With a preview build featuring the first half of the game, I found myself continuously going back to try for every possible kill across each of the game's five difficulty settings. Each kill method tied to challenges within the game; executing them helps to unlock more skills for 47 and begs for multiple playthroughs.
As a fan of the Hitman series – with Blood Money
being one of the first games I earned all one thousand Achievement points in – my primary concern was whether or not Absolution
would only offer clear-cut choices. "Is there only one real way
in each level to be a Silent Assassin?" I wondered.
'If I missed one opportunity I often found new ones to help me keep my anonymity. This is the most exciting revelation I've had with Hitman: Absolution.'
But that's not how things work here. For the most part, there are multiple ways to attack, some disregarding the 'Silent Assassin' rank, and some allowing you to walk away unseen. This is important because it doesn't make levels feel like trial and error scenarios. There's no taking "the stealth path" and doing something "wrong" that prompts perfectionists to restart – save for being seen
, that is. In the preview, if I missed one opportunity I often found new ones to help me keep my anonymity. This is the most exciting revelation I've had with Hitman: Absolution
does suffer from the same problem as other stealth-based games: the A.I. lacks spontaneity. Having played the first half of the game countless times across all difficulties, it's clear that all targets and enemies follow the same paths. There's no surprise once you've played a level for the tenth or twentieth time; you know exactly where they are and where they will go. By playing with the world, though, things can get dynamic: make some noise near a guard and he'll investigate, for example. But often missions will begin with a few minutes of you watching the same movements where interactivity could threaten your position and rank.
In one mission a guard and cook have a mild argument. Every time it's the same dialog, with the same movements and the same post-shouting match separation. After seeing this for the tenth time you just want to bust out your dual silverballers and shut them up already
. My hope is that things will be a little more dynamic initially by the time the final version of the game is released in November.