Hitman Absolution EP8: Vicar is Quicker

By Shamus Posted Thursday Mar 26, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 103 comments

Link (YouTube)

We could spend a lot of time covering all the ways in which Birdie doesn’t make sense. His short-term actions don’t make sense and his long-term goals aren’t clear. But the way he’s constantly scheming makes it feel like he’s got a plan. He uses the guns and the notes and drops hints and it all has the rhythm of a movie where one fast-talker in the style of Verbal Kint is playing everyone.

But it never goes anywhere. His plans don’t actually make sense or lead to any sort of narrative or thematic payoff. It’s just a bunch of rambling bullshit. But I actually think it could have worked. If the rest of the game had been even halfway competent we would have been theorizing on what Birdie was doing instead of just assuming he’s yet another brute-force plot device. A story doesn’t need to make 100% sense. But it does need to make some sense, and at the right time.

Speaking of dumb things that make no sense:

  1. A biker bar where the bouncers try to keep you from reaching the point where you can buy drinks?
  2. Even though nobody here knows who 47 is or has any reason to be suspicious of him, the bouncers all try to “arrest” you anyway.
  3. And then pull guns. On a patron. Dressed sort of like a priest. Who hasn’t done a damn thing wrong. And then attempt to gun down a civilian in their own establishment.
  4. But once you do reach the bar, you can beat the crap out of the bartender without repercussion.
  5. Still not a Hitman level. No assassination target.
  6. How does pulling the switch begin a brawl? There was no reason for it.
  7. More importantly: There’s no way for you the player to anticipate that pulling the switch would start a brawl. That’s not a puzzle solution or a reward for lateral thinking. That’s just pulling a lever like a good little videogame monkey.
  8. The changes to the disguise system would be so much more forgivable if the game wasn’t full of levels like this, which seem designed to highlight all the flaws.
  9. What’s the deal with the gun store owner? He bought the guns, then refuses to sell them (isn’t he running a business?) but then offers them to you if you can out-shoot his daughter? Why did they bother voicing and animating this walking contrivance? Just replace him with a World of Warcraft style quest maker.

It was actually a revelation to me that this is the same team that did the earlier Hitman games. I mean, it’s right there in the title screen. IO Interactive. It just never occurred to me that this might be the case. What could possibly have happened here? This is like a world where Metroid Prime and Other M were made by the same team. It’s like if
Anne McCaffrey followed up her Pern books with The Eye of Argon. Everything here feels wrong. Even ignoring the almost constant failures of logic and basic storytelling, this feels like a Hitman game by people who never really played or understood Hitman. The tone is wrong. The themes are wrong. The setting is wrong. The characters are wrong. Even the gameplay is wrong.

I guess there were six years between Blood Money and Absolution. That’s a long time in game years. But still.

They’re working on another Hitman game. I still can’t escape the notion that all these problems are the result of one complete hack who was given too much power, because it seems unlikely that an entire team could all be this remarkably inept. (Particularly since they apparently made serviceable Hitman games in the past.)

Can the team self-correct? I’m perversely looking forward to the next Hitman game to see how it turns out.


From The Archives:

103 thoughts on “Hitman Absolution EP8: Vicar is Quicker

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    Wait, so Dexter wants Victoria for [reason], but he doesn’t know she’s related to the Agency, or at least that the Agency is after him because of Victoria? They went out of their way to establish that Dexter (somehow) knows what the Hitmen are, and that they’ve been sent after him. If this “revelation” is enough for Birdie to intimidate him, shouldn’t he already be hiding out as quietly as possible since the Agency already wants him dead and knows he’s still alive?

    Or do they know 47 isn’t necessarily with the agency, somehow? Did Birdie know that, maybe? And Dexter lets Birdie live so that the Agency will, what, only go after Birdie because they don’t actually know about Dexter? What?

    I’m confused.

    However, I am ALWAYS up for a dramatic reading of The Eye of Argon.

  2. Patrick the Surly Scratch-n-sniff sticker sniffer says:

    I don’t know what your problem is. Last time I went to a bar the bouncers and I totally had a knife fight when I turned the lights in the bathroom off.

    And realistically speaking, after murdering a few hundred people over the course of 4 titles, I would think the entire world would be familiar with who 47 is.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      In theory, he is unknown if you play perfectly. But that omniscient, flawless behavior doesn’t really jibe with the 47 we see in this game, yeah.

      1. James says:

        You can argue as this is personal, hes not completely being a silent assassin, but that would require a not shitty plot to make actual sense.

