Excerpt: Agent 47 is back! I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to be back in his bald head…I mean shoes! The Hitman series has always been the pinnacle of the stealth/action genre, rewarding patience and skill rather than a propensity to rush in, guns blazing. The newest installment, Hitman: Absolution, follows this trend. However, at the same time, 47 has more toys at his disposal, and therefore more ways to assassinate his targets than ever before.
Excerpt: It's been over six years since the release of Hitman: Blood Money back in May 2006, and the gaming industry has changed a lot during that time. Heavy action shooters like Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are the most played games around, but with the new release, Hitman: Absolution is trying to buck the trend and put fun and excitement back into each and every kill in the game.
Summary: Hitman: Absolution is outstanding. Best in the series by a wide margin, and easily one of the best games released in 2012.
Pros: Elaborate environments overflow with murderous possibilities, Huge amount of content, One of the best-looking games of this generation, Contracts forces you to approach the same locales from different perspectives
Cons: Too-limited field of view when hiding inside of containers, Contracts would be stronger with more specific kill requirement possibilities
Excerpt: Has there ever been a year with more assassination games in it? I’m not sure there has. Certainly never so many high-profile games. Hitman has been around for a long time, but with Dishonored and Assassin’s Creed III both recently released, the stealth action genre has more competition than ever. Hitman: Absolution is the latest entry in the quintessential assassination franchise, and it has big shoes to fill.
Conclusion: Concept: Improve on Hitman’s core strengths and boost replayability with the new contracts mode
Graphics: The environments are gorgeous and packed with NPCs with only the occasional, minor slowdown
Sound: The voice acting is solid (if a little maniacal at times) and the soundtrack is top notch
Playability: Agent 47 has never been deadlier thanks to a refined and simplified control scheme
Entertainment: Hitman fans will be in heaven, though Absolution may still be too...
Excerpt: This time round, it’s been over SIX years since Agent 47 last dispatched the baddies in a ‘silent assassin’ style, such that no-one saw it coming when they were about to meet their maker… or at least that’s the way it *should* be done but, when I cock this up, it’s like when you see such a murder plot go wrong in the movies and the victim-to-be makes good their escape and all you can do is chase them, put that bullet in their brain or inject them with a syringe full of...
Summary: During Hitman Absolution we shot, stabbed, poisoned, crushed, electrocuted, defenestrated, strangled, immolated, impaled, bludgeoned, exploded, drilled, chopped and sniped the comically evil characters that populate the game. The 'tragic accidents' that killed some of them? Yeah, that was us too.
Pros: Brilliant ideas, densely packed, Brutal kills married to IO's trademark humour, One of this generation's finest stealth games, The premise of Contracts mode...
Cons: ... is slightly better than the execution, Smaller, more linear sandboxes, Save system
Conclusion: There's a nun-shaped turd floating in this Jacuzzi of exceptionally crafted Hitman antics. But thankfully the tub is large and varied enough to make it well worth dipping into, staying for a good long while and returning many, many times. Easily the best 47 has ever been and a great deal more so, Absolution's only real failing is that it doesn't understand that it's got far more going for it than cheap violent thrills and comic touches that fall flat.