Hitman: Absolution is a stealth video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix Europe. The game was released on November 20, 2012 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. On May 15, 2014 Hitman: Absolution — Elite Edition was released for macOS by Feral Interactive.
- The graphics haven't aged well and the color palette is ugly due to how grey everything is.
- The characters models are pretty bad, often looking fake and the faces of most characters and NPCs are just as bad. The worst offender being Agent 47.
- The missions are a lot more linear removing the mini-sandbox nature of the previous games. Fortunately, assassination methods are still somewhat present and there are missions that are more akin to traditional Hitman, but even then the levels are small and for most of them it's about getting from point A to point B.
- Much like Splinter Cell: Conviction and Blacklist, the point shooting mechanic can eliminate enemies by marking them making the game a lot easier.
- It feels like a step backwards to have to use instincts to hide from guards wearing the same disguise as you when in previous games you had a meter that told how suspicious you are. It's even worse when you consider that the next entry, has certain NPCs find you suspect.
- Challenge objectives can be tedious due to how varied they are, making it impossible to get them all during a single session.
- The servers for Contracts shut down.
- You no longer have limited save states where you can save wherever and whenever. Now (because of the linearity), there's a checkpoint system.
- The story of the game has Agent 47 try to protect and get back a girl named Victoria to keep a dying wish to Diana after 47 killed her after she was labelled a traitor by the Agency. Despite how interesting that may sound, you don't spend enough time with Victoria to really care and the story is overall bland and laughable due to a lot of dumb things (BQ #10), underdeveloped characters (BQ #11), and over-the-top villains (BQ #12).
- Some pretty dumb moments like when Agent 47 tries to strangle Sanchez, who is 10 times his size, Agent 47 being able to beat him in a wrestling match, or when Blake Dexter decides to, after having 47 knocked out decides to not kill 47 (despite knowing how dangerous he is), frame him for murder (after Dexter kills a maid), and then burn down the hotel room 47 is in.
- Most of the characters are two dimensional at best.
- The antagonists of the game are so over-the-top that it's laughable when the game tries to do more serious scenes with them.
- It's pretty unclear how the rating system works since it's much different from the previous games. For curiosity sake, this is how it works
- For some reason knocking people out with a non lethal weapon will count as a kill, but weirdly will not harm your ranking that much depending on the checkpoint.
- A good number of bugs and glitches including an infamous one where a cutscene showing 47 holding a gun to Lenny instead will show whatever item the player is holding before the cutscene triggers.
- Some of the checkpoints are designed in such a way that getting Suit Only is incredibly frustrating.
- The game attempts to be dark, which isn't abnormal for the franchise, but unlike its predecessor it hardly tries to and comes off as laughable at times.
- Every other NPC will have the same exact voice.
- The Saints, who are suppose to be elite sexy nun assassins, feel out of place even for the Hitman universe.
- Abrupt ending that feels like a cop out since it's revealed that 47 didn't actually kill Diana, but a double so he could kill Travis and Jade.
- It also hinted at a sequel, but given the amount of praise its successors got it's likely that another Hitman game like this may not happen.
- Some bugs and glitches that can crash the game, even the HD versions of the game for PS4 and Xbox One have some of these issues.
- The game looks really good for its time.
- You can now hide two bodies in the body containers and closets and also hide yourself in them.
- It introduces challenges, which gives each mission a sense of replayability. Although, the objectives are so varied that it's impossible to get them all during a single session, and some of them directly oppose each other (such as Suit Only and Chameleon, the latter being collect all disguises), which comes off as tedious.
- Adding to that replayability is upgrades that you get for reaching a certain score on a checkpoint.
- You can now knock people out with no melee weapon.
- Introduces instincts, which allows the player to see enemies through walls, objects of interest, and hide from enemies while in disguise.
- The game introduces a Contracts Mode, which allowed players to select up to three targets from within any level to assassinate and create a custom made challenge that could be saved and shared online. They could bring in any weapons they like and used any weapons from within the level, but they had to be able to complete the contract they set up in order to be allowed to save the challenge.
- Decent voice performances.
- The elimination methods are still great.
- The idea of making 47 a more human character, while not a first, is still an interesting idea despite how poorly it was handled.
- The game lets you know if you're entering a restricted area and if what you're holding is suspicious.
- None of the ports were gimped or favored, unlike some games where PS3, PC or Xbox 360 is favored or gimped.
- The HD re-release of the game on PS4 and Xbox One runs now at 60 FPS.
- Absolution was released on November 20, 2012, which is the forty-seventh week in the year (a reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).
Hitman: Absolution received "generally positive" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Positive reviews came from GamesRadar+, calling it "one of the strongest entries in the series to date", and Game Informer, who wrote that "devising a strategy, using the environment and disguises to your advantage, and leaving before anyone knows you're there are the hallmarks of a perfect hit, and Absolution proves Agent 47 is still gaming's premier hitman."
Edge gave it 7/10, saying "the game has taken a unique formula and diluted it". VentureBeat gave it 7.5/10 saying "Absolution aims high but misses the mark." Eurogamer gave it 7/10 saying "Agent 47 doesn't begin Hitman: Absolution with amnesia, but the six years that have passed since we last took control of him in Blood Money do seem to have dulled his creators' recollections of what made him so popular in the first place." GameSpot gave it 7.5/10 saying "Hitman: Absolution's vivid world and enjoyable stealth-action gameplay overshadow its few notable inconsistencies." IGN gave it 9/10 saying "It's nice to have a game that doesn't just encourage improvisation; it requires it." Kotaku gave Absolution a positive review. Giant Bomb gave it 4/5, as did Joystiq. Destructoid gave it 8.5/10.
The Daily Telegraph gave the game a 2/5 saying "Despite the fact that Absolution is a hugely disappointing entry into the canon, Hitman is still a fabulous series." International Business Times gave the game a 5/10 saying "An unremarkable, derivative clone of a game that's barely a shadow of what Hitman used to be." VideoGamer.com gave it 5/10 saying "The problem with Absolution is that its new custodians from the Kane and Lynch team seem to have fundamentally misunderstood what made Hitman great." PC Gamer gave it 66% saying "A passable stealth game, but one that betrays almost everything that, until now, has made Hitman great." GameTrailers gave it 6.9/10 saying "It's clear that a good deal of effort was put into crafting Hitman: Absolution's world. This makes its flaws all the more unfortunate." The New Statesman gave no rating but said "If developers want to win back fans when they revisit established franchises maybe they should look to what made those games popular in the first place and by doing so maybe they'd avoid stepping on a rake or two." The Irish Times gave no score but said "The move away from the completely open world may leave some hardcore fans of Hitman disappointed." The Daily Record gave the game 3/5 saying "While it's more accessible than previous Hitman games, Absolution loses a lot of the freedom that fans of the franchise love, and perhaps doesn't necessarily fit the Hitman name any longer." The Escapist gave no score but said "Hitman: Absolution is not the best nor the worst Hitman". The Guardian gave it 3/5 saying "The game may look better and play better than any Hitman game before it, but one can only marvel at how IO managed to lose sight of their IP's most appealing aspects so often."