Once again, gaming press got this wrong.

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#51 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Another weird thing:

The Sniper Challenge is more creatively designed and executed than any level in H:A. Wtf?!?

#52 Posted by kyokushin_nanaya (40 posts) -

@sdharrison: Why would you be nitpicking on this? Of course it has to be creative, because it was the layman's first introduction to the game when you pre-ordered it. It makes sense to get the hype going by creating a neat level to play as a 'creative' sniper. Do you think that an entire game could be centred in a mini game that lasted up to half-hour with very deliberate design choices, including a nurse stripper?

Shouldn't this be unsurprising?

#53 Posted by mosespippy (3984 posts) -

I haven't heard anything from the gaming press about this game having a good story. I've only heard it's a shit game. Maybe you're paying way too much attention to the marketing than to the press.

#54 Edited by sdharrison (476 posts) -

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/hitman-absolution

It has an 80 overall. Somebody is dropping the ball.

And my point with the sniper challenge was that clearly they have the ABILITY to make a really engaging Hitman experience even as a shooting gallery.

#55 Posted by kyokushin_nanaya (40 posts) -

@sdharrison: Sure they had the ability in scope of that mini-game, but you err on the side of generalisation of which you state one section of mechanics and a small section of the Hitman experience can be generalised to the entire game. It's easy to make one aspect having the Hitman experience.

I don't think 'someone' dropped the ball, it's due the fact that the score is see on Metacritic does not align with your perception and opinions of that game. I had the same issue with PC Gamer and their opinion of Dragon Age 2. To distil an entire range of opinion, complaints and praises down to a numerical number and then furthermore state that this represents a gross dissonance between your take and what other people's take should be is ultimately silly. There are better ways to discuss on why Hitman Absolution did not appeal you and other people, other than attacking a number generated by aggregate and using that to state that the people's taste are wrong.

#56 Posted by cannonballBAM (579 posts) -

@sdharrison said:

Biggest disappointment of the year, next to ME3.

Wait, you were putting the Hitman story up against a 20 hour space opera?

#57 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

@sdharrison said:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/hitman-absolution

It has an 80 overall. Somebody is dropping the ball.

And my point with the sniper challenge was that clearly they have the ABILITY to make a really engaging Hitman experience even as a shooting gallery.

There is where we part ways. It is not a bad game and doesn't deserve under an 80, I don't think.

#58 Edited by sdharrison (476 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads: I would say based on what they already had to work with, the 6 year hiatus and the fact that this is coming at the very end of a console lifespan, the finished product is definitely below an 80. The well executed elements of the game have been done before, and the new additions or tweaks are failures (odd checkpoint system, disguise system). The only element of the game I found to be a genuinely great idea was contracts mode. Bravo to that, but boo to the limited maps it has to work with. Yes, the basics of moving 47 around, selecting weapons and going about your business are proficient. But in this day and age, is that enough for an 80? What exactly does it take to get a bad score? To simply not function at a core level?

And again, to the gentleman harping on my praise for the sniper challenge - I'm saying that regardless of the fact that it was a shooting gallery, it showed a certain tone of inventiveness, fun and skill that was lacking from the proper game. Obviously I'm not saying the game should have been a sniping challenge. I'm saying that the tone and focus seem to be in the right place for the challenge, and the wrong place for the game. And I use the metacritic score to broadly illustrate my claim that the gaming press by and large failed to be accurately critical of H:A. It got a pass. And because of that, we can look forward to more Hitman games like it. Shitty. I didn't look at it and think "80 IS A HIGH NUMBER OH NO!". I read the reviews and noticed the higher end ones seem almost... Dare I say it... Bought.

#59 Posted by kyokushin_nanaya (40 posts) -

@sdharrison: It's easy to make a shooting gallery like you said. It's also easy to give a shooting gallery a Hitman flavour. Sure, you may think that the entire game lacks the creativity of simple shooting gallery is true, of which you are not mistaken in certain ways. However, I think it is substanially easier to make an interesting shooting gallery that a full-fledged Hitman game. Everything in that challenge is quite simple, but nevertheless fun.

