This may not get read by a lot of people, but I just want to get this out of my mind, really want to share my thoughts..
Ah yes, Absolution. The black sheep of the great Hitman franchise, some even go to the point of calling it a shit stain on the franchise instead. I'll be honest, I actually liked it. I might have a bias here though. See, Absolution was my first ever Hitman game. I was getting into stealth games and never really tried Hitman a long time ago, so I decided to just get Absolution and see what the fuss is about. Me, being oblivious as to what Hitman is really about, I loved the game. Now, after a thorough replay, I want to give my true thoughts..
So, the story. Arguably the most important thing about the game, since it's very story driven. The story is… well… some say it's bad, but to me it's OK at best. It's has a "so bad it's good" factor for me. The game tries to be all serious and dark with the story but in the end, it just comes out as a really bad comedy at times. Such as, Blake's "I don't ordinarily yee haw..", Wade's "Why do I have wood?" and "Limp dick Lenny". These are only a few examples, but you know what I mean. To this point though, I still don't get how the hell Diana survived. Did 47 aim for a non lethal part of her body or something?
There are a few confusing things in the story. Such as, what happened with Birdie and the Detective? I expected more from them. Birdie offers information to the Detective about 47, and that's all we hear. Seems like wasted potential to me. Would be cool to have Birdie return as just an elusive target for a fun throwback.
Some missions to tend to get a bit "meh", like the Dexter Industries part. The mid game section is essentially a wild goose chase for Victoria, blending down to the same old story cycle till a certain point. You sneak around, reach the bad guy, go "WHERE'S VICTORIA?!", rinse and repeat till you finally get to Blackwater Park. Some missions are barely missions as well, with End Of The Road and One Of A Kind that can be finished in less than a minute. But missions like King of Chinatown, Shaving Lenny and to some extent Attack of the Saints? Not bad!
The story also had quite a few "James Bond" moments where the enemies have the perfect opportunity to kill 47 and end it all, but instead just end up doing stupid shit and leaving him, the biggest threat alive. Dexter could literally kill 47 and no one would know, but instead ends up framing 47 for murder and then burning down the hotel? Why frame him in the first place then? Guess that alcohol got to him. Then, we see Skurky capture 47 and again, not killing him when he has the perfect opportunity to do so. You could argue that Dexter wanted him to get 47 to give information about Lenny, but it's pretty obvious that he's dead at this point. So, all 47 had to do was to be a living punching bag for Skurky till he got bored.
One glaring flaw of the story is 47 also doing stupid shit that he normally wouldn't do that gets him into bad situations. Such as trying to strangle Sanchez, a man who is 4 times the size as him and unsurprisingly getting the shit knocked out of him.
Enough about the bad, let's say the few good things about the story. I was a sucker for Absolution's Chicago atmosphere. It was dark and gritty, truly felt like you're doing some shady stuff. I absolutely loved it. Not to mention, Absolution had a few beautiful looking moments such as the Terminus hotel collapsing while escaping it. It was also interesting to see a different side of 47, we only really knew him as a cold, emotionless killing machine. But here, he has feelings, going to the point of even slashing his barcode "to not be a part of this anymore.". Talking about the slashed barcode, the game has a cool detail where the bandage keeps getting smaller as the story progresses. From the large bandage in Terminus, to the thin strip bandage in Blackwater Park.
Enough about the story now, let's talk gameplay.
The gameplay, after Blood Money… pretty damn smooth. The cover system feels nice, although a bit weird when you can just use cover right next to a doorway and the guard walking through doesn't spot you, even if he's pretty much touching you.
The shooting feels punchy and satisfying, you can even take off the suppressors off your Silverballers! A Rambo playstyle can definitely be fun. You aim for headshots to regenerate Instinct, then use Instinct to use point shooting to kill several enemies at once. Rinse and repeat. Can get repetitive, but I had fun going on rampages after retrying a lot of times.
Actually sneaking around? Pretty damn good as well! The cover system like I said is good, and you can also change cover smoothly without having to crouch over and risk detection.
The controversial part – the disguise system. Literally everyone is an enforcer and will detect you. I felt it was so useless to the point where I just went dedicated Suit Only on every level. All disguises do is just provide a couple extra seconds before being detected if you don't have instinct. Thankfully, HITMAN 2016 and 2 fixed this problem in a balanced manner.
The even more controversial part – checkpoints! Oh god, why. This is the worst part about Absolution for me. It completely discourages experimentation and is overall a very frustrating mechanic. Get far but didn't find the checkpoint? Tough luck, start all over. Another fun fact, if you load the checkpoint, literally every enemy you have killed before activating it will respawn.
Rating system.. I kind of didn't like it. I get it, non target killed, but what if I want to have some fun? Stop spamming me, damnit. I'd rather have this stuff after the mission.
Anyway, these are my thoughts on Absolution. Thanks for reading, feel free to share your opinions 🙂
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