Reviews by SimonBenjamin

80

A step back from previous games but still great fun.

SimonBenjamin | Sept. 21, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Blood Money nailed what the series was going for; providing an open playground with people to kill in near limitless ways. Hitman: Absolution improves on the mechanics that Blood Money provided in mostly pleasing ways which is a big relief. However, the new direction of the game into a more linear Hollywood style blockbuster like many other AAA games drags this down from being a truly successful sequel to Blood Money as it is a step back. Nonetheless, the game is fun and the Contracts mode certainly delivers on providing a lot of replay value.

47 is much more smoother, flexible and adaptable as a hitman should be. Instead of awkwardly strafing on a wall there is a cover system implemented. Many called the game "Hitman: Conviction" after seeing this but the cover system is actually a much needed mechanic for Hitman as stealth is the main playstyle of the game. Another comparison to Splinter Cell Conviction was the use of directional sight indicators of enemies. I'm on the fence for this as it does somewhat deplete some challenge but it also might help you in trial and error runs when you need to know how you messed up. The Purist mode will answer for this as it completely removes the HUD aside from button prompts.

Instead of a fullscreen map like in the other games there is just a minimap plus use of the Instinct mechanic to locate objectives. It does take away the planning involved in previous games by scoping out a location and plotting a path to take but it does suit 47's "on the run" theme of the game. This is what drags down the game significantly unfortunately. There's no choosing and upgrading equipment for a mission, no valuable intel and definitely no open missions just involving killing people. 47's main goal is going to the next door to open/lockpick through linear levels. Yes there are killing target missions but the story is cluttered with pointless missions like walking through a bar to a bartender and getting a new suit from a tailor.

The story mode definitely shows an indication of abandoning the Blood Money formula but the game is saved by the addictive Contacts mode. Creating and competing in contracts that can have a wide range of possibilities is no gimmick as it really is a lot of fun.

There are other small series inconsistent problems with the game such as button prompt hand to hand combat, a cold robotic point system, a convoluted and unjustified disguise system depleting the purpose of using disguises and others.

In spite of that, the game is definitely not horrible at all. It just seems more dumbed down while also adding great new ideas such as the level Challenges, a much more improved leaderboard system and Contracts mode. Blood Money is definitely superior but don't hesitate to give this game a try given its reduced price. Let's just hope IO Interactive brings the series back to its roots to please fans like myself some more.

Recommended.