Putting a bullet between the eyes of our free time.
The Pitch: After an extended absence, Agent 47 returns with a new plot full of deception, stealth, and cold-blooded killing. And just for good measure, there’s also a Contracts mode, so you can compete with friends and flex your skills as a murderous mastermind.
What It Really Is: A murder-boner in disc form. Few games approach assassinations the way Hitman does, and Absolution is a fresh look for this classic franchise. Simply put, the game is gorgeous. Environments are highly detailed and highly interactive, providing you with plenty of hiding spots, shooting cover, and places to dump bodies. Cut scenes are cinematic and do a great job of swiftly carrying the in-depth plot. And it doesn’t hurt to have an outstanding cast of voiceover actors including Vivica Fox, Keith Carradine, and Powers Boothe. Signature highlights of the Hitman franchise are present, with the freedom to approach each target in a unique way (though some strategies are obviously better than others), while goofy disguises add a hint of humor to a game that is otherwise deadly serious. Unfortunately, where Hitman: Absolution fails is in its tired storyline: Save a little girl from the forces of evil without letting her become an assassin herself. It’s a story that’s been done to death, and Absolution doesn’t add anything to it. But it does leave you with a dreary sense of guilt after you mercilessly snuff out legions of henchmen, so at least it has that going for it?
Maxim.com Ready-Made Press Blurb: “Hitman: Absolution has us convinced that we could absolutely get away with murder. Like, seriously.” Maxim.com
Fun Fact: William Mapother did the motion capture for Agent 47 this time around. He also played the evil other Ethan in Lost. He’s also Tom Cruise’s cousin. Tom Cruise’s real last name is Mapother. We think it was a change for the better.
Who’s It For: Besides Metal Gear, Hitman is the only game that delivers an experience where stealth is done so well and figures in so prominently. Sure, you could run and gun through every level (just be sure to set the difficulty to easy, cheapo), but why would you? The brilliance of the Hitman series lies in your ability to tactically assess a level and then play through it in your own way. Innovation in strategy is rarely rewarded like this elsewhere, so if you pride yourself on having a score to settle and taking a unique tack in doing so, just hire Agent 47.
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