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Critic Reviews 75% add missing review
With many franchises providing annual iterations, Agent 47’s six and a half year hiatus seemed like an eternity for series supporters. Fortunately, Hitman Absolution was worth the wait. Barely acknowledging contemporary inclinations in gaming, the title is a thoughtful, protractedly-paced stealth puzzler which stays true to its roots. While Sam Fisher may have sought stardom through simplified mechanics, Agent 47 remains the stalwart slayer he’s always been. Bless his murderous, old soul.Dec 1st, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Game Revolution (4.5 out of 5)
If you're new to the series, there's plenty of warm water here to sink into, but franchise stalwarts need not worry. Agent 47 is as cunning, deadly, and silent as you want him to be; it just so happens that purist players will also be the most rewarded. Regardless your level of experience, Hitman: Absolution scratches a very specific itch, one that involves a butterfly knife or possibly an accidental electrocution.Nov 20th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
IGN (9 out of 10)
Like Dishonored before it, it’s actually a true pleasure to play a game that lets you tackle it from multiple angles. After several years of increasingly totalitarian games where you’re very much following a pre-determined path, it’s nice to have a game that doesn’t just encourage improvisation; it requires it.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
GamesRadar ( )
Hitman’s temporary hiatus did worlds of good for the franchise, and Absolution is one of the strongest entries in the series to date. It shows true evolution, moving Agent 47 forward and playing up his enhanced abilities well, both when it comes to hitting a well-placed shot to the head of a scummy target or stealthily moving through a building full of police. The changes to the formula could have spelled disaster if they were executed poorly, but that’s not an issue--execution has never been an issue for Agent 47, has it?Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Worth Playing (8.5 out of 10)
Hitman: Absolution proves to be another notable entry in the series. It may house a ho-hum plot, and you'll hate just about every character you come across, but the open nature of the approach is good enough that you'll overlook those blemishes. There's no true method given for each mission, and that's refreshing enough that you'll want to play through each mission several times to find all of the possible avenues. The Contracts mode gives you something more grounded. With a solid presentation at hand, IO has come up with another winner that stealth fans should check out. Our only hope is that it doesn't take the team another six years before Agent 47 returns.Jan 24th, 2013 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Jeuxpo.com (8.5 out of 10)
Retour gagnant pour l'agent 47 avec cet Hitman Absolution. Cette suite, plus conservatrice qu'escomptée, nous livre une production fort concluante et qui bénéficie d'une mise en scène percutante. Les amateurs d'action devraient être conquis par ce volet très rythmé, et qui n'a mis l'infiltration de côté.2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)
On a parfois tremblé en voyant se profiler ce nouveau Hitman, se demandant si IO resterait fidèle à la tradition d'infiltration ou se laisserait séduire par l'action et l'accessibilité. Le résultat final est un gameplay à la carte, qui peut se montrer redoutable dans les modes de difficulté élevés, parfois plus encore que les volets précédents. On y retrouve les canons et les codes de la série, agrémentés de nouveaux éléments venant la rendre plus dynamique, plus narrative, sans pour autant trahir son héritage. Même si certaines mécaniques s'orientent vers l'action, il est facile de les ignorer royalement. Un vrai jeu d'infiltration dans une époque qui en manque cruellement. Ne cherchez plus le vrai assassin, il est là, et c'est pas pour vous donner un cours d'histoire.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Alternative Magazine Online (8.5 out of 10)
Hitman: Absolution is a brilliant game that tells an average story. Agent 47 is still pretty much a blank slate, but he becomes increasingly more likable as the game progresses simply because the people he kills are so utterly repulsive. Victoria could have been an interesting character but she is mostly absent and Diana (with whom 47 has always had a complex relationship) is sorely missed throughout. Despite these negatives, the gameplay is taut and focused and the visuals are beautiful despite the often dank locations. This is a dark game even during levels basked in bright sunlight. Replay value is through the roof and trying out new approaches seldom gets old. Hitman: Absolution admittedly gets some things wrong – but it also gets a hell of a lot right. Pull on your gloves, straighten your tie and get ready to take out the trash. Agent 47′s business is death… and business is booming.Dec 31st, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
PlayStation Trophies (83 out of 100)
Hitman: Absolution is the sequel to Blood Money that fans have been itching for. In terms of game mechanics it’s the best Hitman that IO Interactive has ever created, although the lack of inherently unique settings is a disappointment. That said, IO has more than made up for that with the brilliant asynchronous Contracts mode, adding replayability to a single-player game in the most smart and stylish way.Nov 19th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
