So we’ve now done a total of five assassinations in this game, four of which took place here in Chinatown. I like Chinatown and all, but that’s still pretty disappointing. Would have been nice to do some Hitman-ing on the train platform or any of the other locations we strolled through. The majority of our running time thus far has been spent just moving 47 from A to B.
Does Birdie send you to kill the three goons to delay you on purpose, or did Blake find Birdie on his own while his men were searching in the wrong place? The answer is: Who cares? It’s all crap.
I can’t be mad at this game anymore. So let’s be mad at reviewers. From the Wikipedia entry on Absolution:
Hitman: Absolution received generally favourable reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 84.83% and 83/100, the Xbox 360 version 79.29% and 79/100 and the PC version 76.13% and 79/100, respectively. Positive reviews came from GamesRadar, calling it “one of the strongest entries in the series to date,” and Game Informer, who wrote that “devising a strategy, using the environment and disguises to your advantage, and leaving before anyone knows you're there are the hallmarks of a perfect hit, and Absolution proves Agent 47 is still gaming’s premier hitman.” The Daily Mail gave the game a 4/5, with particular praise being given to the game’s varied environments, of which they remarked that “whether it’s walking along the sun-kissed balcony of a beach-side villa, or exploring the dank, underground sewers below a nightclub, Absolution brings each world to life with remarkable aplomb.”
Edge gave it 7/10, saying “the game has taken a unique formula and diluted it.” VentureBeat gave it 7.5/10 saying “Absolution aims high but misses the mark.” Eurogamer gave it 7/10 saying “Agent 47 doesn’t begin Hitman: Absolution with amnesia, but the six years that have passed since we last took control of him in Blood Money do seem to have dulled his creators’ recollections of what made him so popular in the first place.” GameSpot gave it 7.5/10 saying “Hitman: Absolution’s vivid world and enjoyable stealth-action gameplay overshadow its few notable inconsistencies.” IGN gave it 9/10 saying “It's nice to have a game that doesn't just encourage improvisation; it requires it.” Forbes and Kotaku both gave Absolution positive reviews. Giant Bomb gave it 4/5, as did Joystiq. Destructoid gave it 8.5/10. GameArena gave the game a 3/10 saying “IO Interactive needs to restart from the Blood Money checkpoint and try again â€" they screwed up this run spectacularly.”
Look at all those 7/10 scores. I realize it’s really childish and tedious to complain about “wrong” review scores. I apologize. I know scores are meaningless and dumb anyway, so it’s pointless to argue with them. But note how some reviews are positive and some are negative but they all give the same score.
More importantly, all that glowing praise really rubs me the wrong way. The themes are all wrong, the story is idiotic and tedious, the levels are dumb boxes, the disguise system is more wonky than usual, and the core gameplay has been shoved aside to make room for a plot that nobody asked for.
I suppose this is why we keep getting games with shallow gameplay sandwiched between slices of horrible movie. Developers won’t stop doing this until it starts costing them in reviews. And the small handful of us who care about exotic things like, “The cutscenes ought not brazenly run against basic common sense” are the sort who don’t give review scores.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. It’s been a while since I got to be this indignant over a game, and I was starting to worry I’d gone soft.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
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