Before there was Assassin's Creed, Hitman was the franchise with a notable killing machine that could creep up unseen and unheard to deliver death to his enemies. While it may have received less notice lately, Hitman Absolution is likely to change all of that for fans of serious stealth and action combination games.
Hitman Absolution details the bloody adventures of the mysterious Agent 47. While on what feels like a routine mission, 47 is turned on by his own organization and left for dead in the field. Hounded by the police and with all of the resources of his former agency cut off, 47 has to use every ounce of skill and training to stay one step ahead of those hunting him. What's more, he has to turn the tables and try to figure out why he's suddenly gone from predator to prey, digging deep into the darker motives of the world to find out why someone suddenly wants him dead.
As with previous Hitman games, Absolution gives players a variety of options for getting the job done. While it's often possible to go in face first, guns blazing, it's often not the best approach to a given situation. Players can stealth through the shadows and use a variety of quiet killers, from garrote wire to knives and silenced pistols to strike with precision, taking out defenders and even stealing their uniforms to keep 47 disguised. This form of infiltration takes more time and patience, and it isn't always an option, but for players who can master it, missions can become a great deal less bloody.
The Hitman franchise is best known for being a unique story in a world full of imitations and copycats, and the cinematics for Absolution are no different. While the action might keep players on the edge of their seats with their tongues between their teeth, the storyline grabs you by the shorthairs and tugs hard. Agent 47 isn't just the mouthpiece that players use to interact with the world at large; he's a character in his own right. He's lost, confused and, beneath the calm and professional surface, he's very, very angry about what's happened to him. Off the leash, 47 has to figure out what's going on and why, hoping that he can find the answers he needs.
As far as gameplay and actual mechanics goes, Absolution has kept what's worked in previous Hitman games, and jettisoned most of the things that were clunky or awkward. In their place, Absolution has put a bevy of useful features and intuitive controls that make it more likely for players to be able to control 47 smoothly. While it isn't impossible to give yourself away with a slip of the finger and an accidental button push, it is more difficult to do that in this version than in previous games. However, it is still very simple for players to customize their controls so they have the best possible array for their own personal, or eclectic, tastes.