        The game itself is still fun and i still enjoyed it but comparing it to Blood Money which had a story arc and was still a great game, because the story arc was laid above series of Hitman levels about assassinating people.

  3. Mathias says:

    IO Interactive (the Hitman devs) were also responsible for Kane & Lynch.

    That means the same people responsible for Kane & Lynch were also responsible for Hitman: Blood Money.

    Think about that for a second.

    And dev turnover doesn’t entirely explain it. IO is based in Denmark (well, Copenhagen, which is almost Denmark), which doesn’t have a very high population, and I’m guessing the game design talent pool isn’t all that much bigger, though I don’t have actual numbers.

    1. I’m having a really hard time seeing most Europeans coming up with these games. The only explanation I can think of is if they’ve got some marketing person or lead dev who “knows what America is like” and “knows what gamers want.” That person can’t be reasoned with or convinced otherwise, and any attempt to protest means everyone has to watch even more offensive action movies that never saw the inside of a theater.

      I’m also experiencing some dissonance with the concept that Kane & Lynch came out of the same country as Sandi Toksvig.

      1. Henson says:

        Wow, Sandi Toksvig. Great reference!

        1. I loves me some News Quiz. She’s hilarious.

    2. Jokerman says:

      It doesn’t need to be the whole team switching… just a few creative talented people leaving and all the writing being left to whoever stays.

      I think the switch came somewhere after the first Kane and Lynch, while that game was bad, it still had the feel of a game made by the blood money team, and the story wasn’t horrible… just boring, with terrible cover shooting.

      Now Dog days on the other hand… Now there is something the fine people who made absolution might come up with.

    3. I thought most of the Blood Money team moved on to Montreal and the team responsible for the Kane and Lynch games took over for Absolution.

      I have this crazy theory. IO made Kane and Lynch and no one liked it. Everyone said, “can’t we just have another Hitman game?” But they didn’t want to make Hitman anymore. Then the second Kane and Lynch game and everyone really crapped all over it. And everyone was like, “just make a Hitman game already and quit this nonsense.” But they didn’t want to make it. Then someone from SquareEnix told them, “just make a Hitman game and shut these people up.”


      So they decided to take what was going to be Kane and Lynch 3 and poorly refitted it to be a Hitman game that everyone was asking for but they didn’t want to make in the first place.

      1. Dev Chand says:

        No, most of the people who worked on Blood Money worked on the Kane and Lynch games. It’s just a few people in the management side who left to make Reto Moto. As such, you’ll notice a few Kane and Lynch references in the Blood Money newspapers as well, which means that they probably were planning on making it, regardless of whether people changed or not.

    4. kaypy says:

      I have this vision of IO Interactive where everyone from Blood Money has been replaced by G-Man imposters

      “I am a games writer. I pay close attention to plot points so that players do not suffer jarring discontinuities.”

      “I am a programmer. I ensure that game mechanics mesh with the story and theme of the game.”

      and so forth…

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        Does this mean that Absolution is the game that Agent 47 made about himself while disguised as various members of the writing and programming teams?

        1. Grudgeal says:

          Well, it *does* have the writing quality of the average self-insert fanfiction…

  4. Other M is my trigger. I should probably remove myself from my keyboard as soon as possible for fear of falling back into the abyss that is my disdain for that game. It is, however, the exact sort of game I’d love to see the Spoiler Warning crew tackle, though I don’t know if 1.) they could – does Josh own a Wii/U? – or 2.) if they’d be able to stretch it out / suffer it long enough to work. There is a hell of a lot to pick apart in that game, though.

    I’d be more than willing to “donate” my very lightly used copy for the purposes of such critical analysis, however.

    1. Retsam says:

      Even assuming they have the game, the console, and the tech required to stream from it, I’m thinking Nintendo’s policies on Let’s Plays would keep the Spoiler Warning crew from covering this one.

      1. Nintendo only seems to claim revenue and the crew have never monetized their videos which would leave them in the hypothetical clear. What’s more, Nintendo usually only goes after video content from select franchises, and it’s unlikely they care enough about Other M videos to claim them, though I could of course be wrong.

        1. Retsam says:

          Nintendo’s previous policy, before the Creators Program, was to add advertisements to videos that use their content if the video didn’t already have them (and to take the revenue from them, if they did), and I can’t find anything that says that policy has changed, for channels that can’t/don’t register with the Creators program.

