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Hitman: Absolution

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Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution
File:HitmanAbsolutionPackArt.jpg
Developer(s) IO Interactive
Nixxes Software BV (PC)
Publisher(s) Square Enix[1]
Director(s) Tore Blystad
Artist(s) Visual Works (CGI)
Series Hitman
Engine Glacier 2[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) 20 November 2012[2]
  • JP 24 January 2013
Genre(s) Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Blu-ray disc, DVD, download

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth video game developed by Danish video game development company IO Interactive and published by Square Enix.[1] It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise.[3] The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

Gameplay

The game takes place primarily in the United States, mainly around the city of Chicago, Illinois, and a fictional town called Hope in South Dakota.[4] This game introduces an online option to the series, where players can create their own missions for other players to complete.[5] In addition, the game features "instinct mode" which allows 47 to predict enemy patrol routes, much like the "sonar vision" that was featured in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction.[6]

Synopsis

Plot

In the aftermath of Hitman: Blood Money, Diana Burnwood, Agent 47's handler with the International Contract Agency, suddenly goes rogue, carrying out a catastrophic sabotage that includes publicly exposing the Agency. The Agency reforms under agent Benjamin Travis; Travis assigns 47 to kill Diana and bring Victoria, a teenage girl in her care, to the Agency. Shooting and wounding Diana in her home in Chicago, 47, rather than executing her, comforts the seemingly dying Diana, who gives him a letter and asks him to keep Victoria safe from the Agency.[7]

47 hides Victoria at a Catholic orphanage, somewhere in Chicago and contacts an informant named Birdie, who asks him to kill a wealthy gangster nicknamed "The King of Chinatown". After eliminating him, 47 meets with Birdie, who briefs him about Blake Dexter, the CEO of Dexter Industries, who may have more information on Victoria. As payment, 47 is forced to give his Silverballers to Birdie. 47 learns that Dexter is in the "Terminus" hotel and after evading Dexter's henchmen, eavesdroppes on him. 47 learns from Dexter's conversation with his secretary Layla that he plans to kidnap and auction Victoria to the highest bidder. 47 attempts to strangle with a wire Sanchez, Dexter's enormous bodyguard, who proceeds to knock 47 unconscious. Framed by Dexter for the murder of an innocent maid, 47 escapes the hotel that was set on fire because of Dexter and evades the police. 47 contacts Birdie, who tells him to go to a local strip club and kill the owner Dom Osmond, who works as an informant for Blake Dexter, so that he can protect Victoria. 47 kills Osmond and learns from a phone message in his office that Birdie is being hunted by Edward Wade - a psychopathic mercenary, who is a close friend of Dexter and is under his employ. Despite killing henchmen that were looking for Birdie, Birdie still sells Victoria's location to Wade so that he can save his life. 47 reaches Victoria and learns that Victoria has a necklace, which if she doesn't wear she will become physically weak. Wade and his henchmen raid the orphanage and massacre most of the staff. 47 is forced to pick up fuse boxes that are scattered across the orphanage, since the elevator to the basement breaks down. After evading the henchmen, 47 installs the fuse boxes and starts the elevator. Victoria is kidnapped by Wade, who has a nun, who knew 47, killed. 47 manages to shoot Wade, but Victoria is kidnapped and taken hostage by Lenny, Dexter's son. 47 interrogates Wade about Victoria's location, which is Hope, South Dakota. 47 then leaves Wade to die of his injuries and goes to Hope. Meanwhile, Birdie approaches Dexter, offering to broker the ransom of Victoria back to the agency, but he is rejected. In anger, Birdie secretly provides information about 47's location to the Agency, and information about Dexter to 47, hoping to profit off the situation. In Hope, 47 retrieves his Silverballers when Birdie gives him the location at a gun store. Later, 47 kills Lenny's gang, then interrogates Lenny, and subsequently disposes of him. Learning from Lenny that Victoria is at Dexter Industries HQ, 47 infiltrates the facility and destroys their research data on the girl while assassinating its head scientists, and discovers that Victoria is in fact a genetically engineered clone, bred to be a top-class assassin like him, however her fighting skills are only possible when she wears her necklace. 47 kills Sanchez in an underground cage fight after learning from him Victoria was taken back to Hope. Recuperating at a hotel, 47 survives an ICA attack lead by the elite, nuns in leather outfit, all female hit team "The Saints" and kills them.

