Публикувани: 15 май
Hitman Absolution is a horrible game. It not only betrays the design philosophy of previous games, it also fails as a stand-alone without any expectations or standards the title on the box gives us. You do yourself a great service in avoiding this game at all costs.
Hitman Absolution is a pseudo-stealth game. Objectives range from go from point A to point B or kill this target. Naturally, the best ways to accomplish these is to do it without witnesses, without getting caught, without getting shot at and of course, as silent and discreet as possible. Previous Hitman games essentially gave you a sandbox to explore and a variety ways to off your targets. Even going as far as to make it possible to make your expertly executed murder look like an accident meaning nobody even had to know an assassin was even present. At the risk of sounding pretentious, it's without a doubt one of the most artistic depictions of stealth in the medium. Hitman Absolution instead controls a lot more like a third-person shooter. Ghosting (minus the required targets) is still possible, but incredibly annoying to execute because of contradictory design choices. Let's start with the small problems and build our way up.
First off: the score system. In previous games, you were awarded with a certain amount of money based on how well you played. The higher your rank, the higher the prize. This could later be spent on upgrades, new weapons for missions etc. This time however, it's entirely cosmetic and borderline irritating. The scoreboard will constantly subtract or add points based on your actions in real-time during gameplay, but it's entirely pointless. Its sole purpose is for online leaderboards which really shouldn't be the focus of a Hitman game. I don't know about you, but I do not want to be reminded by a useless scoreboard that I'm playing a game every time I do a thing within said game.
This scoreboard highlights the shallowness of this game. For one thing, not only is creativity less important, you're often flat-out TOLD how to perform unique executions in order to get points so you can participate in the leaderboards. This ranges from routes, disguise options you can find across the map, weapons, weapon locations and even unique assassination techniques to make the murder look like an accident. The game constantly holds your hand and reminds you can do all of these things when all you want to do is be free and explore, hopefully without the extra grating tutorial voice that will accompany you throughout the entire game, but that you've no doubt already turned off in the options menu. Hitman is supposed to be a game about two things: 1. I should be able to plan my weapons and route with the help of a map and 2. be able to do some improvisation with the given location. You can only do the latter which is made worse by limited weapons, smaller maps, less options and ultimately less interesting/exotic locations.
So let's come right out of it. The gameplay is bad. For one thing, even though stealth should be the better option, fighting back with brutal force is strangely enough encouraged a lot of the time. It really shouldn't be like this, but with covers sprayed everywhere and the annoying disguise system which I'll get to later, making a few sacrifices is often your best bet at survival.
But the scoring system is what breaks this. The game is full of contradictory design choices like this. You're basically told to do this or that and then you're given less of a score for doing something bad like killing or harming non-targets, getting spotted or not hiding bodies. Well, gosh I'm so sorry for not doing everything perfectly in my first run, IO interactive! Even stranger is that if you knock a person unconscious from behind and hide his body, you don't lose points but if you knocked someone out and hid the body after he/she spotted you you still lose points. This make some sense as he did see your face except not really when you realize he saw your face a couple of seconds before you decided to choke the living hell out of him from behind. This is made even worse by the horrible checkpoint system which does not save your progress but resets the entire level and only brings you to a different part of the map. This means that all of the bodies you put into lockers before hitting a checkpoint are now inexplicably walking around again. Not being able to save wherever you want is also very annoying and discourages experimentation.
And lastly we come to ever awful disguise system. The way you get spotted by enemies is simply awful. When you're in the sight of an enemy you'll see a yellow cone on your screen. Even worse is that their vision cones which you can see on the radar don't match the movements of their head which will most likely put you off. This will disappear when you move out of the way. Stay in there for too long and the guy will try to stop and eventually he will become hostile unless you do what he says. You can reduce this reaction time with a disguise. A disguise allows you to enter locations that would otherwise be prohibited to get in or even interact with other NPCs. It doesn't work for people with the same disguise however. So if a police officer spots you in a police uniform he for whatever reason won't be fooled by it. Even when your face is entirely covered it won't stop people from finding you suspicious if they're part of the same group. You're probably thinking that this makes no sense, but it gets worse. There's ways to avoid getting spotted with a disguise. First off, you can move out of the way which makes no sense. If some guy spots and you duck for cover he or she won't find that suspicious that all. Even worse is the second, instinct mode. Instinct mode allows you to see throw walls, highlight objects of interest or other important parts of the level. It also allows you to maintain your disguise when spotted by depleting your instinct. How do I use this incredibly skillful technique, you inquire? Gather round and be sure to take notes. The one and only step is the following: you hold a button. That's it. Again, I have make this clear: with mostly linear levels and a worse disguise system, most of the gameplay will consist out of moving forward and press X to not be suspicious. This is what Hitman has devolved into. Other stealth game would at least add interesting uses of darkness or sound, but these staples in the stealth genre that were praised in titles like Thief or Splinter cell are nowhere to be found in Hitman. Heck even Metal Gear Solid, a series I despise, has interesting moments with its fast-paced arcadic gameplay. You're basically reduced to press X to win when it comes to pacifist runs minus targets you need to kill. All redeemable factors from Hitmans predecessors like the sandbox elements, the explorations of multiple methods in assassinating your targets or the creative executions are all gone.
So if press X to hide sounds appealing to you then by all means go buy this game. Other than that there's very little to say about this game. There's a damsel in distress storyline with very little surprises but performed by mostly good voice actors. The original 47 is also back for the ride which is good because the alternative was a Christian Bale impersonator judging from early trailers. that first casting choice rather reflects the soundtrack quite well which was an basically mimicking inception with a hundred percent more bwaahs. It's a disappointment when compared to Jesper Kyds compositions in Hitman Blood Money. As for graphics, the glacier 2 engine made this game look beautiful and it still looks good to this day with high settings.
That's about all I got. If you like the type of not really third-person shooter, not really stealth type of game then go for it. This just does not do it for me. Hitman Absolution took five steps back with its contradictory design choices, inane story and banal soundtrack.