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Xbox 360 Game Review

Hitman: Absolution


Format: Xbox 360
Square Enix
RRP: £49.99
5 021290 048829
Age Restrictions: 18+
Available 20 November 2012

Don the suit of the ultimate assassin, you have the ability to hide in plain sight, cause death with your bare hands and fashion a weapon from almost anything. You are Agent 47, the world's deadliest assassin...

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game where you play the part of a hitman who has gone awol from the agency that employs him. Originally sent to track down an old comrade and friend, you soon realise that your latest hit is not what you thought. Trained not to think, but act on impulse, you are suddenly forced to go against all your years of training and turn on your masters. Your mission now is to keep one young girl safe.

If I had one complaint about this game, it's that the missions are way too short and the developers have tried to hide the fact that you have only a few real choices - the rest is a carefully masked hand-held experience that allows the main story to unfold more like a movie with gaming segments between the cut sequences.

Review imageYour missions are always straightforward. Avoid killing innocents, or even harming them if you can help it, and focus on your objective and targets only. So, for some hits, this may mean observing them for a while to see if they have a pattern to their movements. Then, when you spot a good place to take them out away from danger, make your move. But, should you mess up, there are numerous hiding spaces where you can dispose of bodies or lay low until everything calms down.

You have a limited amount of instinct (which decreases should you get too close to those you are trying to stay hidden from). This ability allows you to see enemies and their patrol paths, identify objects of interest, and activate 'point shooting' (where time slows to a crawl to allow you to aim at as many targets as possible in a limited amount of time so that you can take out several enemies almost instantaneously).

Review imageThere are numerous interesting things you can do to make life a little more fun (or you can play it by the book). For example, why not turn on a gas oven and find an ignition point to cause an explosion; drop a proximity mine in the path of unsuspecting passersby; or push someone out of a window. However you despatch your targets or take care of the guards/police there's never a dull moment.

Likewise, taking out targets can be done in numerous ways, and each will give you a very different story path. And at the end of each level you are given bonus points for each disguise, weapon etc you found and picked up.

Review imageThere are some interesting levels with large crowds, which beautifully illustrate how much the developers have come on when it comes to getting the most out of the console.

For Hitman fans, this is a beautifully polished game that's only fault is that it holds your hand a little too tightly through the well script plot twists, while trying to give the illusion that you have a much larger environment to explore.

In addition, there's the ability to go online and create your own Hitman challenges for others to complete - or you can attempt to complete one of the online communities quests.


Darren Rea

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