Agent 47’s latest hit sneaks onto Mac
From £14.99 Developer Feral Interactive, feralinteractive.com OS OS X 10.9.2 or later Requires 2GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 512MB graphics card, 24GB HDD space
Hitman Absolution is the latest game to put you in the shoes of master assassin Agent 47. And this time he turns on his old employers, attempting to free a young girl from a life like his.
The mark of the Hitman series is each mission is a miniature sandbox, letting you complete it how you want. Killing your targets without detection is the aim, but while you can simply shoot and run away, exploring the areas reveals more creative options: a box of rat poision; a gas cylinder; a loose wire… These tie into a score system, with the most elaborate and silent kills netting the most points. The game is capable of excellent fluidity (though we recommend playing with a controller), letting you sneak through multiple routes, moving from cover to cover and taking disguises. However, while the systems do make the game appear open and free, they usually require a lot of planning and irritating repetition to get the high scores. It feels like solving the mechanics of a puzzle, rather than playing as a skilful badass. Your foes do at least make life difficult for you, with improvisation needed for success in the short term, and foresight rewarded if you’re going for high scores. There’s always fun to be had, mind – you can play it your way if you simply want to progress through the game’s story.
It’s a shame, then, that the story is, to put it bluntly, unimaginitive, annoying and sexist. We particularly balked at a scene where Agent 47 murders his old colleague while she’s in the shower. He then has lots of gratuitous flashbacks to her, yes, in the shower. It’s the worst kind of misogynistic titillation. The game carries on through the ‘crap story’ checkboxes, with a sweary villain, a level in a strip club, and every female
While the systems make the game appear open and free, they usually need irritating repetition to get high scores
character being there purely to offer an ample chest and little clothing.
Still, the core of the game isn’t the story, but replaying the levels and going for perfect kills. Variety is added though ‘contracts’ given by other players, where they set tasks for you. This produces more unpredictable situations, and with some excellently flexible levels available, it can be tense but great fun. And it’s a good-looking game too, with the crowd scenes being particularly impressive.
While Hitman Absolution is good, the experience is flawed. Progressing through some levels feels like frustrating trial and error over skill, and the story needs to be dumped entirely, but when it gets its action and stealth right, it’s really enjoyable. Matt Bolton While it can make you feel like a true badass, it stumbles over its execrable story and some irritating levels.
Smooth assassin sneakery
Some great level design
Trite, sexist story
Can encourage duller play
This latest Hitman is one of the Mac’s bestlooking games, especially its atmospheric lighting.
Disguises play a big part in the game – Agent 47 is quite the fashion mannequin.