Infiltrating Hope Courthouse Jail, 47 reaches Victoria but is subdued by the corrupt local sheriff Clive Skurky, who is working with Dexter. The ICA, led by Travis, takes over the town in an attempt to get Victoria back and kill 47, but she is nowhere to be found, while 47 escapes the prison and evades the ICA. He then confronts a wounded Skurky in a church, demanding Victoria's location, to which Skurky ends up telling 47 she is at Blackwater Park, then dies from his wounds. Travis pays a ransom of Ten million dollars for Victoria, but Dexter doesn't keep his side of the bargain and keeps both Victoria and the money. 47 arrives at Dexter's penthouse and kills Dexter's assistant, Layla. Dexter, unbeknownst that Layla has been killed, plans to destroy the hotel's roof if she didn't meet him there within five minutes. As Dexter is about to leave the hotel with Victoria and the money by helicopter, 47 mortally wounds him. 47 saves Victoria, while Dexter, with his dying words, apologizes to his son, Lenny and asks for his money. Victoria, who is disgusted by Dexter's words, opens the briefcase containing the ransom and throws the money onto his dying body. 47 and Victoria then leave the hotel.

47 learns from the letter Diana gave to him, that Travis created Victoria without the Agency's knowledge; in the letter she also requests that 47 kill Travis to protect Victoria. Pursuing him to England, 47 finds the ICA exhuming the Burnwood family graves, believing Diana's death to have been faked. After killing Travis' assistant Jade and then his personal guards, 47 corners Travis, who asks him if Diana is dead, but he refuses to answer him and kills Travis.[8] During a closing cutscene, 47 watches Diana and Victoria from afar, before a message from Diana welcomes him back to the Agency, revealing that the shot 47 fired at her was non-lethal. Victoria also considers disposing of her necklace to prevent her from hurting anyone, with Diana telling her to do what she has to. Another cutscene then shows Birdie offering information on 47 to Cosmo Faulkner, a detective investigating his case.

Voice cast

Development

Though plans to continue the Hitman franchise were first announced in 2007,[12] it was not until May 2009 that Eidos confirmed the game was in development.[13] Certain plot details for the game were rumored in 2009, stating that the game's story would lead Agent 47 to a low point from which he would have to rebuild himself.[14] On 20 April 2011, Square Enix filed the trademark for the name Hitman: Absolution in Europe, leading sites to speculate that it would be the name of the fifth Hitman game.[15] On 6 May 2011, a teaser trailer was released, confirming the title Hitman: Absolution. The trailer briefly showed Agent 47 attaching a suppressor and a rattlesnake coiled around his signature Silverballer pistol.[16] It has been reported the game will be a "familiar and yet significantly different experience from other Hitman games."[17] On 9 October 2011, a full gameplay trailer entitled "Run for Your Life" was released.[18]

Marketing

The Professional Edition of Hitman Absolution features Professional Clamshell packaging for the game, a Hitman art book, making of DVD and the "Agency Gun Pack" DLC.[19]

Hitman: Sniper Challenge

Hitman: Sniper Challenge, a single sniping mission, was developed by IO Interactive, originally as a pre-order bonus, available to people who pre-order the game. The code would be supplied by retailers upon pre-order of the game, and could be collected from retailers before release as a download code before the game's release. At the time of pre-order, Sniper Challenge is redeemable via the PSN Store, Xbox Live Marketplace and PC. While the console version launched worldwide on 15 May 2012, the PC version wasn't released until 1 August 2012.[20][21]

Pre-order bonuses

Square Enix announced special Hitman: Absolution pre-order bonuses for selected retailers:[22]

  • High Tech Suit and Bartoli Custom Pistol – The advanced High Tech suit provides Agent 47 with 50% increased armor paired with the Bartoli Custom, an engineered precision weapon, complete with sight and silencer.
  • Public Enemy Suit and the Bronson M1928 submachine gun – The Original Assassin can dress in a stylish Public Enemy gangster suit armed with the Bronson M1928, a classic submachine gun with high fire rate and deadly stopping power.
  • Agency Kazo TRG sniper rifle – This weapon is fully upgradeable with both scope and silencer.
  • High Roller Suit and the Krugermeier 2-2 Pistol – The High Roller suit dresses Agent 47 in a fancy tuxedo discreetly outfitted with the Krugermeier, an accurate, reliable stealth weapon with a built-in silencer.

Soundtrack

The original soundtrack for the game is composed by Thomas Bärtschi with additional music written by Peter Kyed, Peter Peter and Dynamedion, replacing the series's previous composer, Jesper Kyd.[23]

Reception

Hitman: Absolution received generally favourable reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 84.83% and 83/100,[24][25] the Xbox 360 version 79.29% and 79/100[26][27] and the PC version 76.13% and 79/100.[28][29] Positive reviews came from GamesRadar, calling it "one of the strongest entries in the series to date,"[30] and Game Informer, which wrote "Devising a strategy, using the environment and disguises to your advantage, and leaving before anyone knows you’re there are the hallmarks of a perfect hit, and Absolution proves Agent 47 is still gaming's premier hitman."[31] The Daily Mail gave the game a 4/5 saying "Whether it's walking along the sun-kissed balcony of a beach-side villa, or exploring the dank, underground sewers below a nightclub, Absolution brings each world to life with remarkable aplomb."[32]