          And Other M is is one of the titles on the list for the Creators Program, so, yes, Nintendo is targeting reviews of that game. (Though I suspect its a moot point; while I don’t think Nintendo has explicitly defined policies for videos covering games not on that list, I suspect its more likely to be “Nintendo takes all the ad revenue” rather than the alternative)

          So, yeah, if the Spoiler Warning crew were to cover Other M, it would mean getting ads added to their videos for which they wouldn’t receive any revenue from (until they asked Nintendo for permission to keep some of the revenue from their own videos). I’m doubtful that they are going to want to deal with that.

    2. Merlin says:

      Other M is everybody’s trigger. Or at least, it ought to be. Still, I’m content with the pretty thorough beatdown adminstered here

    3. Nixitur says:

      They usually only do story-focused games. True, that’s what Other M tried and failed, but beyond the very basic “Has a story.”, there isn’t much there.
      You don’t really interact with many NPCs during gameplay sections, you mostly just shoot through hordes of monsters and solve a “puzzle” here or there. There’s the very real danger that it’s just gonna turn into Josh being bad at video games and the rest of the cast running out of things to say.

      Then again, the most egregious parts of Other M are the cutscenes, so there’s plenty to make fun of there. Maybe something closer to “Character Assassination: Authorized” which was the retsupurae guys making fun of all the cutscenes in one go.
      I dunno. The game is stupid, but I don’t know if there are enough interactions beyond “Shoot dude” to make it interesting for Spoiler Warning.

      1. Isn’t that largely the same here with Absolution? It seems to be relatively brief gameplay segments followed by moronic cutscenes, rinse & repeat. What’s more, Other M would actually be shorter than Hitman if they weren’t scrounging for every expansion. There’s also plenty to critique mechanically: Baffling wiimote focus; terrible first-person controls; horrible pixel hunts; damage-spongey enemies; over reliance on melee executions; shoddy boss design; the infamous authorization mechanic; regularly locking the player out of content; excessive hand holding; the hell run; the puzzling queen metroid fight, probably more I’m not remembering. Plus, of course, all the narrative and character faults. Aside from the system it’s on it would seem an almost perfect for their format.

        1. Felblood says:

          Man, all this talk of Hitman: Absolution and Metroid: Other M is making me want to play the actually good games in those series.

          Unfortunately, they have both spawned so many truly great games that I simply do not have the time.

          At least, I also do not have time to put either of these steaming piles of horse puckey into my eye sockets. That almost makes up for it.

  5. Jacob Albano says:

    I never played Hitman: Codename 47 so I don’t know if there’s a precedent for this, but calling the Agency “The Agency” (and having Dexter recognize the name) feels like another misunderstanding on the writers’ part. I always got the feeling that when Diana said “This is Diana from Agency”, she was saying “you don’t need to know anything about us besides that we will pay you to kill”. It never felt to me that anybody else would ever refer to it as such.

    On that topic, this Agency guy…ugh. He and his cronies are a complete 180 from the professional establishment that Diana has always represented to 47. Briefings in the other Hitman games were cool and businesslike. This guy seems like he’d kill for the pleasure of it, and his smirking assistant is just as bad.

    PS: props to Rutskarn’s “New Black/Gold” reference.

    1. Bropocalypse says:

      Yeah, it’d feel more suitable if “the agency” was something more akin to the mafia, in that they act as brokers for various levels of brutality.

    2. Jokerman says:

      I got this impression too. It’s like if you got a phone call “This is Mark from the office” and then later on it’s revealed the company you work for is called “The Office”

      1. Jacob Albano says:

        This idea made me laugh so hard. There’s a restaurant down the street from me called The Restaurant, and I’m always amused about what it must be like to work there and talk to people about your job.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      Technically in lore, they are the “International Contracts Agency”, or ICA.

      Still, it did feel like, up until now, that “The Agency” is just what the ICA’s employees called it. Like, Diana and 47 don’t need to say the ICA, because they’re both employees. Just like a college student might just call their campus “The U”.

      1. guy says:

        The CIA is apparently sometimes referred to as The Company, or at least used to be.

      2. Jacob Albano says:

        Ah yeah, that’s right. Doesn’t Diana leave the ICA at the end of Blood Money though? My lore is fuzzy — probably overdue for a replay of the series.

        1. PeteTimesSix says:

          Going off similarly hazy memories, far as I recall…

          Its actually 47 that leaves the agency, after Diana fake-out betrays him in order to get at the people who are systematically taking the Agency apart. At a point late in the game I believe Diana even mentions that her and 47 was all that was left of the Agency, and its only in the post-ending cutscene that she starts putting it back together, essentialy on her own.

          …I mean, of course that means the setup of Absolution makes no sense whatsoever accounting for earlier titles, but who is really surprised by that.

