Hitman: Absolution Logo - We Know Gamers

Everyone’s favourite Hitman is back! It’s time to step into the shoes of Agent 47 once more and dish out the pain in a way that only he can. This time however, Square Enix looks to explore sides of Agent 47 we haven’t seen and put him in situations where he isn’t quite as sure of himself. So does Hitman: Absolution bring the original assassin back to top form? Or have his skills and the series dulled over the years?

Story
Hitman Absolution’s narrative picks up where blood money left off as Agent 47’s handler, Diana has gone rogue and publicly exposed the agency and all of its shady dealings to the world. The agency reforms with new leadership and it’s decided that Diana should be punished for what she did. Who better to deal with the rogue handler than, you guessed it! Agent 47! So naturally 47 does what he does best and terminates his former friend. But just before she dies, she entrusts the life of a teenage girl named Victoria to him. Victoria was kidnapped from the agency and Diana was trying to keep her hidden in an attempt to stop her becoming another agent, much like 47. This lead’s Agent 47 to go rogue from the agency and kill anyone who threatens Victoria’s safety.
Agent 47 is back! And he still doesn't want to crack a smile...
There are a wealth of characters and targets that each has their own stories and goals. Some characters you come across are damn right nasty and that makes it so much sweeter when it comes to killing them. However you’ll also come across characters that just seem to have been caught up in the mess by accident. Even smaller characters such as random thugs seem to have back-stories. One example is following a random henchman into his house only to walk in on a domestic argument between him and his wife. There are also moments where you can choose to be merciful and let certain characters go. But fear not bloodthirsty fans! For the most part you’ll be doing what 47 does best! It’s just small details like these that make the game seem that little bit more realistic. The story is extremely immersive too. I found myself not only following the stories of Agent 47 and Victoria but also the narrative of some of the smaller background characters such as Lenny, one of the more vicious villains. It took me about 12+ hours to finish the campaign and I felt that the story was paced really well overall.

Gameplay
Fans of the previous games will feel right at home when playing Hitman: Absolution. The controls are excellent and allow you to control Agent 47’s movements and actions perfectly. It’s rare you’ll accidentally perform an action by mistake and if you do accidentally throw a gas can at a patrolling guard’s head, it’s usually your own fault. The game also caters for people new to the Hitman series as the first level teaches you all the basics and you’ll pick up the more advanced techniques as you play through the game.

The inclusion of instinct will also be useful to veterans and new players alike. Instinct uses Agent 47’s honed skills to highlight enemies as well as other points of interest. For example it may be more beneficial to your cause to make deaths look like accidents, such as electrocution as opposed to shooting enemies and leaving their bodies where their colleagues can find them. These are referred to as environmental kills and they allow you to gain huge bonuses when it comes to your score for each section.
Yes I look badass in a chicken suit!
The tight control of the vast array of weapons in Hitman is also superb. A slight squeeze of the trigger allows you to line up your shot with pinpoint accuracy, which then allows you to kill the guards with those all-important headshots. Although killing enemies with your guns is the easiest option, it usually isn’t the best one seeing as when shooting an enemy, points are deducted. These points can only be gained back by hiding the body in a bin or any place where they will not be found by roaming patrols. Killing enemies will also allow you to don their outfits as a disguise. This allows you to sneak by sentries without arousing too much attention, though be careful not to get too close! Enemies will see through your disguise if you choose to walk within a few feet of them and if it does come to close combat, a quick time event will be triggered allowing you to subdue your target quickly but more importantly, quietly.

If you’re feeling especially hardcore you might even be tempted to play the game through on the Purist difficulty. This takes away any sort of assistance in place such as the use of instinct and makes the enemy AI super quick to detect and kill you. I played the first level on this difficulty just to see how challenging it was and let me say that it’s not for the fainted hearted, although I’m sure that Hitman veteran’s will have no trouble at all.

Online Gameplay
Inspired by the modding community, an online mode called Contracts was implemented into the game. In this mode you play certain missions or at least parts of missions for points, though the mission isn’t that simple as the target could be anyone. It’s down to you to locate them and deal with them as well as their entourage of goons, if they have one of course. The points are then collected on a leaderboard where you can compare them against your friends, as well as the rest of the world.
I spy with my little eye... A TARGET!
In this mode, much like the main game, you are rewarded for your creativity in your killing. Eliminating your targets with straight headshots might be the easiest way to kill but you won’t be gaining many points out of it. Accidental kills will always earn you big points as well as some of the more interesting kills, such as shoving someone down a hole into a basement while no-one is looking.

Graphics/Sound
Visually, Hitman: Absolution is extremely impressive, whether it’s the detailed environments, animations or models of the game’s characters. It’s all done very well and when walking around the environments, there are hundreds of small details that all work together to make it pop out at a high level and so at times I found myself exploring the scenery rather than hunting down my target. The same can be said for the detail of the character models as the faces are extremely realistic and well done. The clothing of Agent 47 as well as the NPC’s which roam the level look and act the way it should, for example if you walk around in the rain, Agent 47’s clothing will remain wet but also drip.

When it comes to the sound, it’s definitely no slouch as the voice acting is done on a completely different level. There are hundreds of different characters all with their own dialogue and there are certain moments in the game where there are lot of characters on the screen at one time. During these moments the sound comes into its own, especially as you walk through the crowds you can hear NPC’s having their own conversations with each other. A particularly memorable moment is a male NPC telling his wife that the trains have been delayed on the phone. This eventually escalates into a huge argument, all while you hide yourself among the crowd but what’s more impressive is the fact that this kind of thing is happening all over the area. As you pass characters you’ll fade in and out of many different conversations, as you would in real life. In these sections however there were a few moments where it appeared that the game was struggling.

Final Verdict
Hitman: Absolution is an impressive entry into the awesome Hitman series. Blood money set the standard high but it looks like Hitman: Absolution has set the bar even higher. The amazing mechanics and creative kills make the game incredibly fun and though it had a few sound issues along the way it would never be enough to dampen the overall experience. Indeed the original assassin is back.

Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Graphics/Sound: 8/10

Final We Know Gamers Score: 8.6/10
Had a chance to play the game? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!
Hitman: Absolution Review
Reviewed by Citizen Cyanide
on Jan 26 2012

Rating: 8.6/10