4. Improved Story-Driven Gameplay.
I would like to say, before I begin, that I am very sorry that #4 is coming a day behind schedule, but here it is, as promised.
In Hitman games, stories have almost always taken a backseat as compared to gameplay, and while that is most definitely not the case here, in Hitman: Absolution, the gameplay does not take a backseat as compared to storytelling. Actually, from what I've been able to see and hear, the story is sitting in the passenger's seat, and the gameplay is still firmly parked in the driver's seat.
Absolution attempts to branch out from the rather poor story-telling of previous games. Where you were basically given a mission in a random place, and you hadn't a clue as to why you are there in the first place. The story didn't really make sense at first, and it was confusing to follow at times, as you didn't understand the importance of each hit that took place.The key thing that really got you interested into 47 and his story, was the intrigue and mystery of the character, and that was it.
In Absolution, IO Interactive is trying to break away from the somewhat lousy story-telling elements of the earlier games had, while focusing on the mystery and intrigue of 47 as a character. They want you to see a side of 47 you've never seen before, taken out of his element, so to speak, and forced to operate alone without Diana's assistance. I will say no more to that effect, but as you can see already, this will be a more story-driven experience this time around, and it definitely appears as if it's working out just fine.
However, I have read a number of reviews that still see the random locations pop up, without knowing the actual reason as to why 47 is there in the first place, some have said that it is very disjointed, just like in previous games. Meanwhile, many reviews say the exact opposite, granting the game much positive credit for it's story. Playstation Official Magazine UK hails the story as "A fantastic package - a dark, witty tale of death and retribution that can be whatever you want it to."
So it really seems to boil down to personal opinion, and hopefully, it lives up to the expectations as a grand story that tries to give a little bit of insight into an otherwise mysterious and secretive character whose existence is sometimes even called into question.
Here's a level from the 4th game in the "hit" franchise, a game titled Hitman: Blood Money" This level is called "Curtains Down".