Hitman: Absolution

So, has anyone tried Hitman: Absolution? How does it compare to the previous games?

I’ve picked it up, I’m about half way through. Blood Money is one of my favourite games of all time, so I’ll compare it with that.

The main difference is use of cover. The stealth/cover mechanics are almost exactly the same as Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If you liked that game, you’ll like this one.

Disguises are changed a lot from previous games. If you take a guard’s uniform, all other guards will see through it in quick order.

Instinct - basically a mana bar for seeing enemies through walls and extending the lifespan of your disguises, as well as using ‘point shooting’, which is kind of like RDR’s deadeye.

There’s a new ‘points’ system that affects your end rating that I don’t really like. There are ‘challenges’ that you do to gain more points but it feels too artificial and gamey.

Evidence impact and the newspapers from Blood Money are gone. Boo. The story is also pretty meh so far, resue some girl you’ve never heard of. The first mission is a big downer for long time fans. Continuity is a bit off too, The Agency despite being decimated in Blood Money is alive and well. There’s a fair bit of the trope ‘Remember the new guy’.

Surprisingly for a stealth-based game it has really good gunplay, nice and solid, rounds feel like they have real impact.

Compared to earlier Hitman games, it’s a walk in the park. I’m getting Silent Assassin rating most of the time without any difficulty on the Hard setting, where in the past you’d need a walkthrough to get the best rating (particularly in Hitman 2, that game didn’t mess around).

Overall? Not as good as Blood Money if you ask me, but that’s a damn high standard. It’s still a pretty good game in itself.

Just installed it before I got to work. I’m very ambivalent, but I’m a big fan of both the Hitman series and IO Interactive and since it’s been six years (!) since the last Hitman game, I decided to give it a shot. (No Jesper Kyd, though - boo, hiss!)

I intensely dislike the trend in the latest iterations of the classic stealth franchises of fleshing out the gunplay to make it a viable alternative to actually being a stealth game. (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Splinter Cell 4: Conviction, I’m looking at you. Deus Ex kind of gets a pass since it was always supposed to be both a stealth game and a shooter, but the last in the series shot itself in the foot with the unskippable kill-only bosses.)

That said, I’m looking forward to it, even if it won’t live up to the three previous games. I still bring out Blood Money at least once a year and it’s holding up pretty damn well.

Interestingly, I suck at stealth games and this is the first one I’ve ever felt any desire to “do it right” rather than shoot everyone in the face. Deus Ex? Sneak… oh, see saw me? Bang, bang! Sniper Elite V2? Sneak… oh, hell. Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat…

This time I’m sneaking around, get seen and think “Guess I’ll restart and do it better this time.” Almost more of a puzzle game than an action one.

I’ve never played the previous games so I can’t compare. I do own Blood Money which sounds more “hard core” in the stealth aspect so maybe it’s best that I’m cutting my teeth here rather than playing that for a half hour and giving up.

I’m happy to hear that it’s rewarding to “do it right” rather than the game just shrugging its’ shoulder and going “Eh, any way you like it.”

Blood Money isn’t hardcore, by the way, but it does put its’ finger heavily on the scale, favouring a thoughtful and measured approach. You can still shoot your way out of a sticky situation if you must, but “getting it right” makes you feel so suave, you won’t believe it.

There was one mission in Hitman: Contracts (one of the remakes from Codename 47) that was the very best at this. You were supposed to kill a Triad dude and a police chief in a restaurant where they were meeting a rival Triad dude, and leave the rival Triad’s emblem at the scene. There were, as always, lots of ways to do it, but one method was to intercept the rival Triad dude, off him and nick his suit, and then attend the meeting as him. Except that the guard at the front of the restaurant would search you and relieve you of any weapons. So you snuck in the back, dropped your gun in the bathroom, then waltzed in the front, recovered the pistol, smoked the targets, dropped the emblem, then waltzed out past all the guards with no one the wiser. If everything worked it was soooo smooth.

I’ve played through Absolution and am now playing around with it. There’s some aspects I don’t much care for. The long sneak past bad guys segments are tedious and not very Hitman-like, and the uselessness of most disguises makes the game play very differently from past titles. I also dislike some of the cutscene writing. I mean, come on. Twice 47 is captured unavoidably in cutscenes, which (A) he’s fucking 47, no one captures him, specially not the twerp who gets him the second time, and (B) both times his captors know who he is and don’t immediately execute him. What. The. Fuck!? And the ending is a cop-out.

Also, no Agent Smith to rescue. :frowning:

But I’m having fun despite the negatives.

My favorite example of this was in Blood Money, in the hotel level. I still replay that level just to play through it the exact way I did it my first playthrough: I didn’t get the silent assassin rank for it that first time, because I actually used my sniper rather than finding ways to make them all look like accidents, but it just makes you feel like such a badass.

Hide in the elevator, kill the skinhead when he gets in, take his keycard and briefcase, go to his room on the top floor, unpack your sniper rifle …

Awesome game. But yeah, so were the old Splinter Cell games. If this is the Conviction of the Hitman series I’m going to pass. Conviction had a decent story with a great opening sequence with the dreams and shit, but was way too much of a linear shooter compared with the previous titles. I take my stealth games sandbox.

This game has quite a few quirks such as the disguise function being totally bonkers and almost not worth using.

I also get a directx: out of memory crash during cutscenes and haven’t been able to progress after going up the elevator in the Terminus level.