4Players.de (82 out of 100)
Das fünfte Hitman ist das bislang stärkste Abenteuer des kahlen Antihelden: Obwohl sich die Geschichte zu wenig für den Kopf hinter der Glatze interessiert, verleiht es seiner abgebrühten Kaltschnäuzigkeit eine verletzliche menschliche Seite. Vor allem aber zelebriert Absolution die perfide Genugtuung des kreativen Tötens – spätestens dann, wenn sich der Killer inmitten einer Menschenmenge unbehelligt vom Tatort entfernt. Dass die Schauplätze mit ihren Kurzhandlungen um Zivilisten, Polizisten und Bösewichte so lebendig sind, macht sowohl die behutsame Pirsch als auch den grausamen Akt umso eindringlicher. Es sind vor allem die zahlreichen Wege und Handlungsmöglichkeiten, die mein Erlebnis bestimmen: Als Hitman schleiche ich ungesehen, erwürge neugierige Wachen und verstecke ihre Körper.Nov 22nd, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
PlayStation Lifestyle (8 out of 10)
Overall, Hitman: Absolution is a blast to play, and it represents a beautiful union between the Hitman games of old and new ideas. Everything from the presentation to the subtlest of the audio effects feels crafted with a level of care that is the hallmark of IO’s past efforts with the series. And while the marketing didn’t do this game any favors, it’s still reminiscent of the Hitman games fans talk about fondly. With each target comes a huge level of freedom, room to explore, and test new ideas and methods. Contracts mode is also a welcome addition that will give fans a new way to test each other’s skills on custom contracts. Hitman: Absolution is definitely a game worth picking up regardless of whether you’re a fan of the series or a new entrant into the fray. It’s not perfectly executed, but it comes damn close.Nov 19th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Push Square ( )
Hitman: Absolution represents a stellar return for Agent 47, incorporating the best elements from previous titles, while also experimenting with plenty of new ideas. Some of the additions are a little rough around the edges – the narrative stumbles over its ridiculous characters, and the checkpoint system discourages experimentation – but it's still a refreshing experience that challenges your thinking and rewards perfection.Nov 26th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Gamer.nl (8 out of 10)
Op de matige kunstmatige intelligentie na is er dan ook niet echt een groot minpunt te vinden in Hitman: Absolution. Het blijft het prachtige moord- en sluipspel van vroeger en is op veel vlakken zelfs beter. De nieuwe toevoegingen hebben er gelukkig niet voor gezorgd dat het een heel simpel of overdreven actiespel is geworden. Met de juiste overwegingen is een balans gevonden tussen het intense sluipen en het spannende vluchten. De kern van Hitman is daarmee gebleven, maar het past net wat meer in deze tijd doordat het een complete ervaring biedt.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Eurogamer.pt (8 out of 10)
Hitman: Absolution é um bom jogo, e uma proposta que irá satisfazer os jogadores que preferem uma boa dose de estratégia e observação ao combate às descaradas, ainda que tenha algumas falhas ao nível da inteligência artificial. A lei da bala desconta pontos preciosos para se atingir uma pontuação perfeita, mas há mais nesta nova incursão do Agente 47. O lado emocional do assassino mais famoso é exposto em jeito de novidade, revelando mais equilíbrio entre história e missões. Ainda que a narrativa não seja particularmente memorável, leva-nos até algumas paragens e atos interessantes, num jogo em que durante uma sua grande parte temos o assassino profissional em permanente fuga e numa luta contra todos.Dec 4th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Gamereactor (Sweden) (8 out of 10)
Jag inser såklart att det finns folk som kommer att avfärda ett underhållande spel med argumentet att det inte är likadant som förr. För min egen del känns det dock vansinnigt och jag tycker Hitman-serien är i bättre form än någonsin och visar att Agent 47 absolut förtjänar att nämnas i samma andetag som stealth-kollegorna Sam Fisher och Solid Snake.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
The Daily Mail ( )
The campaign mode will take most players around 10 hours, but thankfully Contracts mode offers plenty more thrills. Here, you play through the levels and assign three targets. You then compete online to get the highest score by assassinating them in whichever way you wish. But given the strength of Absolution’s campaign, it’s hard for this not to feel slightly tacked on. Still, this is the deadliest Hitman yet that's destined to be a hit.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
VentureBeat / Gamesbeat (7.5 out of 10)
While it’s great to see 47 back in business, Hitman: Absolution drifts too far from the franchise’s sweet spot. A lengthy campaign offers plenty of opportunities for diabolical fun, but the stealth mechanics feel like a string of bad decisions, and a lack of pure assassination missions — exactly what the franchise built its fame on — doesn’t help. Most telling, this isn’t the Hitman I’ll revisit for years to dig out all its secrets. That honor stays with Blood Money. I like a lot of what it does and what it tries, but its faults make Absolution something I can’t quite forgive.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Games Finder (7.5 out of 10)
