Hit­man Ab­so­lu­tion

Agent 47’s lat­est hit sneaks onto Mac

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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