An Assassin With a Soul? A Short Review of ‘Hitman: Absolution’

This was initially written on and submitted to the Steam store page for Hitman: Absolution, with some additional edits and commentary.

This is the first game I’ve played in the Hitman series. It took me two attempts to finally complete it (got bored the first time around a few years ago). I played on the Normal difficulty. I beat the game right before writing this review. I won’t give a synopsis, since the Wikipedia article does a good job.

If you’re into stealth action games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mankind Divided or the Spinter Cell series, HM:A definitely satisfies that “itch” since those two series are currently on hiatus. Gameplay wise, it’s mostly fun, but the AI is rather dumb. The challenge is that there are often tons of enemies on the map that you have to sneak around instead of fewer NPCs with decent AI to contend with. That’s not to say it’s always easy to do so. Though how to complete the mission is up to you; full stealth or full rampage or anywhere in between.

Screenshot of an enemy NPC above main character; main character is hanging off the bridge ledge.
Really, dude? You don’t see Agent 47, or at least his hands? OK…

As such, you can often just blast your way through a mission, quite easily. For a stealth game, it’s quite odd that that’s a legitimate option, and often times the easiest and quickest option. During the final missions, I was definitely rampaging. And thinking about it now, it seemed like Absolution “forced” me to go into that mode. There weren’t enough places to hide bodies or even hide, period. There were less items to throw or other things like radios to distract enemies, nor opportunities to take down enemies one by one.

The setting is average at best. I expected a more realistic setting. Instead, it’s like some modern-day but noir-ish alternative universe, with over-the-top stereotypical characters and events. Add in the villains and it felt like I was in a comic book or pulp fiction novel. Again, not at all what I was expecting.

Screenshot of Agent 47 walking away like a badass, as the town in the background burns.
The former town of Hope, South Dakota. The bad guys burned down a town; NBD.

With regards to the story, it was just OK. It’s easy to follow and makes sense, but it’s nothing that makes you think hard and deep. I think my biggest complaint is that characters would be introduced – often they’d need to be assassinated – but there’s no real backstory or explanation as to who they are and why I need to assassinate them (other than they’re working for the bad guys). 

I didn’t try any of the online Contracts stuff, since I guess it no longer exists due to GDPR compliance issues *shrug*.

I’ll leave the rest of my review to the checklist below. Would I recommend this game? Yeah, probably. But I wouldn’t buy it at full price. Wait for a sale or get it as part of a bundle. Like I said, it definitely satisfied my stealth game needs. And if that’s what you’re looking for, Hitman: Absolution will do.

–{Graphics}—
☐ Is this real life?
☐ Beautiful
☑ Good
☐ Average
☐ Paint.exe

—{Gameplay}—
☐ Excellent
☑ Good
☐ Average
☐ Staring at walls is better
☐ Just don‘t

—{Audio}—
☐ Eargasm
☑ Very good
☐ Good
☐ OK
☐ Ear rape

—{Audience}—
☑ Adults
☐ Teens
☐ Kids
☐ Human

—{PC Requirements}—
☐ Ask NASA if they have a spare Cray
☐ RTX 2080
☑ Decent
☐ Toaster
☐ Potato

—{Difficulty}—
☐ Dark Souls
☐ Frustrating, but not impossible
☑ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☐ Significant brain usage
☐ So easy a child could do it
☐ Just press ‘A’

—{Grind}—
☐ Asian MMO
☐ Western MMO
☐ Average amount of grind
☑ Only if you care about leaderboards/ranks
☐ Nothing to grind

—{Story}—
☐ National Epic
☐ NYT Bestseller
☑ Average
☐ Bargain Bin
☐ There’s a story?

—{Game Time}—
☐ To infinity and beyond
☐ Long
☑ Average
☐ Short
☐ Long enough for a cup of coffee

—{Price}—
☐ It’s free!
☐ Worth the full price
☑ Wait for a sale/Humble Bundle
☐ You could also just burn your money

—{Bugs}—
☑ Clean Room, Biosafety Level 4
☐ Minor and/or few non-gamebreaking bugs
☐ Many bugs; some serious
☐ ARK: Survival Evolved
☐ Ant Farm/Hive/Termite Mound

Probably my favorite disguise.

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