          1. She splits what remains of the assets with 47. So yes, Absolution makes zero sense as there is no ICA anymore. It can’t be the same team who made Blood Money that made Absolution because it seems like the people who made Absolution never even played the original games. Does the letters “ICA” even show up in Absolution? I don’t remember seeing them.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Yeah. By that point Absolution begins, 47 and Diana should both be co-owners of the ICA. It’s like ordering your boss to kill his partner/best friend.

            2. Fawkes says:

              Literally the next cutscene on the boat has them. Briefly. But yeah, the story is a mess. Enough that it feels like this was not meant to be a Hitman game originally as others have proposed.

    4. I always imagined the Agency being run out of a nondescript office somewhere in Europe that looks like every other office building in the world, filled with cubicles, copy machines, water coolers and break rooms. A very much, hide in plain sight type of operation much like how 47 himself operates. Diana would have her own office as I would imagine they wouldn’t the cubicle drones actually talk to the assassins. There job is to gather all of the intel that the assets would need to complete their jobs. What we get with Absolution is the most ridiculous garbage I have ever seen. There is just no possible way that this organization can function. None. The Hitman series already requires some serious suspension of disbelief, always has. But the Agency in this game is just a bridge so far that it might as well be a rainbow bridge into fantasy land. Their troops riding unicorns into battle wouldn’t be any more ridiculous than it already is.

    5. BenD says:

      YAY Miracle of Sound references!

  6. Bropocalypse says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the lever thing. What about it prompts this one agitator to walk in and raise trouble?
    Actually, with the fact that in the middle of a BAR BRAWL that throwing a plunger distracts someone in the next room, it occurred to me that the story and gameplay, while both equally poor in their execution, have nothing to do with each other! It’d be like playing tetris where every few lines you’re treated to a clip from a hospital drama. Oh, the but tetris blocks look like human organs, so they correlate.
    Seriously, this bar level is just busywork. It’s not fun, its layout and gameplay make no sense, it’s just incredibly flimsy windowdressing for the pretense of interrogating this barman.
    It’s like those 90s movie tie-in games for the genesis and SNES. They build a generic video game level and motif it after a two-minute scene from the movie because they didn’t know what the hell else to do.
    That’s what Hitman: Absolution feels like. A movie tie-in for a movie that should never have been made.

    1. Jacob Albano says:

      I want to find out that it was a debug stand-in trigger, complete with a tag in the editor. “TODO: Barry, replace this lever when we get the final word from story team.”

    2. Jabrwock says:

      I assumed it killed the power to the jukebox, resulting in the one guy insulting the BAMF who was standing next to it.


      1. Henson says:

        Yes, this was my assumption, too. Why this isn’t just spelled out, who knows.

      2. After seeing the wiring in several old homes, if that place was built before 1970, you’re lucky a major circuit isn’t running through a bathtub and kept going with a fuse that has a penny stuck underneath it.

  7. Gnoll_Queen says:

    You know i some how am not surprised at all that Kane and lynch was made by the same people as this game. It even kind of looks similar some times. I wonder if the fact that there are so few hitman levels in this game is because they thought up a story but didn’t want most of the story to happen in cutscenes. Plus its kind of a short story over all if you took out all the non-hitman levels. So basically as Shamus has repeated many times the plot is what brings this game down and forces the game-play to adapt to it.

    Also modifying the disguise system so that the more popular costumes don’t have the Whole “you’re no real chef” System would be a good idea in my opinion. say the Bodyguards of the Triad guy have that and maybe the cops but not random chefs or people. but the bodyguards can get to better places. that seams like an easy way to do it. i wonder why they didn’t.

    1. If they were so in love with the barcode or keeping Agent 47 looking like himself, they could have easily made the costume appear flawless at first, then have it kind of go translucent to show that it’s Agent 47 to the player.

      Or even better, have an option to show disguises or only show parts of them.

      But having last played Blood Money, this game also highlights an annoyance with a lot of AAA games: All the money and effort went to making the game and environments look realistic as if that was the sure-fire way to make an enjoyable video game. I’d take a Borderlands-style cel-shaded Hitman game over this if it meant the plot and mechanics were actually good and/or appropriate to the character.

      1. Jacob Albano says:

        Case in point: Hitman Go is a better Hitman game than Absolution, and it’s a mobile puzzle game where everything takes place on a diorama with board game figurines. The gameplay is utterly engrossing. I’d love to see more low-detail/low-poly games made.

