If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hitman: Absolution is here! After receiving a package from the UPS guy, I opened up it up with much delight to reveal the Professional Edition which looked impressive instantly. I removed the sleeve to unveil a very elegant packaging with the trademark "ICA" logo. Inside was the game, bonus DVD, DLC codes, and finally, the art book of the game which is the main highlight of the Professional Edition. Note: I've only skimmed through the first couple of pages of the book, there were slight spoilers in the art book, so I recommend taking a look at the art book after you beat the game.While I can do without included weapons DLC because I'd prefer something more physical than digital, overall, the Professional Edition of Hitman Absolution is well worth the price for any Hitman fan.
On to the game at hand. Yeah, it's a bit different. First off, you start off the game with a tutorial, as you progress through the first tutorial mission you get a lovely female voice over telling you the basics of the game, what to do and what not to do.
As you progress the game, you’ll unlock abilities that make it easier to really get things done through Absolution’s later levels, I can understand why you’re unlocking upgrades after every mission because if they give you everything in the beginning it can be a bit overwhelming.
One thing, that I’m not a huge fan of is even though the game encourages experimentation and improvisation, it seems like the developers really want you to play through the game very stealthy (a ghost pretty much) in order to get a high score, which I realized, I’m not good at. After thinking about it, I came to the sudden realization "alright, ignore the score tracker and play the game how I would normally play and try not to force something that I know I can't do." My recommendation, don't worry about trying to get a high score; just play. If you really mess up, it's okay, just reload to last checkpoint, the constant restarting levels when you mess up is still there in vintage Hitman fashion.
The replacement for saves in Absolution are, checkpoints. Checkpoints are scattered through each level and the game doesn't tell where they are, once you find them you can save to that point and reload to that checkpoint if you mess up completely. It only works during that gaming session, if you shut off your console and start the game later, you will not spawn to that checkpoint. I don’t mind the check point system, because the past games made it more easier to complete a mission when you have multiple saves points that you can reload if you mess up.
The disguise system is really good, although I believe with a slight little tweak it can be less frustrating. If you have a disguise on during the game, let's say that you dress like a cop, if you're in another cop's line of sight for too long the cop will call you out and blow your disguise. There are ways to avoid getting detected by other cops but like I said earlier, if IO makes a slight tweak to that system, I feel there will be less frustration and restarting. I believe a small update might resolve this slight issue, unless I'm playing it wrong....
The presentation and graphics look gorgeous and the cutscenes for the game are just superb. It's great to have David Bateson back as 47, he hasn't lost a beat.
So that's my first impressions on Hitman: Absolution, so far, its a great Hitman experience. I look forward to discussing more in detail with a future review of the game and as well during the next episode of Bloody Thumbs Podcast.