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It's not been a great month for would-be assassins. Ubisoft Montreal put you in the robes of a general dogsbody and only occasional killer, and now Io Interactive has made a Hitman game where your reward for finishing a level is often nothing more gratifying than passing through a door. On one occasion, even, the fade to black and subsequent results screen happens while you're crawling through an air duct. Or sometimes the assassination takes place in a cutscene; on more than one occasion, though, your perfect kill is botched as soon as control is taken away from you. Only sometimes in Hitman: Absolution do you get the satisfaction of executing a perfect kill before strolling off unseen. In other words, you get all the hard work - the mistakes, the experiments, the restarts, the contingency plans, and the lengthy waits through interminable NPC conversations - without the gratification of the execution. This happens far, far too often.If it's not really a Hitman game, then, what exactly is Hitman: Absolution?
Hitman Absolution finally shows what fans have been waiting forTry, if you can, to put aside the killer bondage nuns and their subsequent slo-mo murder. If you're a long-time Hitman fan, or simply someone who disapproves of fetishised violence against women, there's a good chance we feel the same way right now. And you're right – it leaves a decidedly unpleasant taste in the mouth. IO and Square Enix clearly wanted to make a big impression ahead of E3, but I suspect they were anticipating a slightly different reaction... although that in itself says quite a lot.(As a quick side note, check out this alternate edit of the trailer, created by VideoGamer.com forumite MJTH. Hell of a lot classier, isn't it?)Poor taste aside, the irony of the situation is that this trailer will reinforce fears that Hitman: Absolution is an unwelcome departure for the series – mere days before Square Enix unveils a demo that seeks to prove the opposite case. Because for all intents and purposes, Agent 47's latest showing is exactly the kind of offering that fans have been calling for: an open-ended mission in a miniature sandbox environment, replete with civilian NPCs, disguises, and numerous ways to snuff out the target.
Hitman: Absolution reveals its professional side.This week, after a long leave of absence, Hitman: Absolution reappeared before the press. The game's first showing at E3 won a truckload of plaudits and generated excited chatter from everyone apart from veteran fans of the series, many of whom lamented Agent 47's apparent rebirth as a psychotic cop-killer. In what may well have been a calculated move to address these concerns, yesterday's demo presented 47 as the very model of professionalism. Actually, that's only half the story: in keeping with the approach employed for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, IO and Square Enix opted to show the same level twice - first as a near-invisible agent of stealth, and then as a unstoppable force of precision violence.I'll be exploring many of the new mechanical revelations in an upcoming feature, but for now the important thing to note is that it's perfectly viable to play the game in a manner that recalls the Agent 47 of old. I'd hesitate to call it a 'pacifist' approach, but you're certainly under no obligation to go all Robert Rodriguez on the local opposition.
Some things that leap out at me during a recent demonstration of Hitman: Absolution where series protagonist Agent 47 has to find someone hidden inside a Chicago orphanage before an extremely unsavory band of hired thugs (at some point, I see one looting the corpse of a nun) do the same: Agent 47 has "Instinct" -- meaning he can toggle a vision mode that lets him temporarily see through walls and illuminate a track on the floor that indicates where enemies patrol. At one point, Agent 47 witnesses some baddies interrogating a captive security guard. He can simply sneak by and progress with his mission. Or, he can intervene and take out the cluster of baddies in the area. Rescuing the guard in this fashion reveals the location of a hidden shotgun. Agent 47 can duck behind cover; recall that Hitman: Blood Money came out before cover systems became A Thing. Thanks to the previous point, Agent 47 can now survive a sustained firefight. The latter, combined with the mostly linear nature of the demo, provides the thought behind the headline. Absolution already looks like a damn good game in general.
Is this the Hitman game fans wanted? We assess the E3 demo.Hitman: Absolution was one of the key games of this year's E3. The wall outside Square Enix's presentation room was adorned with "Game of the Show" nominations, but these trophies merely acted as physical confirmation of what was already patently obvious: Agent 47 has become the most popular slaphead since Michael Stipe, and next year's reboot is going to be a very big deal indeed - for IO Interactive, for Square Enix, and for the gamers everywhere. Especially the bald ones.While the Hitman series has been around for a decade now, it's fair to say that past entries have arrived without the fanfare that currently surrounds Absolution. It's not hard to see why the current game has such electric buzz, however: it looks exceptionally slick, with a moody art style and a load of violent new tricks for our folically-challenged felon. In short, it has all the flash and swagger required to be a major event in the action game calendar - and yet long-time fans may be less perturbed by Agent 47's homicidal antics than by his forthcoming mutation.At the start of the E3 demo, our domed assassin finds himself surrounded by the police in an ancient, dusty library.
|Hitman: Absolution - PlayStation 3||$19.99||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution||$19.99||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution (Professional Edition)||$35.49||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution (Professional Edition)||$36.09||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution (Professional Edition)||$39.99||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition for Xbox 360||$39.99||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution (Xbox 360)||$69.99||See it|
|Hitman: Absolution (Playstation 3)||$79.99||See it|
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