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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (473)

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Boot Hill Heroes 3.5/5
Control 4/5
Victor Vran 3/5
Katamari Damacy REROLL 4/5
SIMULACRA 3/5
Hitman: Absolution 3.5/5
Alternativa 2.5/5
Stardew Valley 4/5
Undertale 4/5
Cyberpunk 2077 3/5
Fable Anniversary 3/5
Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5

Next 25
 

Hitman: Absolution   PC (Steam) 

It's Absolutely Hitman    3.5/5 stars

While there are much newer and well-received Hitman games to play, this has been on my backlog since - well, probably a few years after it came out and I figured it was as good as time as ever to reacquaint myself with the franchise and its titular hero our hitman Agent 47. While the game shows its age, it also holds up surprisingly well and goes to show just how solid this series can be and why it continues to garner praise and support across the community.

Looks and Stuff: When you see this game came out in 2012 you're probably thinking, boy, this must look like a dog, now. But if you peruse other games that came out in 2012 - Mass Effect 3, Dishonored, Far Cry 3 and Borderlands 2 among others - you'll find it was a pretty strong year and Hitman: Absolution doesn't feel like it's too old. The animation is strong, both in cut-scenes and in the levels. Many feature big crowds and the game does a good job of handling them, from snippets of conversation to just the movement. AI acts smart enough and presents some challenge and the game has a wide variety of settings from the gritty city to cornfields to mines to industrial complexes. Yes, it does suffer from the browns - much of the game feels muted, but the few levels that feature a bit more vibrant color do pop. The game also features a nice variety of some good talent for its movie-like cut scenes including Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Traci Lords, Vivica A. Fox, Isabelle Fuhrman, Shannyn Sossamon and Larry Cedar. David Bateson voices the anti-hero - as he has for pretty much every Hitman property - and he does a great job - much like Geralt, he is a man of few and very growly words - but when he does talk, it carries power. While the music never really stands out, it does its job adequately enough. I never experienced any crashed while I played and just some minor technical issues (mostly things like clipping and such) but nothing that affected progress.

Story: Agent 47 is sent by the International Contract Agency (ICA) to assassinate his former handler, Diana Burnwood, after she has betrayed the agency, including sabotaging their their funding and database. But in doing so, Agent 47 learns Diana has been doing all this in order to protect her daughter, Victoria, a genetically-enhanced soldier, from becoming the next pawn for the ICA. Her dying wish is for Agent 47 to protect her daughter - which turns out easier said than done. Soon enough, she becomes the target of not just the ICA, but Blake Dexter, who runs his own defense company and sees Victoria as his meal ticket for a big score. Relying on disgraced agent but still well-connected Birdie, Agent 47 attempts to take out Dexter's network before they can get to Victoria. Despite his best efforts, Victoria falls into the hands of Dexter who takes her to Hope, South Dakota - essentially a town that is under his thumb, with a heavy military presence. At the same time, the ICA, under Agent 47's former handler Benjamin Travis, is also closing in - with each party thinking they have the upper hand. Everything comes to a head at Blackwater Park where both Dexter and Travis are meeting for the handoff. An epilogue mission takes place with Travis attempting to cover up his own mistakes while trying to determine if Diana is truly dead.

Gameplay: The biggest controversy surrounding Absolution when it came out was that it was more steamlined than previous games, eliminating the open-world element that Hitman had become known for. However, I didn't find the more linear nature to be that much of a detraction. The game still gives you plenty of options when it comes to how to complete each level and most main levels are plenty big on their own. From poison to "accidents" to straight-up shooting (or killing with various melee) - you have plenty of fun figuring out how to kill your target (or targets) in various ways. Of course the game relies on mostly stealth if you want to play the right way - including various disguised you can wear, environmental effects (darkness, steam, smoke, etc) you can use to your advantage and hiding bodies. The biggest issue I had throughout the game is that people spot you way too easily - especially from way up on sniping perches - and once that happens you either have to kill em all or restart. Speaking of restarting, the other huge annoyance is that even thought the game gives you some checkpoints (on the difficulty I was on anyway) said checkpoints only start you at that point - it doesn't save your progress. So even though you might start at that area, everyone you previously took down will be up and walking again - meaning some checkpoints are practically useless. I also found that restarting a level and restarting your last checkpoint are two VERY big differences and at least a couple of times I found myself starting over - way over - and kicking myself for not realizing it. Also, you can't skip the cut scenes. Overall, while the game has its annoyances, I still generally liked the way things played out. The game gives you a lot of weapons - from melee to guns (though the old garrote wire is still the bees knees) and a lot of ways to distract, take down and assassinate those around you. While stealth games can get overbearing, this one has a good balance, enough that I didn't mind going back on a few of the levels to get some more intricate and fun kills.

Replay value: For those who like to hunt down stuff, get intricate kills, stealth your way around or simply gun down everyone after achieving everything else - well, the game doesn't skimp on the extras. At one time it had plenty of online content but, as with most older games, the servers are no long available and thus, sadly, no more content - but at least that doesn't stop you from the single-player mode.

Final Verdict: While Absolution has been surpassed by more recent entries in the series, if you haven't been following the series, it's not a bad place to jump back in, either.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Replay: 4/5
Overall (not an average): 3.5/5

 

 


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