Hitman Absolution

I don’t have patience. And patience, as they say, is a virtue; especially when one is an international hitman.

Hitman (the character, not the game) is the ultimate killing machine.

 
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Like a shark, but on land, and with guns. He is grey and silent and vicious. But unlike a shark he can stop moving without dying. In fact sometimes he will stop moving and just sit around listening to people for minutes at a time. Then slide by unnoticed or garrotte them and stuff their body in a bin.

The waiting got to me.

Crouching, listening to the guards go by. Eavesdropping on their conversations. Learning what might happen next and where they might go. The whole time my trigger finger is itching. But this game penalises you for killing people.

At first this confused me, then I realised that the game is all about purity. It’s very zen.

John Hitman (not his real name) should not allow his hands to touch any dirty humans other than his target. Why waste his amazing powers on anything other than the person he is being paid to kill? As such, the game plays at different levels of purity. Your score at the end of each level is tallied up and every non-target killed or even incapacitated earns you a deduction. Because of this, Hitman tests not only your sneaky assassination skills but your morality.

In one level, a man - someone you have met previously - begs for his life as he is led away by mercenaries to be shot. To be pure you would let this man, a person that you put in danger simply by showing up at his motel, die with a bullet in his head. Do you ruin your score simply to save an NPC? I did.

But then I blew the rest of the bad guys to hell in a gas explosion and walked out. Like a Boss.

Of course I could’ve snuck around and garotted the two targets I was supposed to kill. Or knifed them before hiding the bodies. I could’ve gone in guns blazing and shot up the place. There was probably a sniper rifle lying around somewhere too.

This game has so much depth. If John Hitman is a shark, Absolution is a deep, dark ocean.

The first mission in Chinatown is great example of this. I found two ways of killing the target (not including walking up and shooting him in the face, which I tried first), all while blending into the crowd. Searching on the net I discovered another two. The detail involved is spectacular. The levels are crafted like intricate puzzle boxes that have a small number of very particular ways to open them. Or you can just smash them with a hammer.

It’s hard not to compare Absolution to Dishonored. Both games require a large amount of stealth and offer multiple paths to victory. For me, Absolution felt like a deeper game and a far more enjoyable one. Perhaps this because the gimmicks in Dishonored tended work work less often than the ones in Absolution. While sometimes throwing a wrench or setting off a car alarm might not work in Absolution, there would always be another way of doing what you wanted; making a mistake in Dishonored nearly always ended with me reloading a save.

Absolution does have its problems. At times, it feels like the designers were so busy crafting the intricate details that they missed the big stuff. And by big stuff I mean story. Yes, yes it’s alright as far as a video game / action film script goes, but more often than not I found myself saying “Wait, why am I doing this?” before just following along killing bad guys. Then there’s the sex.

Absolution gained a lot of early haters with its “Saints” trailer, wherein John Hitman slaughters his way through a squad of stripper / nun / assassins. The creepy undertones of this silent man getting up close and violent with clearly sexualised women was frankly disgusting. Then I discovered that the Saints are actually in the game. A whole level (each level is made up of a number of smaller episodes) is devoted to killing them in small groups.

It’s never explained why these women dress in pseudo-religious bondage gear or how they can be efficient killers on six-inch heels. Earlier in the game real nuns are slaughtered by another gang of mercenaries. All of this just made me feel uneasy. Women in the game are either sexualised or weak victims. I already believed that the bad guy was evil before I overheard the strippers talking about going to “Hawaii” - a place no girls come back from.

It seems the one strong female character is killed in the first level. You - spoiler alert - shoot her while she’s in the shower. Naked and completely innocent. After you shoot her in the glass shower, her body falls to the ground where she is now covered by a ripped shower curtain that came from nowhere. We have to deal with killing a defenceless woman in a shower (there is no way not to kill her), but we do not have to deal with her naked body as she dies, because that would be obscene?

Intricate details, but missing the big things.

Overall though, it’s an excellent game with an almost Grindhouse film aesthetic to it. Even the level with the Saints was actually incredibly challenging and fun to play (if you ignored the sexy nun thing.) The amazing imagery and huge crowd scenes - which are frankly amazing and make Assassin’s Creed's look dull - give the game a real filmic feeling to it. And remember, you don’t have to kill everyone.


Hitman: Absolution
"Zen and the art of killing people then hiding the bodies"
- Hitman: Absolution
9.6
Excellent
 
Follow Own it? Rating: R18   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 45 Min


 

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Comments Comments (22)

 
alvis
Posted by alvis
On Monday 26 Nov 2012 6:03 PM
1
wow nice, have to pick this up after exams
 
 
 
Deanology NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Deanology
On Monday 26 Nov 2012 9:28 PM
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Good review. I will probably pick this up in the future.
 
 
 
Xenojay NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Xenojay
On Tuesday 27 Nov 2012 8:14 AM
-1
"John Hitman" - How did they get through when the character's been Agent 47 since, oh...the beginning of the franchise?

"Assassin’s Creed's look dull" - Have you played Assassin's Creed III? That's a whole new visual experience!

Overall though, pretty nice review, especially talking about the portrayal of the female role in the game. Remember the trailer that they regret?

Yeah....
 
 
 
phantom
Posted by phantom
On Tuesday 27 Nov 2012 9:48 AM
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"John Hitman" is a joke, Hadyn's not suggesting that's his actual name. And I've played both games; Hadyn's comparison to Assassin's Creed is fair imo.
 
