Hitman: Absolution - Xbox 360

Also known as: Hitman: Absolution: Deluxe Professional Edition', 'Hitman: Absolution: Professional Edition

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Also for: PS3, PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Io-Interactive Soft. Co.: Square Enix
Publishers: Eidos (GB)
Released: 20 Nov 2012 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+

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Summary

As of Hitman Absolution's launch, it's been over six years since we last saw Agent 47 in Hitman: Blood Money. Since then we've played through the adventures of two other notable Assassins, so how does the old guy stack up these days?

The end of Blood Money saw 47's handler, Diana Burnwood, effectively running the International Contract Agency (ICA) since she and 47 were the only employees remaining alive. At the start of Absolution, 47 is sent to assassinate Diana in a safe house where she has been hiding for some time. It seems that Diana has betrayed the ICA and stolen some valuable property, a little girl called Victoria.

So begins the latest set of Hitman missions, as before you'll have objectives to complete by killing certain targets, only this time you'll be acting more on your own, piecing together the story behind Diana's betrayal.

Agent 47 has obviously been training in his six years off since he's picked up a few new abilities. The major addition is Instinct Mode, which replaces the level maps from previous games with something more like Eagle Sense or Detective Vision. Enemies are located through walls, targets are flagged, items of interest are pointed out and the level or area exit is highlighted.

Another addition, your Instinct meter can be used to evade notice when wearing a disguise or to line up several head-shots at once to quickly take down a room of enemies. The abilities are limited by the level of Instinct in your meter, which is built up by completing objectives. This may seem like a departure from Hitman's more traditional stealth focus, but you don't have to use it. In fact, in the hardest play mode, Instinct is completely disabled.

47 is the subject of a police manhunt which can make things hard. The police are mostly confined to sections of the game leading up to or away from more traditional hit missions. These sections are there to spice up the game play and are broken into a few small areas in sequence that feel a lot like challenge rooms.

The AI has been vastly improved. It's no longer the case that accidentally showing a lone guard your fibre wire will alert the whole level to your presence. You can be detected by individuals and only if they radio in your location will you be known to others. However, your current disguise will be blown even if only one person spots you, other characters will become suspicious of you much more quickly.

With the ante upped in terms of both 47's abilities and the challenges he's facing, Hitman Absolution is looking lethal.