I like Absolution. It’s a great stealth game, but it doesn’t deliver the Hitman feel I expected. As people have already said, that is because of the odd design choices. The disguise system was totally reinvented and while it did seem to base on a good idea (every guard has his own suspicions and AI in the same suit are more alert) it did get pretty annoying for the player for being so “clever” and basically forced you to take the “hide and sneak” type of play.
Another odd desing is the level design. It’s way too linear to be a distinctive Hitman game, but still contains various options for moving forward and accomplishing your mission, which is nice. I also feel that the story (which was a decent one) guided the locations too much and didn’t allow the game to take place in various (perhaps exotic) locations. SA had 47 doing work for the agency to get info from Vittorio, Contracts is flashbacks and Blood Money is some reporter digging old stuff. Those plotlines might not be great, but they allowed great diversity in locations. Hopefully they’ll be capable to unite those two aspects and make H6 a great game both storywise and location-wise.
Then there’s of course Instinct, which is something we “core-fans” might find odd and even repulsive. I had that reaction and to some degree I still have. I think instinct could be a great way to make the game easier for newer players to the series, but should in no way force it’s usage and should be turned off in higher difficulties. Hiding in plain sight shouldn’t need instinct. If I’d be the game designer, I would remove everything else but the visual properties of Instinct so that the only thing it would help with would be seeing the guards, their routes and usable objects in the environment. Something to help the newcomer and not something everyone is forced to use in order to stay hidden.
Now to something positive since I feel all I have been doing is complaining. I actually started Absolution over again, and absolutely loved the King of Chinatown on my current playthrough. It has many assassination options even being as small as a level it is. This is what the whole game should’ve been in my opinion in terms of design. Also the mechanics have improved a lot from the previous titles and for example I like the ability to take cover and hide bodies in closets and such. It also runs smooth, looks great and the controls are way more accessible at least on PS3 compared to previous titles in PS2. Yes I am not pc master race, my laptop can’t handle such greatness.
TLDR; Great game, although made some things wrong imo.