  8. Dev Null says:

    It's like if Anne McCaffrey followed up her Pern books with The Eye of Argon. Everything here feels wrong.

    Actually, it’s like if Anne McCaffrey followed up her Pern books with… the rest of Anne McCaffrey’s actual Pern books. Seriously, have you read any of the later ones? The Magical Love-Dolphins of Pern, or whatever that dribble was? I’ll admit I didn’t read any after (about the first three chapters of) that, so maybe it was anomalous, but sheesh! That thing was the inane Crayola-scribblings of an 8-year-old who likes dolphins to an unhealthy degree.

    1. Shamus says:

      My first instinct was to say it was like Tolkien wrote Eye of Argon. But then I didn’t really want to suggest that Hitman was on Par with Tolkien. So I was trying to think of a series of books that was modestly popular but not sensational. Pern was the first that came to mind.

      Never read a word of any of them. So I don’t actually know.

      1. Dev Null says:

        Fair enough. I like the early ones, but then I last read them when I was in my teens.

        Maybe a Harry Potter comparison? Popular, but even it’s fans will mostly admit not spectacularly well-written? The danger of metaphors like this being that some pedantic jerk like me will always come along and derail your conversation by talking about the metaphor…

    2. Zeta Kai says:

      Don’t forget about that one Pern book where McCaffrey basically says that men who are raped will permanently turn gay. Seriously, that is a not-insignificant plot point. Not to ruin your metaphor, Shamus, but the Pern books are very much like the Hitman series: the first few are alright, decent even, & there are fans who can’t get enough of them, but the series took a sharp, weird twist downward later on.

      1. Dev Null says:

        Oh mercy. Glad I stopped.

        1. Felblood says:

          I’m partway through the first book and I’m stopping right now.

          ..actually, I don’t think I’ve seen that book in a couple of months.

          Having toddlers in the house tends to turn the boolean property of is/is-not reading a given book into more a Heisenbergian probability state, but I think Jack Vance’s Tales of the Dying Earth* was stealing me away, anyway.

          *(I’m sure this train is also bound for Lower West Crazy Town, but it’s going to be a helluva ride.)

  9. Syal says:

    I can’t believe you guys don’t appreciate Lenny’s steadfast dedication to his Barbershop Quartet.

    1. Ivellius says:

      I wonder if it’s maybe for a shave.

  10. Burek says:

    “On January 16, 2014, an open letter was filed by IO Interactive for the fans, sharing some news details on the next game. It states the intention to make the next version less linear, with more open-ended maps. The concept of checkpoints will also be abandoned (a by-product of the linearity in Absolution).”

    So I guess the sequel will be more of a Hitman game than this one. Aside from that they did lay off half of IO interactive after this game so it will probably be much more scaled down in terms of budget and scope.

    The reveal of the new game is supposed to be sometime in 2015.

  11. newdarkcloud says:

    It’s not a Hitman level, but the Gun Store is actually a really fun stage to use when creating or playing Contracts.

    On that topic, are you guys going to show off a mission or two in Contracts mode, or does that exist outside of the scope of a typical Spoiler Warning season?

    1. Thomas says:

      I’m beginning to think that Contracts were the big idea for this game when they were developing it. It feels like we’ve had a couple of levels now where the actual in level mission isn’t very good but they seem to have chucked it a lot of little irrelevant doodads for the game?

      Because it’s kind of insane that they fleshed out this level so much and then did nothing with it.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Yeah. A lot of the “not a Hitman” levels have accident kills included, seemingly to give the Contracts mode material.

        According to IO, the reason Contracts mode was added is that they often saw that people would develop their own “contracts” by trying to kill specific NPCs in a level. Contracts mode was developed to facilitate that.

        The only reason the “Hitman Horse”-style of play ended up as the final result is because they wanted to be sure that a player-created Contract was technically possible. Otherwise, it could be possible to make Contracts with conditions that were literally impossible to complete.

        I kinda wish they didn’t go that route, because it does make playing a Contract essentially the same as retracing someone else’s footsteps. It’s why I ultimately had more fun making Contracts than I did playing ones from other people.

  12. Henson says:

    I really wish Josh had smashed a bottle into one of the patrons’ heads, because what follows is the most horrifying extreme close-up of someone’s bottomless screaming mouth I have ever seen. It’s so unexpected and terrifying, I must share my trauma.

  13. Jokerman says:

    At 3:16 when Danny Trejo is holding birdie over that cliff, does that look really weird to anyone else? Like he was held up by nothing bar thin air for a second.

