Misguided PR campaigns aside, Hitman Absolution has proved to be one of 2012’s biggest surprises. With a new in-game score system and some punishing level designs we thought we’d put together some top tips to help you become the ultimate bald-headed assassin…
Patience is a virtue
Unless you’re playing the game in guns-blazing mode, Hitman Absolution is all about studying the area you’re in. If you’re playing on a lower difficulty various points of interest will appear as small ripples in Instinct mode, but to those playing on the three higher ‘Professional’ difficulties you’ll need to rely on your sense of curiosity & creativity.
Be sure to study the paths of potentially hostile NPCs; windows of opportunity are there, so be sure to choose your moments wisely. Like so many games all guard patrols are always the same & will loop back after a certain amount of time, so don’t be afraid to wait for the best time to slip by.
Low body count, high score
Almost every level of the game can be played with ZERO casualties bar your target. It’s not easy, but the right path, disguise & timing is there to be used. If you do need to take out a guard or NPC to move past unnoticed or to gain a particular disguise, be sure to press down on the d-pad to un-equip whatever weapon or object you’re carrying. This way you can press X or square to subdue a character unconscious. You’ll be penalised for non-target casualties so pacification is the key.
No one likes a litterer
As with all games with a stealth option, leaving a body lying around is a sure fire way to blow your cover. So, just like 2006’s Hitman Blood Money, you can stash bodies in various containers littered around each area. These rectangular containers glow in Instinct mode but it pays to look out for bins, freezers & crates that look big enough to stash a body. Hiding a body successfully also gains you some points back on pacification or kill.
Use Instinct wisely
The new Instinct ability in Absolution has caused something of a divide in critics & fans of the series, but it all depends on your difficulty of choice. The ‘Enhanced’ settings (Easy & Normal) lets you use Instinct mode indefinitely, making it feel like Detective Mode in Batman Arkham Asylum. It’s a bit of a cheat but a great way to learn the ins-&-outs of an area. One higher difficulties just entering Instinct mode will reduce it so be sure to preserve it for those all-important blends or some Splinter Cell Conviction style ‘Point Shooting’ that lets you take out multiple enemies in seconds. Use it wisely.
Belle of the ball
If you’re going for a Silent Assassin rating then picking the right threads for the job is a must. Some parts of an area can be crossed in your suit with no suspicion from guards, but some parts are deemed ‘Hostile Territory’. If you’re spotted in one of these areas then you’ll be automatically spotted. Disguises can be found in little white bags or taken from dead/subdued NPCs so recon what threads are being worn in each area. Wearing a different disguise to a guard will let you slip by un-noticed, whilst wearing the same uniform (which is usually key to entering a hostile area) will cause a guard to become suspicious so be sure to use Instinct mode to fool them (i.e blend in).
Use that line of site
Just like Metal Gear Solid & Splinter Cell of old, Absolution’s guards & NPCs main means of detection is all based on sight & sound. If you drop into low profile (sneak mode) in front of a guard in any area they’ll become suspicious, so be sure to sneak when it’s most beneficial. If you’re moving without a disguise or in a heavily guarded area be sure to move silently once a guard has moved away or has turned their back. Watch out of the yellow warnings that sharpen depending on how suspicious a guard is of you, if it turns red you’re busted.
Using distractions is also a great way to carve out a window of opportunity. If you see a random object lying around, from a radio to a screwdriver, be sure to pick it up. These can be thrown to draw a guard’s attention away from an objective or door. Keep in mind that some objects like radios & busts will break after one use so use them wisely.
Be bold when it’s called for
Ultimately, you’ll never get anything done if you sit behind cover or in the safety of a crate the whole time. Don’t be afraid to go into an area & scope out the challenges ahead of you, if you’re spotted you can just restart the checkpoint and use what you’ve learned in your next go. Some situations will need you to act on a moment’s impulse, slipping through the tiniest of gaps in a patrol to make it through. Be bold, bite your nails and have fun! Perfection never comes easy.
Let us know your top tips for taking on the many challenges of Hitman Absolution in the comments below!