Community Review -- Hitman: Absolution

I'm going to attempt to write this post about Hitman: Absolution without any references to how controversial it is/was, or how the reviews are 'mixed'. Ladies and gentlemen, I kindly request your early opinions of this video game featuring a bald man wearing a red tie.

Sorry, I was too busy playing Halo 4 and building Ikea furniture over the weekend, so I didn't have time to check out Hitman: Absolution. Actually, whether or not I actually give it a bash will sort of be dependent on what I read here today! So let's switch roles for a bit -- should I play Hitma: Absolution? Should I skip it and play one of the other million games vying for my attention?

Let me know in the comments below.


    I don't have the time to write anything up in detail.. but I will say that it's mainly the flawed/broken checkpoint system that has me not playing this game much. Add to this the disguise system, which seems broken half the time and working the other half.. also the bloom effect is WAY over done in this game and I can't find a way to tone it down..

    It's an ok game.. but I'm just not feeling the wow factor.

      I never personally found any of the Hitman games to offer any "wow" factor, but definitely satisfying and rewarding gameplay that engages you in different ways. Absolution changes things up a bit and the checkpoint system is not the best implementation but it's hardly broken, and I have no had any issues with the disguise system so reports of it also being broken I feel are overdrawn conclusions. I enjoyed Absolution. On Purist, I found it to be one of the more suspenseful, rewarding experiences this gen.

      I have to agree. I loved all the previous Hitman games, but I'm not entirely feeling this one either. Granted that I haven't played a great deal, but what I've seen so far feels a bit scripted (as in a sequence from point A to B). The disguise system definitely feels broken - you get spotted too easily and from too far away. I don't know - it's hard to put a finger on it exactly. Maybe I just need to play it a bit more?

        Yup.. the disguise stuff, get spotted from way too far away and way too quickly..

        As for the checkpoint system.. what I feel is intrinsically broken with it is that it doesn't save the map state. So let's say you activate a checkpoint and then really stuff up somehow and need to go back to the checkpoint. Even though prior to activating the checkpoint, I disposed of all the enemies up to that point, including the ones standing right next to the checkpoint, I go back and everything has reset to the default map start state.. nothing was saved at all.. the only difference is now I am starting in the middle of the map, where all the enemies are instead of at the beginning of the map. That makes the checkpoints, in this type of game, broken.

          Also the challenges that have been midway done don't save which really defeats the purpose of having those saves.

            Exactly.. you may as well (and some cases pretty much have to) just restart the whole map.. and like you say, defeats the point of having Checkpoints at all.. if they didn't have checkpoints, I wouldn't care to be perfectly honest since I never used the in-mission saves during Blood Money.. but the fact they put them in, means they should work in useful ways.

    I haven't played too much of it yet but so far I've enjoyed it.

    There's plenty of opportunities to do some rather silly things. I spent the tutorial mission throwing books at people and then hunting down disguises that had hats. Agent 47 looks silly in a hat.

    Actually, the hats alone are reason to play the game.

    Having not played the other Hitman games, it's hard to judge it based on the rest of the series. There is a certain level of satisfaction from finally getting the assassination to go exactly as you planned and mucking about to find different ways to get things done is pretty nifty too.

    Oh and because @Freya isn't going to get here until far too late: HITTTTTMAAAAAAAAAN!

    Last edited 26/11/12 11:09 am

    Unless you play on easy with a seemingly infinite instinct supply disguises are absolutely worthless.

    Silenced ranged kills are worthless I don't think I ever made a kill which didn't cause a suspicion or even worse a caution.

    Once enemies become cautioned they look around for you than stand in one spot and stare in your direction and never return to thier usual patrol, making caution mode unplayable unless you kill everything.

    Tether/Subdue moves are to punishing you better hope you have a fast way to dispose the body or that nobody is around because the suspicious NPCs will head your way.

    The sheer amount of NPCs looking for you increase as the story progresses by the time I got the the epilogue I was so sick of it I just decided to kill everyone.