  14. Peter H. Coffin says:

    US 83, west, to South Dakota. Nuh uh. US 83, being an odd numbered US highway goes north/south. It does go to South Dakota, but from your choice of North Dakota south, or Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma or Texas north. The way he’d PROBABLY get there from Chicago is just take Interstate 90 west, through Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Get some cheese curds on the way.

    1. The assassin that does PROBABLY doesn’t live for long. :)

    2. Shamus says:

      So according to Absolution:

      Chicago is due South of the Dakotas, which look like Texas.

      1. Gruhunchously says:

        This just furthers the speculation that the developers figured that South Dakota was in the deep south because of the name.

        1. I’m really amazed when fictional media of any kind manages to get geography THAT wrong. Who can’t fire up Google Maps and take a gander at Streetview?

          1. Seriously, if they really wanted to know what the midwest was like, they could have just watched Fargo. I wouldn’t have minded the northern accents so much in South Dakota. I would have shrugged and said, “eh, no big deal. They’re European after all. They probably just watched Fargo for research.”

            I don’t think any of these people have actually seen a movie, let alone one as well crafted as Fargo. Video games keep aping the look of movies, but with no understanding for why things are shot, edited or framed the way they are.

            1. Grudgeal says:

              “…And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money you know. Don’t you know that? And here ya are… And it’s a beautiful day.

              …I just don’t understand it.”

              1. “Y’know… Funny-lookin’.”

      2. HiEv says:

        Actually, I grew up in South Dakota, and parts of it do look like Texas, believe it or not, especially the Badlands. South Dakota is also where Deadwood is located, known for being where Wild Bill Hickok was killed, which is the origin of the “dead man’s hand” of aces and eights. Heck, Calamity Jane is buried in South Dakota. In places like Wall Drug and others they still have old west shows.

        A lot of “old west” history actually took place in South Dakota, mainly due to the gold found there.

  15. Sean Payne says:

    Spot on with the assumption that one man was given too much power behind the scenes. Specifically, a man named Tore Blystad (feel free to Google him). It’s easy to blame the director, but Mr. Blystad specifically appeared to tailor every interview with him leading up to the game’s release to clearly mark out that a) he didn’t think much of the previous Hitman games and b) he felt that by dropping certain expectations they could make a better game. He infamously said that the original games were “too hardcore” and Absolution would be “more accessible”, and even stated that he didn’t expect more than 20% of gamers to finish the game because that’s what the metrics suggested (I’ve no idea where from). I believe he worked on Blood Money and possibly some of the games before that but don’t quote me on that. He’s now with Crystal Dynamics so either IO gave him the heave-ho following fan criticism or he moved on to other things of his own accord. Either way, leaves me hope for the next game (even the open letter from IO to the fans was quite reassuring!).

    The entire game felt like somebody wanted to make a different game but was given a character they didn’t want to work with and made do. Hitman is the palest European slim character dumped into the middle of America for a revenge story that doesn’t belong to him at all.

    1. I am convinced they were preparing to make Kane and Lynch 3 and SquareEnix just smacked them really hard on the face with a rolled up newspaper and went, “no! No! Bad developer! Bad!”

      1. I have this game and the Kane & Lynch collection, thanks to a Humble Bundle purchase.

        I may have to install them someday to “enjoy” the same way I “enjoy” a movie send-up on MST3K.

      2. Ivan says:

        That really makes sense to me, because there has just been one scene so far that I just couldn’t figure out. The helicopter chase scene. When that happened that was so cool that I was almost willing to forget that this wasn’t hitman gameplay. I mean a linear chase sequence has literally no place in the game but it was done so well that I found my self wondering if they could have done things differently to make escape sequences like that fit into the game. The fact is though, with the possibility of the player being a completely silent assassin, these escape sequences would have to be optional, only to happen if the player screws up too badly. On top of that they would have to be unique to each stage and suddenly you realize that literally half the game is not designed to be seen if you’re playing it “properly”.

        Anyway, like I said, a really cool sequence that has NO place in the franchise, and yet it’s there. You don’t make something that good by accident but you could make something like that if you would really have rather been making a different game.

    2. Dev Chand says:

      Tore Blystad was the art director of Contracts and Blood Money. So it’s not really a big surprise that he worked on Absolution as a game director, and it ended up with a lot of bad decisions. This is not to say that art directors are bad game directors, more like he probably didn’t have good experience in directing a game.

  16. guy says:

    When you said, “guess what the daughter looks like!”, I felt like joking that if her father’s voice was any indication she probably looked like Hatsune Miku. And then we got a better look at her and she actually did have a split ponytail. Admittedly not twintails, but still.