To say that the entire gaming press failed to spot the turd that you call Hitman Absolution is to say that the critical review of games can simply be empirical measurements and that opinions across the board do not differ from individual. Now there are certain problems with the game which are immediate; the checkpoint system being an example. However, the game's story and other mechanics are up for individuals to decide. Some think it's mediocre, some think it's so bad that they would prefer selective amnesia. I can say with utter confidence that there are people who have played the previous games and others who are completely new to the series. Some liked it, some did not. It is in the realm of possibility that a majority liked it, and therefore the only contrivance that the game did not fail critically is that the review have been mired by the possibility of corruption. In case if you can't tell, I am being sarcastic.

I think the problem isn't with corruption. I think the problem lies within a broken system that is highly skewed and that the measurements and analytics of Metacritic do not represent a range of opinion that is mentioned. Rock Paper Shotgun, a editorial which I am fond of, nails the problems with Hitman Absolution. Now, simply because they align with your opinion, does not mean that there weren't bought and the fact that weren't on Metacritic because they do not subscribe to the idea of a score invalidates their opinion of it to the aggregate.

I understand you concern about a review being bought, especially with what Eidos did with Kane and Lynch at Gamespot years ago. I personally think if you can not rely on a reviewer's opinion or that that reviewer's taste is so dissimilar to yours, you are able to give a large margin of doubt. That being said, to say that this is Hitman Abomination compared to the previous game is a valid opinion. I agree with a sentiment that this is a step back for the series in certain ways. However, we're comparing to one of the best Hitman's yet, Blood Money. There aren't many games as good as that game, even in the realm of non-Hitman games. We both have tasted the fruit and now we are left with a bitter core. To expect a game that supercedes, let alone matches that game is a lot to ask for, more so with a new engine. I won't deny that the game is disappointing, but I can't spare the effort to decry its existance. I got it for $40, which isn't bad.

I don't use Metacritic. I don't read random reviews that either harp on the brilliance or the utter failures of game that I played. I don't jump up and down in anger and take a delicious delight when my opinion matches someone elses. I take use the quick looks here and draw opinions. Like you, I have vehmently disagreed with certain reviews and have a hard time grasping how one can derive enjoyment from certain titles. However, I have played and liked games where people have moaned about and damned them to the fiery abyss. Doesn't change the fact that I liked them. We all have different tastes and in some cases, it comes out in writing. It's good that you have a strong opinion about Hitman and perhaps it may give in a hint of caution if you were to buy the newer ones. We've all been burnt before and it sucks, but we get over it.

#60 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

So, TLDR:

Hitman isn't the greatest. Reviews are things. Games are things. Numbered reviews.

Alright.

#61 Posted by kyokushin_nanaya (40 posts) -

@sdharrison: Pretty much. Live with it.

#62 Posted by Brendan (7670 posts) -

@mordukai said:

@pyrodactyl said:

Also, ME3 was the best in the series even if the ending was total garbage.

I will play a "Devil's Advocate" for ME3 on many of it's issues but to say it's the best in the series is plain out wrong and I'm sure most of the community will agree with me on that point.

I don't. The game-play for many never returned to what they wanted (ME 1) but the progression elements were superior to ME 2's. The combat and movement felt more fluid than ME 2's. Finally, the story (except the ending which I didn't think was atrocious but just meh) was AMAZING. So much fucking payoff for great characters. Garrus had awesome personal moments that ground home how close you were and made you feel like brothers by the end, Thane's ending was appropriately bad-ass and almost tear jerking (hospital bed), and the Wrex/Krogan/Mordin story-line wrapped up in such an epic way, and in so many different ways that were all equally incredibly well done, that the sequence deserves an award alone for great video game writing. And that's not even all of them. Seriously, when I hear people talk about the story (including the staff) it's almost as if they forgot the entire game that came before the ending.

#63 Edited by EXTomar (4453 posts) -

I do think a lot of players do appreciate the rest of the game where some of the mission stories where stellar but overshadowed by the ending. For some, they can't ignore or give a pass on how flawed they feel the ending turned out just because they loved core missions. And that is perfectly fine to have that stance.

#64 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

Though I will get elitist here for a second:

The story in Hitman is bad. If you are somebody who played through that game and genuinely enjoyed the story, then you are wrong.

Yeah, you can argue that to death. But I'm drawing a line. The storyline of Hitman Absolution is bad. The gunplay in Deadly Premonition is bad. I'm sure there exist people in the world that liked it. But it was bad. Because we compare it to other things. There are a lot of fictional tales in the world. Hitman Absolution told a bad story.

#65 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

@gaminghooligan said:

This one tried to go all B-Movie/Grindhouse and failed (seems to be a trend in multiple forms of media these day).