    Point shooting would be fantastic if I ever had instinct to use and even at the times you do have it you get spotted when you try to use it, and why does this game even have point shooting since when is Hitman become Max Payne all the sudden?

    I've beated the game... now I'm sick of it, back to BL2

    Is the costume system broken? The way they put it was that if you dress up as a cop, other cops in the area will know you aren't one, which makes sense, or as a cook, other cooks will know you aren't one etc, as they know their own. But other people will think you're a generic whatever. Makes sense to me and is a bit more realistic? Not doubting you guys but can you elaborate a bit?

      It makes sense but the entire premise of that rule makes costumes unusable, thats what makes it broken.

      Unless you have instinct you can't do anything, which means you have to kill a couple dozen cops in order to walk past the cops...

        If a Cop disguise doesn't work, perhaps you need to find one that does. There's mostly always another character set around for you to take their outfit instead.

        Or, take the purists way and sneak past everyone. It's all about timing and planning.

      That's pretty much it.

      People in the same outfit as you will get suspicious of you unless you use instinct (instinct being a bit like Eagle Vision/Blending in Assassin's Creed but it's on a meter) to look less suspicious. Some of the NPCs that do this can be pretty irritating but I'm sure that I'd be wondering when a giant bald dude got hired too.

      At one point, I killed a maid to see if I could steal her outfit to see how everyone reacted. I couldn't take the disguise.

      Last edited 26/11/12 11:33 am

        It makes sense logically, but this I guess is a case where too MUCH logic can ruin the game?

          I think one of the problems is that there is no variation. A cop is just as likely to be suspicious of you disguised as a cop as maintenance guy is.

          There are some disguises where the people should be very familiar with their co-workers and it would make sense for them to be suspicious. There are also quite a few where they just wouldn't care.

          It could definitely have been handled much better but it's the seed of a good idea.

            Indeed and absolutely. Tradies dont necessarily all work together, chefs dont necessarily care. Cops can come from all different precincts or departments etc. Maybe different TYPES of cop uniforms could have been implemented somehow? Again like you said, the seed is there, its where they take it that counts.

            I think they tried to smooth that over (emphasis on tried) by making different circumstantial dialogue that inevitably lead to them trying to find out who you were.

            "Isn't he that movie star..?" Which in-game narrative would imply that if he/anyone suspects you it's always for a reason, but not because they know EVERYONE from the precinct.

            Last edited 26/11/12 9:18 pm

      while the real reason its broken is mentioned above, I'd like to point out the claim its more realistic is flat out false. there's no way every cop in the Chicago pd knows every other cop, do you really think every chef in Chinatown knows every other chef? perhaps the only time its realistic is if you dress as a courtroom Clerk toward the end of part 2. io can explain it as a gameplay choice as much as they want, but "realistic" is just utterly 100% untrue.

        Seems we posted the same thing ^^^ but mine was with less anger ;)

      Biggest problem is that this is not how Hitman was before. You could just walk around in disguises quite easily.

        I think though the point was that this is a new game. I actually like the implementation of disguises - as if no one would be suspicious of a giant new bald cop with a barcode on the back of his head, at least a little. Especially people who theoretically should know who the other cops are.

    Havent found any issues in my play through, loving it so far. I always start out the the same way, go in stealthy, get detected toward the end, change to offensive and kill kill kill!

    I think it's a good continuation of the series. The story is consistent and the play style just as challenging and interesting as the previous games. There are a greater number of elements that you can interact with in this game, allowing you to, for example, pick up a fake leg and beat a scientist to death with it.... not that I would encourage that.

    The best thing about Hitman (and other similar games) has always been that you do not play the game in a "linear" fashion. It's not about getting to the end as fast as possible, it's about getting there without any of the NPCs realising you were ever around. If you find you can't get through an area, look for an alternate route, since there is always one somewhere.

