioned, 47 can steal any costume he wants, and this is better than his standard suit, but costumes are based on character class, which means that if , for instance, you dress as a policeman , other police officers will be able to see through your disguise if you don't quickly walk away.
As you can see in this picture, 47 is disguised as a police officer, and in order to avoid being discovered by a nearby policeman , he has to hide his face using instinct mode, which helps you spot targets and hide like this , although this eventually runs out and refills through out the level (indicated by the yellow bar at the side of the screen)
One thing that has certainly been improved is the combat system , previous Hitman games had a somewhat clunky system. Hitman Absolution brings into the series elements which are found in modern 3rd person shooters, such as a cover mechanic , and this helps you when you get discovered, which happens quite often.
The game does have a multiplayer mode to remedy the linearity though , in the form of contracts, in this mode, gamers themselves create scenarios using the existing levels, you are given weapons , a list of targets and attempt to beat the levels created by the player. This actually feels more like the older games, but its quality is varied obviously.
I know this sounds like Im being negative , but Im not, as I said, the elements which make up the gameplay are well done, but the context in which they are used has changed, which can be both a good and bad thing.
As a side note, the PC version supports both the keyboard/mouse and the 360 controller , which is what Im using, as it helps the game in my opinion.
Graphics and Sound - As noted before, this is the PC version , and it looks great, the new engine used for the game really shines, the texture quality, and models, its all great ,and the overall design of the game is good too. The engine does a good job of bringing the various locals to life , wheres previous games felt like you were the only person on the street, Absolution has lots of people , and alot of detail everywhere (probably the trade off for the smaller levels)
On my PC , Im running the game at 1920X1080 , at these settings
needless to say these are not the maxed out settings, but the game still looks and runs better than it does on the consoles , if you have a good PC , I would recommend this version over the others, as the optimization is pretty good as far as a multiplat goes
(my PC is a Phenom II X6 , 4GB DDR3 and a Radeon 6870 1GB , and it runs the game at around 45-70 fps , mostly at 55ish, depending on the situation , it should give you an idea of how well you might run it)
That said, I have played the PS3 version , and while its obviously not as good looking, its still a good looking and smooth running game so don't hesitate to get the console versions.
Sound is done pretty well in this game too, there isn't that much music, but the eviroment and characters provide the right atmosphere , although music is used when youre discovered. The game has more voice acting in it than previous games ,and its overall well done, if at times a little cheesy.
Overall, I can't complain about the overall presentation of the game.
Overall , Im not sure what to say about Hitman Absolution , its certainly a not for everyone, it really depends on what youre expecting. If youre looking for a traditional Hitman game, then youre not going to get it, the game is not as open ended, and not necessarily all about assasinations. If youre looking for a good stealth game however , you will probably like the game, since the overall elements which make up the game, are well done.
I personally found the game fun , I was open minded about it and was willing to accept the changes its not like they turned the game into a Call Of Duty clone , its still , at its core , the same game as its predecessors.
So there was my review of Hitman Absolution , its a hard game to describe because there is alot to like, but also some flaws which hurt it, I hope this helped some people make up their mind about the game
Thanks for reading :)