How did disguises work in the previous games?

Maybe because this is my first time in the franchise but disguises seem fine to me. Most people ignore you provided you don’t get too close or stand around in one place too long. People from your “group” are almost immediately suspicious although you can slink past them by hiding your face and moving along quickly. Makes sense that the restaurant staff doesn’t just say “Hey, there’s the giant bald brick of a co-worker I don’t remember ever seeing before” or that the bad guys might think “That giant bald brick of a cop looks awfully familiar” when you’re standing around in front of them.

But I’ll admit I don’t have any basis for comparison.

i didn’t play any of the earlier games in the series, but if you go up to the professional tier of difficulties, the AI can spot you through crowds 100 feet away, and sometimes through walls.

Ah, I’ve just been playing Normal. That just sounds like standard shitty “cheating” AI.

In the first one, basically as long as you were “in costume” and nobody knew to look for someone in costume by way of having found the corpse of the dude you got the costume from, you could do just about anything besides shooting people in the face and nobody cared. There’s one example that springs to mind immediately: one of the early triad missions involves car bombing a guy ; the most obvious way to do it is to kill the guy’s limo driver (who happens to be Asian) while he’s pissing in a back alley, waltz past a handful of guards who rode in that guy’s car to get here, futz around the wheel well to stick your car bomb, then go back to the alley.
Then they all ride away, nobody thinking to ask “hey, where’s Lee the driver gone to ?” or “Man, I wonder how Lee gained 2 feet and a barcode tattoo in the space of 5 seconds. Also white skin” ; and you blow 'em up.

So that was a bit cartoonish :slight_smile:
In the next few games you had a suspicion meter that filled up as you were within guards’ eyesight, and it filled up more or less rapidly depending on a) what you did, b) how close you were to people and c) whether the disguise could fool anyone. For example, disguising yourself as a Yakuza didn’t work so well (although that could get annoying as well, notably in *that *part of Hitman 2 where for some reason Japanese “ninjas” could almost instantly see through a fucking ninja costume complete with facemask, night goggles over the eyes, gloves, basically not one inch of skin showing). In Blood Money they added a fourth mechanic, which was d) How badly did you fuck up in previous missions ; the more evidence of your passage you left, the more guards were aware that “bald prick in an obvious disguise” meant trouble.

But for the most part and within these parameters you could still just disguise as a guard and walk around permanently unmolested as long as nobody saw you drag corpses around, pick locks etc… or you hugged some other guard’s face for some reason. Nobody wondered who the new guy was.
Haven’t played *Absolution *(third game I want this month that won’t play on XP… I really need to be moving on up…) but it sounds like they’ve made infiltrating security a lot harder ; which is probably a whole lot more realistic but still a major departure from the previous titles.

Played through a couple of levels. The first one was OK, the second one - in Chinatown - was incredibly meh, and the third one was kinda cool.

The Chinatown level was incredibly meh simply because the Silent Assassin solution is also the easiest one. Spoilers for the level below:

[spoiler]You’re supposed to assassinate a Chinatown kingpin in order to build some credit with an informant who can get you inside info on the Agency. He walks randomly around the level, in plain view, and all you have to do is kill him and walk away.

The easiest way to do this is just grab some Fugu fish from an inattentive chef, walk down some unguarded stairs, contaminate some unguarded drugs, then just wait for 10 minutes until he follows his drug dealer back to his apartment and kicks the bucket. Then just walk away into the sunset.

I redid it a couple of times because I was sure I was missing something, but aside from a couple of collectibles to marginally increase your point score, nada. No exposition, no foreshadowing, nothing. Boring. I actually timed myself on the last go-through and after 3 minutes and 14 seconds I had found the Fugu fish, contaminated the drugs and walked to the exit spot and was just waiting for the automatic confirmation of the kill.[/spoiler]

…in the dark from a half mile away. Why did you have to remind me? Fortunately you could snipe most of them without ever getting into their field of vision.

I know, I’m a couple years late here but I just finished this and I have comments.

Yes, this was a departure from the original formula, but personally I feel that the series was due for a change. The other games were all essentially the same, with graphical and technical improvements for sure, but still, basically all the same. And that was a good thing, I agree, but with Blood Money I think the original formula was taken as far as I feel it could go.

I really enjoyed Absolution. While certainly not as wide-open as the previous games, the graphics were a drastic improvement, and looked awesome even on the lowest settings. I was extremely impressed with the overall look of the game.

As for gameplay, I feel that they kept the focus of the gameplay on stealth, and while much more linear than the previous games, there were still enough options for accomplishing most missions to scratch that itch for me. The “point shooting” was an interesting addition, though it was really only useful in one situation (e.g. the shooting contest). Other than that, I think I managed to make it through the entire game without firing a single shot. “Instinct” was kind of a cheap trick at points, but I appreciated that they made garroting, knocking out enemies, and hiding bodies much easier.

Overall the game was easier than the previous games, but frankly that’s kind of what I enjoyed most about it. At this point in my gaming I’m not necessarily looking for a challenge, I’m more interested in playing a role and having fun with it, and this game was exactly that. There was still a satisfying degree of “figuring out a level” involved, for me, and I didn’t have to keep playing through spots where I was stuck and not knowing how to move forward.

This and the other game I’ve been working on, the Tomb Raider reboot, I am thoroughly satisfied with.