    And there is always a million ways you can complete the levels.

    Highly recommended if you're a Hitman fan. If you prefer CoD or Battlefield, possibly not the game for you.

    Played just until after the library escape and while it's a good game, it gives me nausea and the sweats because of the narrow and claustrophobic field of view. 20 minutes of game time i want to chuck my ring up.

    The early missions were a bit of a drag. Way too much having to stealth my way past the police and not enough inventive kills. But now I've just last night completed an amazing section ("Shaving Lenny") that felt very much like the old school Blood Money gameplay that so few games can come close to. Hopefully the rest of the game can live up to it.

    Treat yo mama with respect,
    Ya better treat yo mama with respect,
    Slap you upside-down yo head,
    Ya don't treat yo mama with respect.

    You should never hit your ma, Mark

    Repost from TAY!

    Story: Niggle here, but it sort of leads into the next point. It's a not very good story, and it's poorly told. I know I can ignore it and skip it, but it is something they've put into this Hitman game, and watching these cutscenes hinder more than help.

    Death: And so because of the story, you don't actually fulfil contracts. You kill people, but the single player campaign doesn't have you fulfilling contracts (although there is a separate 'Contract' mode, which seems pretty good). It's a subtle difference that I think is a pretty heavy point in terms of the concept of a 'Hitman' game. In Blood Money, each new contract was a new level, a new set up. The Opera level in Blood Money is an excellent example of this; stage prop malfunction or faulty fixtures were the two best and unique ways to complete that contract. Absolution has a few varieties of ways to kill people, but there's rarely much to it; just some path prediction and then a tap of a button. There's rarely ever a reason to make things look like an accident in Absolution, which I feel were the best, most fun and most satisfying ways to fulfil a contract, and I think Absolution lacks that satisfaction for many of the people I've killed thus far.

    Shift of gameplay: This is now a third person stealth game? For, you know, various reasons, you basically have to sneak everywhere. And I don't think this game has a particularly good cover or line of sight system for sneaking around. Bundled with that, this has become core gameplay, in exchange for meticulous planning.
    Disguises have limited effect now; if you're in disguise A, people who dress up as A will eventually recognise you're not one of them. Realistically speaking, I can understand this, although it is a bit extreme for everyone to know everyone, which they seem to do. Gameplay-wise, I think it negates the purpose of a disguise if you only get an extra 2 seconds of buffer time before someone comes after you. On small levels with multiple disguises, it's okay. Staff will know other staff, cops patrolling Chinatown are bound to know each other... I don't know why the hell a Chinese chef would care enough to blow my disguise, but I guess maybe my people don't like tall, bald, foreigners taking our cooking clothes because we are racist like that. However, I am up to a level where there are 20 guys walking around, all with the same disguise. If they're going to get suspicious of me either way, why give me a disguise?

    Conflicting goals: The game continually tells you that the mark of a true assassin is one that does things silently and only ever really harms the intended target. It seems like a professional attitude to take; the concept of no collateral damage. Yet then why would you give Agent 47 perks that lets the player treat it as a third person shooter? Why give him increased damage, reduced recoil, and the ability to take more damage? Tell me to go around quietly, but you give me the ability to completely forgo that, and it seems that that might be a more forgiving, easier option to go with.

    Never having played any of the previous games in the Hitman series, and only having gotten through the first few missions in Absolution, so far I'm really enjoying this game, more so than Dishonored which while a fairly over hyped, wasn't bad either.

    The first review I read of Hitman, made me regret my pre-purchase entriely, as it painted the game as a horribly flawed experience, and rated it as a terribly average addition to the Hitman series, less fun than it's predecessor Blood Money.

    However a subsequent review I came across, indicated that Absolution was actually quite a good game. Enjoyable with just a few minor complaints, but nothing that really distracts from the overall experience, and they rated the game quite highly.