The problem is the Tarantino/Rodigruez shtick is already, like, five years old and even then that wasn't well received by critics (mostly because both Deathproof and Planet Terror were self-serving narcissistic pieces of shit). IO's creative director then decided to violently miss the mark and defeat the point of exploitation films altogether. Russ Meyer's work was satire and the theme of emasculation ran through all of them (well, once you got past the big tits and the bizarre Nazi stuff), not - I repeat - not about beating the shit out of women.

#66 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

"Where do players want to go in the next Hitman game? What can we do to push the envelope? We've done everything from Budapest to a high end rehab clinic. I want ideas, people!"

"A small town in South Dakota with a lot of empty man sized boxes"

"Whatever your salary is now, double it."

#67 Posted by gaminghooligan (1403 posts) -

@dudeglove: Oh yea dude. I totally agree. As a huge Tarantino fanboy even I will openly admit that Death Proof is a fucking awful movie. Planet Terror for me was fun, still not a good movie though by any means. Then we have Machete 2 coming out in the near future. Honestly some of the best exploitation movies are coming out of other countries. Case in point for previous statement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vU6OxiV0_4 I just want people to stop this trend lol enough is enough on the huge budget grindhouse knock offs with added fake film-grain. With hitman I was done after

The guy in the orphanage's last line is. "Why do I have wood" I was just done with the writing in this game at that point lol.

#68 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

You know, I've been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of something to defend this game when comparing it to previous entries in the franchise. And I can't. It's a lot better than contracts, but not as good as Hitman Blood Money. Do I think it's a good game? Yeah actually I do. There are some major problems with it, but the new direction shows a lot of promise. So here are the problems that I hope IOI will fix in the sequel.

  • Don't let the story interfere with me taking out a target. I'm pretty close to the end of the game, Blackwater Park mission (which is the 18th mission). Up until this point there have been, gimme a second...18 targets IIRC. The problem is, it's not a target per mission. One mission had 7, one had 5, another 3, and then 3 missions with 1 target. That means that there are only 6 missions up till the 18th mission that have actual assassination targets. And this is a direct result of the focus on the narrative. And lets not forget to mention the cut scenes where the cut scene kills the target instead of you killing the target. Diana, Skurky (20 targets if we count them in I guess). That is the single greatest problem of Hitman absolution, not enough assassinations due to the plot.
  • Can't choose weapons before mission start? Why the fuck would they do this? Collecting weapons in previous Hitman games has been a real delight. I really can't understand how having to go through the level, hoping you'll find a sniper is better than finding one and having it unlocked for all other missions. There were alternatives to forcing us not to gear up before a mission, like having an option to not choose weapons before missions, perhaps as a part of the purist difficulty.
  • Level size. Levels are divided into sections, and are more linear. But smaller? When you put all those sections together they make for huge, if linear levels. Would I prefer large, completely open levels? Of course, but in all honesty, Absolution having more linear levels is not as a big of an offense as the first two are, at least not for me.
  • Disguises, this is one thing people call out as a bad thing, when I think it's probably the best direction the game could have taken (in terms of disguises). There are still problems with this new system however. I find it really stupid that civilians can see through my disguise as quickly as security personnel. It just doesn't make any sense. Security is trained and supposed to be suspicious, looking for anything out of the ordinary, and a random market vendor can see through me just like that? In the Death Factory mission, Decontamination section, I had a stripper become suspicious of me because I wasn't wearing a disguise...what the fuck does she know about the dress code in Dexter Industries? She's a fucking stripper.

So here's the thing, security should be suspicious of almost every disguise, but more so for wearing a security disguise. Civilians should be suspicious but only in select cases. Street vendors should not be, regardless of the disguise. But a researcher who works and probably knows most other scientists, doctors etc should be. The point is, disguises should be dealt with on a case by case basis, instead of you wearing a police officer disguise police officers are suspicious of you, but no one else is. It's to limited and kind of stupid. But I still think this kind of system shows a lot of promise.

It would also be really awesome to see people being more/less suspicious depending on the person you took the outfit from (assuming that the suspicious person knew the dude with the outfit). Less suspicious if the person looks like 47 (bald, no facial hair, white), more so if they don't (hairy, other race, age etc.).

