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Agent 47 is on the run
Framed for a crime he didn't commit! Or something like that. I'm sure 47's committed enough crimes in his time to warrant at least an investigation, but Absolution's plot sees the hitman pursued by police, forced to defend himself and evade capture. 47 is tasked with assassinating his former agency handler, Diana Burnwood, a hit which leads him to become entangled in a conspiracy led by devious, pyschotic Southerner Blake Dexter. In Absolution, 47 will be just as big a target as the folks he's attempting to track down.
You get to dress up
As per tradition, Agent 47's true passion is sartorial. He's using this hitman business simply as a conduit for his dress-up fantasies, and so far we've seen him disguised as a priest, a sheriff, a barber, a chef, a mechanic and a plumber. Almost any outfit can be used as a disguise, which affords you access to previously restricted areas. Like discos. That said, people sharing your outfit will be suspicious of your unfamiliar face. As Family Guy put it: "Hey, you're not a pilot! I know every pilot in the world!". See every
There are loads of weapons
For a game that's ostensibly about keeping very quiet, Absolution comes with a vast armoury of guns and explosives to play with. 47's dual Ballers return, as does his signature fibrewire, and all manner of household items can be wielded as deadly melee weapons: from plungers and busts to bottles and bongs. The real challenge in playing stealthily won't just come from sharp-eyed guards and 47's physics-enabled red tie fluttering around corners, it'll come from all the massive guns the game keeps leaving in your path.
You've got useful magic eyes
Well, you've got what Io Interactive are calling 'Instinct', a resource that can be put to a number of different uses. Primarily it's used to see enemies through walls, a la Assassin's Creed's eagle vision. In this view, you can also see the paths that patrolling guards and other NPCs are about to take, marked by a flaming trail along the floor. Instinct is also used to reduce suspicion towards you when disguised, to identify useful objects in the environment and to perform instant executions with ranged weapons. It's limited however, and recharges as you evade detection, take down enemies and hide bodies.
47's original voice actor is back
Actor David Bateson will reprise his role as the stoney-faced, unflinching murderman Agent 47. Bateson is also bald, so he doesn't even have to try very hard.
You can create your own missions
In Hitman Contracts mode you can create your own mission within the main campaign's levels by selecting any NPC as a target. Cleverly, you design missions by playing them as you normally would, hitting E on an NPC to mark them as a target, killing them with your chosen weapon and exiting the scene. Once finished, all of the choices you made — the weapon you used, the exit you took, the disguises you adopted — become the conditions of the contract. You create as you play, which prevents impossible contracts and negates the need for any sort of editor. Smart stuff. Playing contracts rewards you with cash, which can be spent on more weapons and costumes. Io Interactive show how it's done in this playthrough:
It will look beautiful on PC
Io's Jonas Meyer reassured us that the PC version of Absolution will be the best of the lot, with full Steamworks integration, Steam Cloud saves and DirectX 11 features such as emissive lighting, real-time reflections, depth of field and bokeh. And we all love a bit o' bokeh, don't we? You can also ramp the difficulty right up to remove many of the helpful HUD elements, as well as the mid-mission auto-saves. So yeah, don't you worry your little head about being coddled by any console-leanings here. See our orgy of Hitman screenshots.
It launches this year
The Hitman: Absolution PC release date is November 20th. For updates see the PCGamesN Hitman channel and follow our Hitman Twitter account. Check prices for Hitman download at Green Man Gaming.