    In my limited playtime with the game, I can only assume this is yet another case where the initial reviewer I came across, rated the game down because it didn't live up to their own high expectations. That or I simply haven't yet come across the "average'ness" in the game, that would justify focusing so heavily on what the game does wrong, as opposed to all the other things I've seen so far that the game does right.

    Sliding through crowds. Multiple options for completing a mission. Allowing the player to kill their way through or instead execute a hit with no collateral damage or even being seen. So far this game feels like a sandbox game, or maybe that should be 'lunchbox game', where the meal of the day is freedom of approach. Whether that makes logical sense or not, is really up to how you play, and how you challenge yourself.

    Perfect? No. Excellent? Maybe. Fun? Well now that all depends on what you enjoy doing with your time. I quite like killing people... but only the ones I get paid for.

    Last edited 26/11/12 2:52 pm

      Or maybe the first reviewer just had a different opinion like human beings sometimes do? I hate it when people write something they disagree with off by deciding its flawed.

    This is the first Hitman game that I have played. I am playing it on the PC and looks very pretty, although I had a hassle installing the Nvidia beta video card driver. So far the fun has far outweighed the annoyances. I started out playing in hard mode, but got stuck a couple of times and now I am playing it on normal.

    I most enjoy the levels where creativity in killing is rewarded. SO far I have enjoyed watching a man blow himself by smoking too close to spilled petrol and fireworks, drugging guards, setting remote plastic explosives, electrocution. The variety of kills is great, although it takes a fair bit of figuring out how to best get each kill set up to work. Some times though, there are no interesting kill options and you have no choice but to go in guns blazing.

    I love the dialogue writing! I enjoy lurking around and listening to what people are chatting about, some of the chat is very funny. I like the idea of the costumes, although they can be a bit hit and miss, as I always seem to run out of instinct to get past similarly dressed characters. I have only had the costumes be buggy once and had other similarly dresses characters not respond to me. I am nearly finished the game and still enjoying it. There are lots of extras to find and I am sure the contracts mode will have me coming back to play the game again in the future. I think I will buy Hitman Blood Money next.

    I think there's an inherent design flaw with the game that is based on two reasons: One, the game has been mainstreamed. Killing targets seems much easier this time around because you've got a list of challenges telling you how you can dispose of your target. It wasn't like that in the previous game where you had to figure it all out yourself.

    It made you feel smarter, doing so.

    Secondly, the list of challenges will also distract anybody from playing the game through naturally, instead always having to reload a checkpoint or level because of their completionist mentality. Now, this isn't exactly their fault, but a better design choice would be to make invisible (but not disallow) that checklist of things to do (which by the way does not encourage experimentation) and the scoreboard except maybe the your rating, until you finished the playthrough which -- given how easy it is to take out targets -- wouldn't have taken long.

    I also feel there's some lazy design choices in the bottom challenges that task you with doing the same damn thing but just in a slightly different way. It's not fun, and it always overstays it's welcome. Why does it matter that I dress in a chipmunk suit while doing the EXACT same thing as the challenge before it? It's a chore, and it doesn't feel well designed.

    Now for some praising:

    I LOVE the sound design.
    The guns have a pop that I don't feel many shooters have, at least 3rd person shooters anyway; the way it makes you feel when the bullets hit their targets (strangely, point shooting doesn't feel good to do at all). I like using the Sniper Rifle: using the triggers to hold breath and shoot is one of the best choices they've made.

    The dialogue is superb and always makes you want to stay and listen to the most insignificant of conversations. The sound before and after you enter a big party space is fantastic.

    The music is great: when you pick up important items and trigger massive shoot outs.

    The performances are great even though there are storytelling issues and lip sync issues.

    Yeah needs more check points or at least a quick save function on lower difficulties, and i don't really like the disguise system i understand the concept but it could have been implemented better; that said I'm still really enjoying it!

    I love it.

    There are broken bits but no game is ever going to be perfectly what you want. I am having a lot of fun derping around but also trying to Silent Assassin.
    Also hats.

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