If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Written version which is not exactly verbatim to the video review, I thought I'd include this, if you like reading....
It's been 6 years since we've last seen 47's perfectly round bald head. Since the release of Blood Money, there hasn't been much of good stealth games coming out. With some stealth series that made their mark on the gaming industry with their revolutionary way of creating memorable stealth games, most have ended up morphing into more action oriented games, which to give them credit, weren't as bad as people made it out to be. Hitman Absolution accomplishes more with the stealth genre than most games have attempted, as well as giving you the option to take a more action approach as well. Does it work? Sometimes, other times you're better off playing it smart, and not like a Call of Duty game.
First off, one of the things that stands out in Hitman Absolution is the presentation, this game is by far the best looking and cinematic Hitman game to date. It is easily one of the best looking games of this year.
Absolution begins by throwing you into your first mission (which serves as a tutorial mission). Along the way you get a voice over from a lovely female voice explaining everything that the game has to offer, from it's new gameplay mechanics to ways of going about every mission from now, until the very end. Your first mission: eliminate Diana Burnwood--47's long time handler, who has been deemed by the Agency, as a traitor. Once 47 eliminates Diana, her dying wish to 47 is to protect a young girl named Victoria.
Disguises are still a trademark of the Hitman franchise, 47 can assume the role of just about anyone you can get a hold of. Instinct is a new feature introduced in Absolution, you use instinct in order to avoid having your disguise being exposed and the risk of being gunned down if you're in a room full of killers looking for you. You can also use instinct to see certain paths that enemies will take in order to give you the upper hand, you could also use it to see through walls. I believe instinct does not regenerate on any mode higher than normal, so use it wisely. Instinct can also be used to take take out a group full of enemies, but again if you decide to use it, instinct will deplete pretty considerably. So there's a strategy when it comes to instinct. I only use it when it's needed. Instinct also depletes if you use it in order to avoid having your disguise blown. Instinct can be recovered by accomplishing key things like killing your targets. Certain parts of instinct can be turned off if you feel that you don't want any hints or want to see any of the routes enemies will follow.
Along with the new instinct feature, the game also introduces a really good cover to cover system. With the plot of Absolution, there are a couple of things that are structured differently than previous Hitman games in order to keep it consistent and to supplement the story, it might also be something that's going to be somewhat divisive for most Hitman fans. Most of the game requires you to do a lot of sneaking around and going from cover to cover in order to accomplish your tasks. The game has 20 missions overall, each mission is split up into different sections, again in order to supplement the story you sometimes will be tasked to get from point A to point B. Other sections will have traditional elements that have made the Hitman series popular, like pretty large areas where there are a lot of NPCs on screen and you're tasked to eliminate up to one, two, even three targets. The game can be tackled in a variety of ways, while also having a lot of Easter eggs to discover.
While you play the game there will also be a score tracker during every mission on the upper left-hand corner of the screen to see you how you did in terms of ranking and the number of points. It's a good idea, it creates a competitive element in Absolution, but I wish it was something you can turn off. I often felt that I needed to try to get a high score by not being detected and when I got detected then witnessed the score go down, I more often than not, restarted the game to the last checkpoint. Then I decided to ignore it and play the game how I wanted to play it and not care about scores. Even on some later missions, I did accomplished them pretty decently, even though I messed up twice I was still able to make it out alright with a good rating. So, unless you know you're going to die, don't worry about restarting the game right away, try to work through it, who knows you might actually beat it.
The game is challenging without being cheap, I more often was frustrated with myself because a good chunk of the time when I died or mess up, it was my fault.
Also, since the game has a Contracts mode, where you can create and play people's contracts which really adds a lot of replay value to the game. The way contracts works, you pick any mission from Absolution and you can make anyone in the game a target, and also have certain stipulations that must be met in order to complete the game without having any points taken off for not doing it exactly as you've created it. In order to avoid, bullshit contracts, you have to prove first that you can do it before you're able to post the contract for everyone to play.
The writing is also an impressive quality in Absolution, the Hitman games has been know to not take itself too seriously, there's plenty of Easter eggs, and dark humor to be had in Absolution. There are definitely some moments of brilliantly written dialogue that is of the quality of something you would see in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Now that I think about it, imagine if Quentin Tarantino wrote Hitman Absolution and David Fincher directed it.
While I don't have a lot of complaints with Hitman Absolution, it's not perfect, there a small issues with the game that are very minor. I've only had the game glitch out after I died in one mission where it just got stuck at the loading screen, I literally spent a minute staring at the loading screen before I restarted the game. The game does a good job on not having long loading screens, the most I've had to wait for it to load was about 5-10 seconds. There was some AI glitches where an enemy saw me choke out a guy event though the door behind me was closed, small things like that but for the most part, it's pretty polished. I also feel that the disguise system and the meter that shows up when someone is about to spot you can be tweaked just a little bit. I often found myself being exposed by someone even though I was about a good 20-30 yards away from them. Yeah, it's that intense. Sometimes, when I had a disguise on the instinct feature did not work at all. Regardless, those were small things that would happen on rare occasions. I feel a small patch may be able to tweak it just a bit.
Overall, Hitman does a lot of things right with pacing, presentation, dialogue, story, and gameplay. There are definitely some levels, especially the attack of the saints level where it's once of the most impressive awesome moments I've ever experienced in a game. If you're new to the Hitman franchise and are interested in a game where you play as an Assassin, (not like we get enough of that) which also has a pretty decent story, well written and hilarious dialogue, and just a game that will challenge you, while also doing a lot of things right in the stealth genre. Hitman Absolution is definitely worth your time and money, easily one of the best games of 2012.
Note: the game took me about 11 hours to beat, might be longer depending on your play style.
Rating: MUST BUY!
If you must have a number, I give it a 9/10
My only issue with the game is the Disguises system. It never worked as is should. If you dressed as a Cop the other Cops pay more attention to you. When they should just ignore you or pay less attention to you. But overall I did enjoy it.