Hitman Absolution is a game I originally looked at as a joke. I’d heard a lot about the Hitman series, and none of it was good. I hadn’t bothered to watch anything because I’d formed the opinion in my mind that this game was simply shit.
Boy was I wrong.
The other day as I was stuck with nothing new to play I figured I’d try my hand at preordering Hitman to try out the Sniper Challenge – a small 15 minute demo available for download to those who preorder. I needed something new to play and it was only five dollars. So why not?
I downloaded the game and was briefed on my mission: a wealthy arms dealer was holding a party and I had to discretely take out him and his body guards as discreetly as possible. Sounds simple enough, right? Your then shown Agent 47 perched atop a roof as the arms dealer flies in on his armored helicopter. “That’s your target, 47” you hear over your earpiece.
I looked down at this rooftop and didn’t really know what to do; will they hear my shots? Will they notice the bodies? The answer to both questions is yes. The AI in Absolution is amazing. I shot a power box, opening an elevator which I could then shoot a guard into; immediately a few of the guests walked over to see what happened, then walked away when the body was nowhere to be found. Two guards walking on a balcony below… *snip* *snip* the sound of my silenced sniper rifle was all that was heard as the bodies went tumbling to the streets below.
While the Sniper Challenge demo seems incredibly easy – and it is, for the first 5 minutes – it quickly amps up. As more and more guards are eliminated you find more and more risk of being found. Eventually not every body can be hidden well enough and you’re left trying to stop five to ten bodies from being located. The hardest comes towards the end when you’re left with two or three guards and the arms dealer, as one guard is always next to him and it’s nearly impossible to take one out without the other calling for evacuation. This all proves for extremely tense on the edge of your seat gameplay that gamers love. At any moment a guard can stumble upon anothers body, and then you’re ruined. Everyone begins sprinting to leave, the crowd of guests run as fast as they can to get inside, and your target is lost among the crowd.
All in all the Hitman Absolution Sniper Challenge felt more like an XBLA Game than a free demo, and is certainly worth the measly five dollars it takes to preorder. If you’re interested, go hit up Gamestop and preorder for a code.