 
 
Xenojay NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Xenojay
On Tuesday 27 Nov 2012 3:18 PM
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27 November 2012, 09:48 AM Reply to phantom
"John Hitman" is a joke, Hadyn's not suggesting that's his actual name. And I've played both games; Hadyn's comparison to Assassin's Creed is fair imo.
HITMAN IS NO JOKE...NO JOKE AT ALL!

And really? Then ABSOLUTION must be polished! What about the environments themselves? Just as nice?
 
 
 
phantom
Posted by phantom
On Tuesday 27 Nov 2012 3:37 PM
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27 November 2012, 03:18 PM Reply to Xenojay
HITMAN IS NO JOKE...NO JOKE AT ALL!

And really? Then ABSOLUTION must be polished! What about the environments themselves? Just as nice?
Yeah it's pretty slick. To be fair on AC, its environments are much larger, so there's always a tradeoff when you go for that kind of scale. Hitman's definitely the more polished of the two, though.
 
 
 
Original_Noob
Posted by Original_Noob
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 11:41 AM
1
I'll get this as soon as I get a job :)
 
 
 
Deanology NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Deanology
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 2:21 PM
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28 November 2012, 11:41 AM Reply to Original_Noob
I'll get this as soon as I get a job :)
Me also.. Then again.. May just hire it.
:(
 
 
 
Kaetar
Posted by Kaetar
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 2:40 PM
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I wonder if they would consider re-releasing all the hitman games in a bundle. Wouldn't mind having them all transfered onto a next-gen platform.
 
 
 
LoftyDog NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by LoftyDog
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 3:20 PM
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Cant anyone help me with this, I have never played a hitman game before - if I pick this up would I be lost in the story or would I need to do a little background reading first?
 
 
 
mrnast
Posted by mrnast
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 3:22 PM
-1
28 November 2012, 03:20 PM Reply to LoftyDog
Cant anyone help me with this, I have never played a hitman game before - if I pick this up would I be lost in the story or would I need to do a little background reading first?
just google it....BOOM!!!....problem solved
 
 
 
hadyngreen NZGamer.com VIP VIP
Posted by hadyngreen
On Wednesday 28 Nov 2012 3:29 PM
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27 November 2012, 08:14 AM Reply to Xenojay
"John Hitman" - How did they get through when the character's been Agent 47 since, oh...the beginning of the franchise?

"Assassin’s Creed's look dull" - Have you played Assassin's Creed III? That's a whole new visual experience!

Overall though, pretty nice review, especially talking about the portrayal of the female role in the game. Remember the trailer that they regret?

Yeah....
Oh yeah I suppose I should've mentioned in the review that this is the first Hitman game I've really played. I think I played a few missions from the original, but never went through the whole game.

As for the AC3 vs H:A. I think Hitman is more textured while being in a smaller world. You don't look out over an amazing explorable city, you discover an intricate populated level.
 
 
 
ALK3MiST NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by ALK3MiST
On Thursday 29 Nov 2012 7:31 AM
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wow gt gave it a 6.0 and i was bugging big time coz i've been waiting for this for so long. seeing this really changed my opinion so i may just buy this for xmas afterall
 
 
 
Xenojay NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by Xenojay
On Thursday 29 Nov 2012 8:21 AM
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28 November 2012, 03:29 PM Reply to hadyngreen
Oh yeah I suppose I should've mentioned in the review that this is the first Hitman game I've really played. I think I played a few missions from the original, but never went through the whole game.

As for the AC3 vs H:A. I think Hitman is more textured while being in a smaller world. You don't look out over an amazing explorable city, you discover an intricate populated level.
Oh wow! You're first?! You missed out on some good times, but at least you're on it now!

As for the environments, thanks for the clear-up. If it does look majorly polished on a smaller scale, then I see the advantage it would have over AC3.

You again are doing a good job at making me consider buying this more, haha.
 
 
 
joshdrought NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by joshdrought
On Thursday 29 Nov 2012 6:59 PM
1
Finally got this game so keen to play it
 
 
 
joshdrought NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by joshdrought
On Saturday 1 Dec 2012 2:02 PM
1
This game is badass you play every mission multiple times and kill in different ways never gets boring awesome game
 
 
 
Cannibalkiller123
Posted by Cannibalkiller123
On Saturday 1 Dec 2012 10:29 PM
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PC gamers are alot more picky with their games for example HITMAN ABSOLUTION got 8.0 on the pc and it got 9.6 on the ps3, In my opinion the PC review is better then this one because it is from th perspective of a loyal fan of th series.
 
 
 
GoreFlame
Posted by GoreFlame
On Sunday 2 Dec 2012 2:54 AM
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Can't wait to pick this up!
 
 
 
sick_wierdo
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Sunday 2 Dec 2012 9:20 PM
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Great review, the highest score I've seen for Absolution so far
 
 
 
IIIII NZGamer.com VIP VIP
Posted by IIIII
On Sunday 9 Dec 2012 5:54 PM
1
wow thats a high score
 
 
 
Romulus NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
Posted by Romulus
On Wednesday 19 Dec 2012 8:48 AM
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Despite the randomness of that trailer with the nuns I will still be getting this game!
 
 
 
djkicks NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
Posted by djkicks
On Wednesday 26 Dec 2012 9:57 AM
-1
"After you shoot her in the glass shower, her body falls to the ground where she is now covered by a ripped shower curtain that came from nowhere."

I was watching this scene yesterday you can actually see the shower curtain to the left side of the shower and when she falls it falls down with her. Intricate details indeed.