Pre-order (exclusively at GameStop in North America) the upcoming action shooter Hitman: Absolution on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 and receive this free stand-alone game titled Hitman: Absolution Sniper Challenge. Hitman: Absolution can also be pre-ordered on PC, but this challenge game won’t be available on PC until August 1.
What you see is what you get in this challenge game, set atop a Chicago skyscraper (background in beginning, skippable cut scene), which I received on the PlayStation 3. Agent 47 stays in his perch, so players’ only movement becomes the sniper scope zoom and targeting baddies that include one main target and 14 bodyguards (shown as icons in the lower left screen).
Based entirely around stealth, sniping, reloading, and an intelligent approach to solving each mission, this sniper game features Agent 47 with only one weapon – his silenced Agency Kazo TRG sniper rifle (unlocked in your future copy Hitman: Absolution by playing this game), which features an exceedingly slick first person interface with sophisticated looking crosshairs and a significant amount of realistic and natural movements to counter the supposed ease of pegging a vulnerable target.
The more creative and skilled the approach, the higher the score, and the better chance players will win exclusive prizes from month to month by ascending the leaderboards. The female talking on the other end of Agent 47’s communications provides the feedback, so players can adjust their strategy accordingly.
This game gives players about 15 minutes to complete their mission while tracking statistics on delivered head shots, exposure from cover, alarms, how many people (enemies or innocents) were involved, and so on. There are no health bar to worry about, but innocent deaths and other snafus will diminish point totals and bragging rights throughout the online leaderboards.
You don’t have to worry about getting hit by bullets – henchmen will fire back but usually in different directions. Even if they find you those pistols can reach Agent 47’s perch, so the only failure here is failing to kill the main target, Richard Strong Jr, a powerful chief executive of a major weapons manufacturer. When baddies get hit by bullets most reactions seem realistic, but a few fall flat like a seemingly solid chest shot that makes a bodyguard pull his stomach in then sit on the ground slouching forward.
The perks are endless and the puzzle-like unlockables can keep players busy playing for double-digit hours, especially to take a shot at the current three million plus high score on the global leaderboard. By the end, players can have each target’s pattern memorized, but why stop there – the game includes several side challenges like pegging pigeons and other more object-focused specialties. Some side missions can ruin the main target mission, but the game enables players go back and re-try the challenge unlimited times. Players can also uncover multipliers and special chained events.
Hitman: Absolution and Hitman: Absolution Professional Edition is currently set for release on November 20 from publisher Square Enix. Hitman: Absolution will feature the voice talents of Keith Carradine, Marsha Thomason, Powers Boothe, and his daughter Parisse who voices Lilly plus disguises, a sophisticated AI-System and Glacier 2 technology that delivers a cinematic story, distinctive art direction, and cutting-edge game and sound design.
Review: Hitman: Absolution Sniper Challenge
Where to Buy: GameStop
Price: FREE with Hitman: Absolution pre-order at GameStop (PS3 and Xbox 360; PC version available for pre-order, but this game not available on PC until August 1)
What I Like: strong graphics, authentic shooting experience, fun challenges, online leaderboards, no cost, smooth interface, strategy/puzzle-like elements
What Needs Improvement: more realistic body movements/reactions to sniper shots
Source: Copy provided by publisher