  • Story. There are some interesting characters. I killed every fucker that killed those nuns, all of them. And that level solidified Wade being the worst motherfucker alive (I mean who kills nuns, right? Come on). This also led to an interesting decision when you kidnap Lenny. It was actually a really though decision for me, I realize that he killed the head nun because Wade was goading him on, and on top of that it was an obvious accident. He was begging and crying and pissing himself and I felt sorry for him. On the other hand, he did kill that nun. And he showed no remorse for it, and if he did it's only because he thought Hitman would kill him. And further more, is it really his fault? Dexter Blake is a piece of shit, so could I really blame Lenny for the man he had become? Yes, yes I could, by shooting him in he back of the skull with a sniper rifle. But it was still a very tough choice.

The story also has some more interesting characters (Birdie, I don't know what the fuck happened to that dude, last I heard from him was when 47 arrived in Hope) and moments, but overall it is pretty bad with some pretty big holes. At first I didn't really mind Hitman protecting Victoria and feeling badly for Diana. But the more I thought about it, the worse I felt about it. He could have killed Diana without pity or remorse, and still have taken Victoria as a thank you to Diana for her saving his life. Instead of all the hand holding and "No one will hurt you ever again". It kind of nullifies everything Hitman has been up to this point. My advice? Ignore the story. It's stupid and badly written for the most part. The Attack of the Saints was so bad, my God. The trailer sucked, but the actual in game Saints. Just fuck, it's really bad.

So why do I still think it's a good game? Well, because at it's core it's still very much a Hitman game. Had the first 4 problems that I listed been altered before release, I think we could all agree that it would have been a great game. As it is, it's not. But it does show promise at least. And hopefully IOI will listen to some of the criticism and fix the bad stuff for the sequel. Hopefully.

And holy shit, the longest post ever written is completed. Have fun not reading this.

#69 Posted by gaminghooligan (1403 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming: Read that post. I agree with most of it. Story however didn't do it for me, but yea that part with Lenny was actually pretty awesome. For me this was a fun game, just not really a great Hitman game. Blood Money set the bar about as high as it gets it would seem, but there's always the possibility of DLC missions that are more in tune with the old Hitman.

#70 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

The other big question here: Why is the Kane and Lynch team still together and being permitted to make games?

#71 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

Completely agree with you OP. I have no interest whatsoever in the critical opinion of anybody who didn't identify this story as straight-up awful, since that's what it is. Furthermore, I now find myself struggling to trust reviewers who dismissively mentioned the bad story but didn't identify any serious problems with the gameplay, Navarro and Sessler being a couple. From the Bombcast, it sounds like Brad and Patrick had the measure of this game within a few hours of playing it, and Vinny is so incredulous upon hearing about the checkpoint system that I don't doubt he would have had some serious gripes with the game too. Why the wider press reception didn't reflect responses like this, as opposed to relegating them to an outlier opinion, I don't know.

It's weird, because game journalism is so top heavy with wide-eyed hype machines who praise everything that I am now using games as a way of judging reviewers more often than not, instead of the other way around as it should be.

I'm not sure why people think metacritic can be dismissed in a discussion like this. The reason metacritic is so unreliable is precisely because most gaming reviews are worthless guff. Pointing to some of the scores on metacritic as examples of how game journos have missed the critical pulse on this game is perfectly valid. It's backwards logic to cite the worthlessness of metacritic as a means of dismissing this argument.

#72 Posted by sdharrison (476 posts) -

And the metacritic link was a direct response to a guy saying "Most of the press hates it, you've been paying too much attention to marketing..."

Post that, and yet somehow I'm in the wrong? Logic!

#73 Posted by rolanthas (242 posts) -

I'm kinda glad the game got such a strong response from fellow gamers though, negative and positive. Good to see Hitman is still a series many are passionate about. And despite my misgivings about Absolution, I'm happy to see the series evolve and return.

Can only get better from here on, I think.

#74 Edited by dcgc (878 posts) -
#75 Posted by SharkEthic (1003 posts) -

Just finished it, and yeah, the story was terrible. Why throw away a lot of what made Blood Money great in favor of story, and then have it be this weakass garbage?

Voice actors where very decent though.

#76 Edited by Humanity (8730 posts) -

@SharkEthic: I hope it wasn't because they were trying to favor the story. I finished it recently, even wrote a review, and I agree that it's a decent game but as a Hitman title it just falls short so badly. The story as many have already said is quite terrible but the worst part about it are those damned sneaking levels that interrupt what comes pretty close to genuine Hitman gameplay from time to time. The level directly following the Courthouse is literally a 1 minute walk through an area to a door - then another whole area full of only cops where you either sneak or shoot your way out. During those sneaking sections I just said fuck it and started shooting my way out. I didn't have the time to hide behind boxes and watch patterns when there was no payoff in the form of an actual hit.