While some of the changes in Hit man: Absolution might feel like a watering down for long-time fans it means the game is much more suited to newcomers looking to get in on the stealth game play that the Hit man series has to offer.Nov 25th, 2014 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Eurogamer.net (UK) (7 out of 10)
Hitman: Absolution doesn't make you feel that way often enough for my liking, but amidst the inevitable and deserved grumbling about its awkward checkpoint system, small levels and weird obsession with its daft story, hopefully those who persevere with it will be rewarded by enough of those moments to make the whole thing feel worthwhile. Reloading some of its best levels, turning off the hints and watching and waiting, it's much easier to remember what it is that makes Agent 47 so special. Hitman is a series to treasure for those moments, even if Absolution isn't its finest hour. Hopefully it won't be another six years before IO Interactive gets another shot at showing us why.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Eurogamer.de (7 out of 10)
Auch wenn es jetzt wirkt, als würde ich kein gutes Haar auf Agent 47s Kopf lassen (Tusch), fand ich Hitman: Absolution sehr unterhaltsam. Der Einzelspieler-Modus hat einige Schwächen, die mit der Story und den zu klein geratenen Karten zusammenhängen, auch sollte man unbedingt einen höheren Schwierigkeitsgrad ins Auge fassen, wenn man den Superkiller nicht zum ersten Mal begleitet. Insgesamt ist den Machern aber ein spielerisch und technisch solides Hitman-Spiel gelungen. Wobei ich nach sechs Jahren mehr erwartet hätte. Mehr Höhepunkte, schlauere Kills, weitschweifigere Szenarien, mehr Raum zum Planen meiner Strategie und eine interessantere Handlung. Der Mehrspieler-Modus ist eine nette Geschichte und wird sicher seine Fans finden - Otto-Normal-Assassinen wird er allerdings nur ein paar Tage länger bei der Stange halten. Als Gesamtpaket ist Absolution absolut in Ordnung (letzter Kalauer für heute). Ein Meilenstein der Reihe ist es nicht.Nov 23rd, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Gameplanet (7 out of 10)
IO Interactive's Hitman: Absolution is a sound addition to the hallowed stealth series, but the game is held back by a surfeit of padding and some poor mechanical choices.Nov 27th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
There is fun to be had with Absolution, you just have to be exceptionally careful about how you try to have it. Like with 47 himself, the best route is probably to sneak up cautiously and garrote it from behind.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
The Guardian ( )
The best thing one can say about Absolution is that it's impossible to feel ambivalent about it; players will love and loathe aspects of this game in equal measure. In Absolution, terrible ideas rub up against great ones almost on a moment-to-moment basis, and the end result is a title which is impossible to consider with the same clinical detachment that it's protagonist is known for.Dec 7th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
IBTimes UK (5 out of 10)
An unremarkable, derivative clone of a game that's barely a shadow of what Hitman used to be.Nov 18th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
The Telegraph ( )
The issue for the game itself is that the linear narrative drive causes enormous friction with Hitman's trademark open creativity. The series legacy was built on you being dropped in a large, open, often public area and tasked with eliminating your target (or targets) as you saw fit. It would be a case of canvassing the area, tailing your targets, figuring out their routines and keeping an eye out for accidents waiting to happen. Absolution does make an attempt to recreate similar thrills, with some levels opening up as areas to explore with targets to knock off. These areas are undoubtedly when Absolution is at its best, such as an early level set in a bustling Chinatown with multiple kills options and escape routes, but it struggles to offer the playful, dark invention the series is famous for.Nov 21st, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Game Arena (3 out of 10)
Hitman Absolution is a mistake. Even if in your mind the plot loops all the way past 'so bad it's bad' and back to 'so bad it's good' again, Hitman Absolution has more bugs than a service station meat pie and less direction than a headless chicken. A genuinely fun mode like Contracts can't save that. IO Interactive needs to restart from the Blood Money checkpoint and try again - they screwed up this run spectacularly.Nov 19th, 2012 · PlayStation 3 · read review
Hitman: Arkham Asylum
by Colonel Kurtz (4)
There are a few things worth mentioning…
For starters, Absolution sports an impressive new engine – the Glacier 2. Also, the controls are much improved over past entries, with a very comfortable layout. No complaints in either department.
A cover system has been included.
The firearms are fun to utilize, and they feel very much like lethal instruments. Overall, there are plenty of weapons, outfits and skills to unlock, including swift hand-to-hand takedowns.
The voice acting is solid.
Absolution’s online component – “Contracts” mode – is ultimately the bread and butter of the entire package, tempting players to bask in the creation of their own custom hits (stipulating the target, the method of execution, the costume worn etc.). These hits can be shared with the international community. You may also choose to complete contracts that other players have created and in doing so you will be rewarded with payment. The money you accumulate can later be spent towards the purchase of guns and outfits. This mode is very competitive and great fun (for a while, at least).
You can stalk victims in a cornfield…while dressed as an ice cream man. It is quite amusing.
And lastly, this game is noticeably more violent than its forerunners. I must admit, it is very satisfying to throw a kitchen knife into the backside of some unsuspecting clod’s skull…and then proceed to destroy his friend’s face with the nearest brick or liquor bottle. Any action involving a sharp utensil and a neck is played out to suitably wince-inducing effect. In a stroke of brilliance, Agent 47 can now use his trusty fiber wire to aid in the transportation of freshly strangled persons.
Sadly, all of this is wasted potential…
And this is where the actual review begins.
Absolution weaves a noisome, unbecoming black hole of a story that significantly worsens with each new chapter. It is an experience I can only liken to that of watching a close friend waste away with terminal brain cancer. It is so perplexingly ill-conceived, so dreadful that it should come with a disclaimer. In a nutshell, 47 is compelled to rescue a teenage girl named Victoria from the clutches of billionaire arms manufacturer Blake Dexter. That sounds familiar. I recall having taken on a similar assignment some ten years prior…some business about a kidnapped priest and a Russian crime lord. I also distinctly remember Mr. 47 leaving his faith behind (because a life of asceticism and one of cold-blooded murder are two quite irreconcilable paths)…and yet I now see that he’s working for an orphanage, donning religious garb and bludgeoning people to death with bibles. So much for character development.
I could go into further detail (such as how Victoria was biologically engineered for combat applications and must wear a special isotope necklace, lest she fall into a vegetative state), but why bother? The plot – set almost entirely in Illinois and South Dakota, condemning an international man of mystery to suffer the indignities of sleuthing about derelict structures and backwater shooting ranges – is a convoluted train wreck, utterly devoid of impetus and poignancy. It has all the subtlety and sophistication of a Saturday morning cartoon, replete with grotesque, hyper-exaggerated villains of the sort one would expect to find in a comic book. You’ll face-off against corrupt sheriffs and psychotic, dick obsessed henchmen in mandatory quick shooting duels. You will kill fetishistic, leather clad female assassins in Polynesian-themed motel courtyards. You’ll sneak past divisions of ridiculously outfitted troopers who look less like intimidating ICA elites and more as though they stepped off the pages of a G. I. Joe catalog. You will pummel hulking, genetically modified Danny Trejo look-a-likes who are otherwise impervious to garroting and treat high powered rifle rounds as if they were inconvenient mosquito bites.
Pre-rendered cinematics with Tarantinoesque B-movie trimmings abound in this tasteless carnival of despair.
Dexter himself is the quintessential mustache villain. He wears a loud country western costume and has yellow teeth. He also oversees child medical experiments, for whatever reason. His motives are never sufficiently explained. What could this tycoon of such considerable influence possibly stand to gain from Victoria’s possession? And why would he want to frequent a deteriorating dive such as the Terminus Hotel when he owns a luxurious penthouse within relatively short driving distance? At some point, perhaps between brawling my way through a bar beset by drunken patrons and infiltrating the bowels of a county jail while wearing a tin foil hat, I just had to force myself to accept the likelihood that the people at Io Interactive have developed a serious drug addiction as of late.
Or maybe they simply didn’t care. Regardless, Absolution’s bloated, masturbatory narrative reads like a seventh grader’s fan fiction if it were buried under a compost heap of terrible ideas and left to suffocate a slow, painful demise. It serves as little more than a vehicle for transporting the beleaguered player from one painfully restrictive area to another – small stealth arenas mostly consisting of dirty alleyways and linear, claustrophobic corridors.
These stages are a far cry from the sweeping, multilayered killing grounds of yesteryear. No longer will you be traveling to exotic, extant locales. No more thermal baths, surgery wards, kinky corporate parties or cocaine filled retreats. Here, an environment the size of Lee Hong’s Restaurant from Codename 47 would be segmented into multiple filler levels reminiscent of the two missions that preceded “Shogun Showdown” in Silent Assassin. That is to say, there are now precious few missions in which assassination is a parameter…targets are few and far between.
But it gets worse. Thanks to magic suit pockets you can now holster any gun within your possession, no matter how large, and the potential for their modification has been significantly reduced. In Contracts mode, you can only import one firearm per session. There is no load out selection for single player levels. And while there’s an abundance of random objects to be wielded (statue busts, severed electrical cables, measuring tape, scissors, bongs, screwdrivers, hatchets, etc.) many of the attack animations for these improvised melee weapons are recycled, predictable and unimaginative. For example, there is little distinction between how the office spike and knifes are put to use. (How a plunger could possibly do what it does to a person as depicted in this game escapes me.) Human shields can no longer be pushed to the floor and tormented as in Blood Money. Poison and sedative injections have been completely removed, and although you can now choke out NPCs, those that are rendered unconscious cannot be revived. Also, you no longer have to worry about drag marks when disposing of bodies. There are none.
Tension is at an all-time low. Puzzle difficulty is almost nonexistent…
And for that matter, so is replay value.
Console limitations or no, none of the above constitutes an evolution for the Hitman series. This is all a drastic, jarring reversal. I would dare call this laziness. Case in point, an entire chapter is devoted to the purchase of a suit.
One mission has you moving amongst a dense population of tourists in a market on Chinese New Year, pitting you against three very inept assassins in a game of cat and mouse. It is an exercise made tedious by fundamentally broken design. Scattered about there are a handful of food vendors, and since your aforementioned rivals will be expecting a bald man dressed in black, one might logically assume that a change of identity would be most beneficial. Realistically, regardless of whether or not they are distracted with their culinary responsibilities, said chefs should be unable to spot a lone imposter – from thirty feet away, mind you – lurking within a crowd of over a hundred people. But because the map size is so constrictive, and because the artificial intelligence is so unnatural in its behavior, disguising yourself will only complicate the situation; there are numerous police officers present, not to mention a riot team waiting on standby for if you should cause enough of a ruckus.
As such, sneaking from cover-to-cover becomes necessary, routine and a chore. Indeed, the majority of these levels were structured after Batman: Arkham Asylum, but such a model is wholly unbefitting for this franchise.
In attempting to remedy its social stealth maladies, Absolution presents the player with two solutions…both of which defy basic common sense. One, you can make use of interactive hot spots that instantly absolve you of any suspicion. Two, you can expend “Instinct”, a limited resource that allows for you to hide your face via the palm of your hand. Instinct also grants players the supernatural ability to sense targets through brick and mortar. (You’d think a world-renowned contract killer like 47 would have thought by now to alter his appearance with wigs and facial prosthetics. Apparently the developers didn’t either…) The problem with Instinct is that, despite often being such a critical tool for remaining undetected, points for this feature are incredibly scarce when playing on the highest difficulty – the erroneously named “Purist” setting. Thus a frustrating contradiction is created for those seeking to earn the coveted “Silent Assassin” rating.
A new composer has been brought on board to fill in for Jesper Kyd, and he certainly does have some large shoes to fill. Although the soundtrack is passable, it is nevertheless a typical by the numbers score, and largely unremarkable. It simply cannot hold a candle to past arrangements.
On a final note, with companies such as Quantic Dream helping to remove the stigma that videogames cannot be allowed to display accurate depictions of human anatomy and sexuality, I’m quite put off with what Io Interactive has done here regarding their treatment of nudity and sadomasochism. I’m a grown man, and I do happen to value consistency in my entertainment. This is a “Mature” rated title. It features R-rated language as well as considerable carnage…
And yet the creators are too repressed, too cowardly to give us a strip club in which female dancers fully expose their breasts. How subversive! So you threw in a skin bar…why, exactly? Just couldn’t do without one?
I won’t even touch upon the fetish stereotypes.
The Bottom Line
Six years was a long time to wait for what amounts to a progeny of apathy and inhalant abuse. Hitman: Absolution is a gaudy, imbecilic, regressive sequel that revels in its own adolescent tendencies and total lack of concern with a contemptible smugness – inexorably determined to alienate its core audience and perniciously doing for its predecessors what Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did for its respective franchise. Newcomers unfamiliar with 47’s roots may feel this game is undeserving of such diatribe. But as a longtime fan, Hitman: Absolution left me feeling absolutely numb, nauseated and depressed. That it contains a few interesting elements in no way excuses it for being an abysmal successor and an unabashedly soulless product of market research. Two weeks in its odious presence was all I could stomach, after which I promptly banished it from my household.
At the time of this writing, there has still yet to emerge an authentic clone to compete with this now wayward series…making its spiraling descent into the septic tank all the more painful to witness.
Agent 47 and his legion of loyal followers deserved far better than this self-indulgent turd.
May 24th, 2013 · PlayStation 3
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Alsy, ryanbus84, Big John WV, jaXen, Jess T.