Edge gave it 7/10 saying "The game has taken a unique formula and diluted it."[33] VentureBeat gave it 7.5/10 saying "Absolution aims high but misses the mark."[34] Eurogamer gave it 7/10 saying "Agent 47 doesn't begin Hitman: Absolution with amnesia, but the six years that have passed since we last took control of him in Blood Money do seem to have dulled his creators' recollections of what made him so popular in the first place."[35] GameSpot gave it 7.5/10 saying "Hitman: Absolution's vivid world and enjoyable stealth-action gameplay overshadow its few notable inconsistencies."[36] IGN gave it 9/10 saying "It’s nice to have a game that doesn’t just encourage improvisation; it requires it."[37] Forbes and Kotaku both gave Absolution positive reviews.[38][39] Giant Bomb gave it 4/5,[40] as did Joystiq.[41] Destructoid gave it 8.5/10.[42] GameArena gave the game a 3/10 saying "IO Interactive needs to restart from the Blood Money checkpoint and try again - they screwed up this run spectacularly."[43]

The Daily Telegraph gave the game a 2/5 saying "Despite the fact that Absolution is a hugely disappointing entry into the canon, Hitman is still a fabulous series."[44] IBITimes gave the game a 5/10 saying "An unremarkable, derivative clone of a game that's barely a shadow of what Hitman used to be."[45] Videogamer.com gave it 5/10 saying "The problem with Absolution is that its new custodians from the Kane and Lynch team seem to have fundamentally misunderstood what made Hitman great."[46] Blogcritics.org gave the game a 3/5 saying "There are definitely good things about it, but all too often the game's failures shine through more clearly than its successes."[47] PC Gamer gave it 66% saying "A passable stealth game, but one that betrays almost everything that, until now, has made Hitman great."[48] GameTrailers gave it 6.9/10 saying "It’s clear that a good deal of effort was put into crafting Hitman: Absolution’s world. This makes its flaws all the more unfortunate."[49] New Statesman gave no rating but said "If developers want to win back fans when they revisit established franchises maybe they should look to what made those games popular in the first place and by doing so maybe they’d avoid stepping on a rake or two."[50] GamerSyndrome gave no rating but said "Hitman Absolution tries to be a jack of all trades but ends up being a master of none."[51] The Irish Times gave no score but said "The move away from the completely open world may leave some hardcore fans of Hitman disappointed."[52] Gaming Age rated the game a 'C' and said "It feels like I’m playing a low rent, knockoff Metal Gear title as opposed to traditional Hitman"[53] The Daily Record gave the game 3/5 saying "While it’s more accessible than previous Hitman games, Absolution loses a lot of the freedom that fans of the franchise love, and perhaps doesn’t necessarily fit the Hitman name any longer"[54] TheEscapist gave no score but said "Hitman Absolution is not the best nor the worst Hitman."[55] Whatculture gave the game a 3/5 saying "Not Quite the expected hit"[56] The Guardian gave it 3/5 saying "The game may look better and play better than any Hitman game before it, but one can only marvel at how IO managed to lose sight of their IP's most appealing aspects so often"[57]

On 26 March 2013 Square Enix announced that the game had sold about 3.6 million copies at retail.[58]

Technical issues

Shortly after launch, scores of complaints came in about the game crashing, freezing and corrupting file saves on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, rendering many of the games unplayable.[59] On 26 November 2012, IO Interactive stated that they were working around the clock to try and fix these technical errors, but also stated that they did not know what exactly was causing the errors, so a patch may take some time.[60] As of September 2013, the issues with the game have not yet been resolved, the problems not yet diagnosed and the patch not yet released. This may be due to Square Enix's recent financial troubles and IO Interactive's reorganization and layoffs.

Controversy

On 29 May 2012, a cinematic teaser trailer, produced by Square Enix's CGI studio Visual Works, titled "Attack of the Saints" was released.[61] The trailer's depiction of "gun-toting, PVC and latex-clad nuns being killed in a hail of bullets" sparked controversy over the allegedly sexist portrayal of women.[62][63] IO Interactive's Tore Blystad, the game's director, later apologized, stating they're "sorry that we offended people" and that it "was truly not the intention of the trailer."[64]

On 4 December 2012 IO Interactive faced heavy criticism for releasing a Hitman: Absolution Facebook app that allowed users to identify and threaten Facebook friends for assassination. Methods of identifying female friends included "her hairy legs", "her muffin top" and "her small tits". Methods of identifying male friends included "his ginger hair", "his shit hair" and "his tiny penis". Users could choose a reason to kill their friend, such as the fact that they "smell bad" or were cheating on their partner. Friends received a personalised video on their Facebook wall identifying them as a target. Signing up to watch the video presented recipients with a mixture of their own photos and Facebook details merged into a video of Hitman character Agent 47 shooting them. IO Interactive admitted the promotional app was in bad taste and removed it the same day.[65][66][67]

References

External links

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