While I haven’t taken the time to delve into the game’s “Contract Mode” very much, I do know what it entails and thus feel ok when speaking on behalf of the game’s entirety. Hitman: Absolution was the second game this year (I still need to play Mark of the Ninja) to let me sneak around and murder enemies in gruesome ways. Maybe there’s some inner psychopath inside me, but for some reason I really love these types of games.
Hitman was very enjoyable. I played with a friend watching over my shoulder for practically the entire game, and we had a blast discussing how I should approach a situation. To be honest, the majority of the time we were playing, we failed to capitalize on our plotted out schemes. However, high fives were dealt when these moments came to fruition.
I’ve read a ton of reviews and watched a fair few as well, and a lot of the reviewers actually criticized the game’s story. Speaking for my friend and myself, we loved it! Neither of us had any emotional tie to Agent 47 (the protagonist) prior to this game, but as the story progressed, we became really invested in the characters and plot. This isn’t to say that the story is convoluted; on the contrary, it’s bat-shit crazy, especially coming from guys who know nothing about “the agency” or who these nuns were. Again, we didn’t really care. All we knew was that Agent 47 had some serious psychological problems, a disturbing upbringing and some really weird friends.
Gameplay is handled really well. I plugged my controller into my PC and it worked like a charm. They added this execution technique that was in Splinter Cell: Conviction and man, it’s so much fun! On top of that, depending on what difficulty you play on, you have some sort of “Hitman intuition” which lets you track your targets and see where they’re headed. It’s really convenient for someone not too familiar with the gameplay. Finally, for those who want to go balls-deep in game challenge, there’s 5 different difficulty levels which adjust the UI and abilities the player is given. The hardest difficulty takes away practically everything, which means I probably will never play it.
The other side of the game, outside of the story, is the “contracts” mode. Here, you get to make Hits for yourself and players across the globe to play and try to earn the highest scores. Considering how the story was essentially just hits mixed with cinematics, this is an amazing feature that extends the life of the game considerably.
I want to sum up my thoughts by simply stating how impressed I was with this game. There are so many cool moments that aren’t scripted but instead are created by the player him/herself. It’s really a killer’s paradise — an open world sandbox focused on murdering targets with the tools provided.