    1. Rutskarn says:





      1. I feel like I need to applaud. Is that what I’m supposed to do? I need guidance, here.

      2. Felblood says:

        Oh no.



        It’s in my head now!

        I Can’t get it out!


        I am being silly about it, but I am 100% serious.

        Why would you do this!? Just. Ugh/Augh!
        THat F###ING SoNG!

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Ah tequila,the classic south dakota drink.

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,things the developers of this game dont understand so far:
    Vision and perception
    Police and fire department
    Strip clubs
    Air vents
    Fuse boxes
    Map of the USA
    Bar fights

    To be continued

    1. Grudgeal says:

      Game design
      Story writing
      The difference between their arses and elbows

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,the people that did kane and lynch did this?Ooooooh,that explains everything.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,according to that poster,no one knows what 47 looks like.So how the fuck does every joe average cop and security guard recognize you on sight?

    1. lucky7 says:

      The posters exist to lull 47 into a false sense of security.

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Be wevy wevy quiet.Im hunting fowty seven.

  22. Ledel says:

    So as far as the owner not selling the guns, he may operate similar to a pawn shop where he holds the item for 30 days where the person who pawned it can return to buy it back. It doesn’t make sense that they would be in a fancy case on the sales floor, but I’ll chalk that up to being a game contrivance. His challenging 47 to the shooting contest seems like something he would to regularly just for laughs to see guys be out-shot by his daughter. As it is, yeah, it just feels like they were just padding the game out.

    Why not have the gun store mission be where you meet up with birdie in a back corner of the store you’re not supposed to be in. There birdie will give you a bit of info in person (because Dexter just established he can access birdie’s phone) and tells you that Lenny has your guns. This way it makes birdie look like he’s playing all sides off each other just to be friendly with whoever comes out on top, it gives you another reason to go after Lenny, and helps to advance the plot forward more than “Hey here’s those guns we took away from you that you may or may not care about that much.”

    1. Kian says:

      All I know of the game is what’s been shown so far in Spoiler Warning, and overall I could kind of see why the gun store owner might have them there.

      They’re in a fancy case, so they’re obviously decorations. The way a gun store might have antique rifles on the walls. They wouldn’t be for sale, they’re there to display the tastes of the owner.

      Whoever sold them to him probably played up the part that they belonged to one of the legendary Hitmen (Hitmans?) As a result, when a guy comes around and says “They’re mine”, “I could just take them” and “It wouldn’t be stealing”, this presents two options. Either he’s just some nutjob, or he is the legendary Hitman the guns were taken from.

      You don’t want a random nutjob to take your guns, but you also don’t want to antagonize a Hitman. So you set up a simple challenge. If he is a Hitman, he will pass it and then you sell the guns, recover some or all that you put down to buy them, and have a cool story to tell. If he doesn’t, he’s clearly not that dangerous and you can keep the guns safely.

      Surprisingly, this one character does seem to be acting reasonably.

      1. Ledel says:

        I’m right there with you in that all I’ve seen of Absolution is this season so far.

        I can see how they might be a display item that isn’t for sale, but if he recognizes that 47 is the legendary Hitman he should make it somewhat more obvious than the line of “You don’t look like a thief.”

  23. Fawkes says:

    The spin move! Thank you Josh for showing that off. Along with the rock back and forth looking in one direction then the other to throw off guards until they walk away.

    And yes, as you saw during the brawl, no one cares! You can basically do what you want, including punching everyone. In fact going over and punching Kane is how you get one of the weapons on this map that he carries. You don’t get spotted, you don’t even lose points for leaving a body from what I could tell. Brawl trumps all scoring.

    So remember kids, always pull strange levers placed right at the saloon-door style bathroom entrance that offers a clear view of people pissing. It will turn off the Jukebox and make the whole bar fight.

    (( You already criticized the stupidity of the Bouncer who won’t let you into the bar proper, and the bouncers beyond who will recognize you as not someone let in. Also why are there two bathrooms? And both of them for men? Is it just a very progressive bathroom, co-ed style?

    One more thing, the end cutscene with the bouncer. If you don’t start a brawl it just cuts right to him smacking Lenny’s name when you hit the button. The bouncer otherwise acts the same, in slight terror at the brawl that you never started. I guess he’s meant to be in terror of you, but the scene just goes “Press E, Smack Lenny’s name.” There’s no set-up, you could have just been asking for a drink, at a bar! Imagine that.))

