Reviews by Slippy91

60

Not your daddy's Hitman

Slippy91 | April 27, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Absolution

Absolution is the latest entry in the beloved stealth franchise "Hitman". In the several year gap since the last game, developers IO Interactive have opted to create a more accessible game to widen their audience. Unfortunately, in doing so much of the spirit of the franchise has been lost.

It used to be that Hitman missions felt like a puzzle that had to be figured out. Guard patrol paths had to be learned, the best route through the map found, and set pieces and disguises exploited appropriately. Like solving a rubik's cube, there was a great satisfaction in eventually cracking one of the many solutions to a level, and then in subsequently replaying it to get a better score.

Absolution on the other hand is a much more simplistic affair. Missions are split up into bite-sized, linear chunks with a limited amount of options or alternative paths. The set pieces to exploit are fewer, and extremely obvious at that thanks to the new Instinct mode highlighting everything for you. This can be disabled, but as a result this breaks the disguise system too since it shares the same heads up display. The problems with the disguise system run deeper still though - now, anyone in the same disguise can see through you in a matter of seconds, which sounds logical on paper, but is balanced very poorly compared to the old disguised system. Combined with levels so linear that confrontation practically feels encouraged, and it's actually easier to just play it as a third person shooter to avoid the frustration.

Compared to the old games, Absolution feels like what Splinter Cell Conviction was to Chaos Theory. There are some flashes of the old brilliance in here, and of course it LOOKS fantastic, but overall this feels like a poor imitation that's taken too many ideas from other games.