#77 Posted by SharkEthic (1003 posts) -

@Humanity: I think the linear level design is a direct result of them wanting to tell a story. But I had a very similar experience as you. The newly implemented detection system (which I absolutely hate) made sneaking in close quarters almost impossible. And call me crazy, but I don't feel like a badass assassin somersaulting from box to box, or ducking behind a desk every 3 seconds to break line of sight (how is that good game design?), because that's my only option if a don't want some arbitrary number in the corner of the screen to go down. At the end, I just wanted to be done with it, score be damned, and anyone in my way, civilian, cop, security or whoever got a single bullet in the face from my silenced Silverballer; turned out to be a lot more fun than playing it the way I was "supposed to".

#78 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

The story in Blood Money was fine. You get a cutscene between each mission, you kill people. THAT'S ALL YOU FUCKING NEED. Jesus christ, you build the story AROUND THE GAMEPLAY. You don't build a game around a story, especially not Hitman.

#79 Posted by GetEveryone (4455 posts) -

@DeF said:

Hitman stories have always been horrible (have not yet played Blood Money) so I don't expect anything different.

Blood Money actually sets up a (relatively) decent framing-device, though it's more just an excuse for the levels themselves.

The ending is pretty great, too.

It won't win any literary awards, but for a videogame it is reasonable.

#80 Posted by Grillbar (1792 posts) -

@Dallas_Raines said:

Yeah, it was pretty fucking stupid that a billionaire would do all that for ten million.

SPOILER!!!

great now i cant finish the game knowing that. might as well rip out my hard drive and trow it in a pit of rare earth magnets

@pyrodactyl said:

Those issues are:

  • The game is no longer a sandbox assassination simulator and actively discourage experimentation.
  • They replaced the core gameplay with generic stealth that is not very good
  • the checkpoint system is bafflelingly terrible and a huge downgrade from mannual saving

personal opinion but

  1. i think its better since if you did one tiny mistake the hole map would know what you did. and then your fucked. breaking it up in smaller pieces makes it easier to handle and also made me experiment more with different routes and ways to kill the target or who ever you decide.
  2. they made it more simple so it would be appeal to a bigger audience. i personally dont mind it but i see your point.
  3. never had this problem, never noticed it and diddent even know it existed (the respawing/reanimation of dead enemy's) before i heard it on the bombcast. since i only killed the target and diddent change suit or anything. but yes its stupid and should now have been done. the checkpoint systems is rarely useful since its a one time use per lvl so you could checkpoint yourself in to a corner, like i did and had to restart the lvl only to find out that it started it from the very beginning and not the map section. but the manual save kinda ruins the game in my opinion since you dont have to take any risk.but again that all about how you play it
#81 Edited by Aterons (198 posts) -

To be honest i tries to like this game but I couldn't :/

I always played hitman for the sake of doing the shit on profesional and getting SA.... studying the level, studying guard/target movement patterns. And it was fun because you always found 1 or 2 new things about the levels, they were small but they were very open, there was a new door EVERYWHERE.

This however, it's bigger, it's better looking, it's better controlling, the sound system is better... but it's not fucking hitman.

I try to complete this on purist and get SA on every missions ( or simply not be detected/kill anyone on missions that don't have a target... since you can't really get SA on those )and the south Decota town ( which is kinda good ) I simply gave up. The levels were too linear, not enough doors and NO TARGETS. You can't have a fucking SANDBOX ASSASSINATION game with no targets to assassinate and no sandbox to play in.

I honestly believe that if you play this on a lower difficulty and have access to the instinct system by doing so it will be a very fun stealth game, good story or bad story i don't give a fuck, most games have a non sense story and I stopped caring a long time ago. But I really just wanted my level-studying, movement-studying, repeating level 5 times and getting SA experience, and instead of that i got something else :/

Also... i get a felling some of the short level and non complex level may have been a choice due to the incapability of console and not story, and they just used story to justify that.

#82 Posted by dutch42 (533 posts) -

I know it's just echoing sentiment right now but I also play this game to stab people with screwdrivers rather than for any semblance of a meaningful story.

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