  24. Neko says:

    Okay, so the scene where Dexter’s bodyguard is holding Birdie over the cliff, and Dexter says “Let him go.” desperately needed the bodyguard to be all “Uh, Boss? Do you mean let him go, or let him go?”

    As for Birdie’s motivations, I started to assume he wanted to ingratiate himself with Dexter as a means to finding out where Victoria is now and then let 47 know … but then there was that weird message to the Agency. Maybe Birdie just habitually plays everyone in the hope of switching to the winning side at the last minute, I don’t know.

    And, uh, 47? “It wouldn’t be stealing.”? Yes it would! You’re the dumbass who traded your prized guns for a scrap of terrible information in the first place, and then their new owner sold them to this shop. It’s almost as if one of the writers were handed a line “47 goes to the gun shop and finds his prized silverballers in a display case”, without any context as to why they were there, and they had to guess and write the rest of the scene!

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      I mentioned this in the scene where 47 first meets Birdie, and Rutskarn said it again here, but a lot of what 47 says is not consistent with his characterization in previous Hitman games.

      Again, it seems like this was a script to an entirely different game, jury-rigged to function in the Hitman universe. David Bateson reprising his role as Agent 47 really shows you how this doesn’t sound right. It’s no wonder that wanted a more generic 30-something white-dude filling the role, because this character isn’t Agent 47.

      1. Artur CalDazar says:

        This character is supposed to be 47 though.

        Using Splinter Cell Blacklist as a reference point I can say that I at least find a significant character shift and change of voice actor to much more jarring/ harder to set aside than when the voice stays the same. Its “47 is acting really weird” rather than “somebody has killed 47 and is disguised as him”.

    2. methermeneus says:

      I hate to give the writers of this game any credit, but I got the impression that he was thinking along the lines that corpses don’t own anything.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I wouldn’t give them that. because that wouldn’t make sense either. Agent 47 is supposed to be the consummate professional, only killing when his mission directives leave no other options.

        He doesn’t make silly threats like that.

  25. krellen says:

    Of what I’ve seen so far, I think I can confidently say that this was a better movie when it was entitled “The Professional” (or Léon, for you Europeans).

    1. Henson says:

      You know, I kinda wish they had just ripped off this movie wholesale. On one of his missions for the agency, 47 uncharacteristically saves Victoria and has her living in his apartment. In between missions where you actually assassinate targets, we get cutscenes showing the growing relationship between the two of them, and how that affects 47’s relation to his work; in dealing with another person over time, 47 regains some humanity. Perhaps she learns to be an assassin, losing some of her own humanity in order to survive.

      Sure, it wouldn’t be terribly original. But I’d like it more.

  26. Samyo says:

    At the start of the bar level, Kane and one of the bikers are arguing a little, the biker is suspicious of whatever he’s doing and Kane doesn’t want to elaborate. The switch in the bathroom is the power to the jukebox, which shuts it off. The biker thinks Kane did it, so he gets pissed at him, then all the rest happens.
    It’s still kind of silly, but like a couple of these nitpicks you guys have had, it would be solved by actually paying attention to what’s going on.

  27. Vect says:

    Yeah, Kane and Lynch actually make a lot of cameos in the game. Evidently IO are just really fond of the characters.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      How couldn’t they be? They’re just so lovable!

  28. Gruhunchously says:

    Apparently, you can engineer events to get Lynch kicked off the shooting range. Complete with all that charming humor and interplay that Kane and Lynch is known for.

    They really did put a lot of detail into this level.

    1. Vect says:

      There are a lot of really bizarre easter eggs in this game, some of which are actually kinda funny.

  29. Sean Hagen says:

    Looking at the Hitman wikipedia page, it looks like the first four Hitman games were written by ( or at least contributed to ) by a single person: Morten Iversen. On IMDB he’s credited as a writer for the first four, but for this game he’s just credited as “concept”. I think that means that the stupidness can be traced to the writers.

    Also, I just realized that thanks to Playstation Plus I’ve got the second and third games, as well as this one. Definitely going to play through them all now.

  30. Mailbox says:

    OK, so the ventilation duct connects the bathroom to an office/storage room. I want to speak to the architect and smack him. There is no way you would plan a building design where the foul stench of a public restroom ventilates anywhere else in that building.
    At the gun store. If you have a set of guns that aren’t for sale why do you have them in a display case out on the front counter of your gun store. Do you have to walk up to every person that comes in your gun store and tell them these guns aren’t for sale even though that display is a huge eye catcher that will draw attention.

  31. At 9:10 Chris does a pretty good Peter Griffin sound alike.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *