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Hitman Absolution 360 Review - -
Hitman Absolution
Reviewed by
Josh Wright
Hitman Absolution 360 Review. The first thing you need to know about Hitman Absolution is itís not for kids.

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 7.0
Distributor: Namco Bandai
Rating: MA15+
Review Date: Nov 2012
Josh Wright


Hitman Absolution

The first thing you need to know about Hitman Absolution is itís not for kids. This is an Adults Only game, and by that I mean thereís vice and violence oí plenty. If you donít want your little ones plotting the murder of an notorious rapist inside a crowded strip club, or avenging a hospital nun massacre with a fire axe, then keep well away from this game. However if you are over 15 thereís a good chance youíll find plenty to enjoy in Hitman Absolution.

Developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix, Absolution is the fifth title in the Hitman series. Like a growing number of sequels these days, it does help if youíve played the earlier incarnations, because right off the bat there are references to characters and story arcs that a Hit-fan is supposed to know. Being new to the series, I was immediately lost. However what I did glean was that my name is 47, I wear a smart suit, I look like a pissed off Lex Luthor, and I kill people for ĎThe Agency.í

Apparently my ex-boss, Diana, double-crossed The Agency and drained all its accounts. Thus my first mission is to find her and kill her. 47 and Diana have a complex relationship, and even though Iíve never played the other Hitman titles, I felt a tad wrong for being asked to kill her to please this nefarious Agency. But a gigís a gig, so I crept my way through her beach house and shot her in the gut. As she lay dying, she told me I had to protect a girl called Victoria. Why this is Iím yet to learn, but so far Iíve discovered all sorts of criminal types want to get their hands on Victoria, and Iíve been protecting her, much like Jean Reno in Luc Bessonís The Professional.

Indeed, Hitman Absolution is a very cinematic game, and it feels much like a big-budget crime thriller. The story is complex and gritty with a superb script. You really do have to pay attention to understand the gameís flow, and youíll find yourself getting truly immersed in the story. The cutscenes are well acted with motion-capture playing heavily, and the villains are so genuinely repulsive, Iím looking forward to killing all of them.

The meat of the game is action-stealth based; 47 is inserted into each mission with a target to assassinate. It could be Chinatown, a rooftop, a strip club, a hotel, wherever. The basic idea is to creep around the level and remain as unnoticed as possible until your radar leads to you your mark, then you do the deed. The fun part about Hitman is all the ways to kill available to you; 47 has a wide array of weaponry, and there are plenty of in-level accessories from baseball bats to syringes to rat poison to gasoline, and youíll get extra-points for being creative.

In fact wasting scumbags is so much fun in Hitman the great frustration is in the stealth itself. Many a time I wanted to cut loose and just blast my way through guards to my target, but killing Ďinnocentsí will lose you points. The game wants you to sneak past them or knock them out, then disguise yourself and hide their body. This is fun for a little while, but with so many ways to die, why do so many get to live? Hopefully as the game progresses my blood-lust will be stated, but as of a quarter way through the game, Iím tired of being penalised for garrotting drug-dealers.

The graphics of Hitman Absolution are moody and slick, with a great attention to detail. Lighting too is impressive, with a cool seediness that makes you feel youíre truly in a movie. The crowd scenes are where the game shines; 47 will weave his way through a busy train platform or crowded club tailing his mark while eluding the cops. Itís great stuff, and the atmospheric sound palette and edge-of-your-seat soundtrack once again adds to cinematic effect. Look for the orchestra to swell as you ominously draw near to your target and move in for the kill. 

Youíll find a multi-player mode in Hitman which involves to you creating missions for your friends and challenging them head-to-head, but this feels somewhat tacked on. The story mode is the real game, and if you want to know what Hitman plays like, just imagine Batman Arkham City with no Batman. More than once when 47ís cover was blown or he was spotted by a cop, I instinctively tried to fire my bat-grapple into the rafters. However there are some things Bats canít do: like flush a hippie down the toilet, or drop a giant disco ball on a pimpís head. There is definitely a different kind of fun to be had in Hitman, and itís one I highly recommend.


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