Hitman: Absolution Makes Me Long for Hitman’s Early Days

Hitman: Absolution

I wanted Hitman: Absolution to be like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of the once-great Hitman franchise. Sadly, it was a hollow facsimile of all the things that used to make the series great.

Sure, it had killing and baldness, along with a great score and tale of revenge, but a good Hitman game needs more than that. Absolution tried to be all things for all players, and it lost its identity in the process.

When I look back fondly at past Hitman titles, I don’t think about the trails of dead bodies left in Agent 47’s wake. I think about the painstaking task of being a silent assassin, and how much satisfaction that brought me.

Gunplay was never a big draw for me; I just saw it as a means to an end. I focused on stealthy infiltrations, rarely resorting to just mowing people down. In fact, in earlier Hitman games, that was a surefire recipe for failure. Slow and stealthy was how you won the race.

Playing Hitman used to feel like a game of chess and chance rolled into one. I damn sure didn’t need bullet-time, fire trails that indicated NPC movements, or the ability to see enemies through walls. All I needed was a clown suit, a knock-out syringe, and some fiber wire to have a good time.

Hitman: Absolution, with its ridiculous checkpoint system and hand-holding gameplay mechanics, makes me long for Hitman‘s earlier days. Absolution did offer a “purist” difficulty, but it was poorly implemented, and the levels felt uninspired. For me, the “Attack of the Saints” level is the game’s only saving grace.

But even that level isn’t without its annoyances.

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