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"Betrayed by the Agency and hunted by the police, Agent 47 finds himself pursuing redemption in a corrupt and twisted world."
Hitman: Absolution's Tagline.

Hitman: Absolution is the fifth title in the Hitman series developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. The game was released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows on November 20, 2012.[1]The elite edition, which contains all DLCs, was released for Mac OS X on May 15th, 2014 by Feral Interactive. It also featured backwards compatibility on the Xbox One.

Hitman: Absolution runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine, combining classic Hitman game mechanics with new mechanics.[2]

The game's story further delves into the mysterious life of Agent 47, the series' protagonist. Hitman: Absolution was unveiled at the E3 2011 in Los Angeles.


In Hitman: Absolution, the player assumes the role of Agent 47. Presented from a third-person perspective, the gameplay centers around completing set objectives within a series of levels. Objectives can range from simply reaching the end of the level, to killing specific individuals.

Unlike its predecessors, Absolution follows linear gameplay. Big, sandbox type missions of previous titles are now replaced by linear levels, divided into several mini-missions, called segments, which are connected to each other via a single entrance or exit.

Despite linear level design, however, players can choose how to complete each level to some extent, using firearms and melee weapons against enemies if opting for the action-oriented approach, or avoid enemies altogether and only attacking the set target(s), if using the stealth-oriented approach. Agent 47 also has the 'Instinct' ability that lets the player monitor enemies more easily. There are also environmental ways to kill or distract individuals; players can use poison to spike coffee, pull switches to make a disco ball fall and break, cause a massive explosion at a gas station, pull a switch to cause scaffolding to fall down, cause fires, or set off fireworks. Players complete chapters in order to progress through the story. The player journeys to various locations, including a mansion, library, strip club, gun store, wrestling arena, courthouse, and hotel during the story.

Like the previous Hitman titles, Absolution also relies on disguise system to complete a mission. However the disguise detection system has been changed completely from previous games, as the people wearing similar clothes to that of 47 can see through his disguise faster, even from a medium distance, while others cannot see though it. Players can use instinct ability to blend into environment and act casually, thus eradicating the chances of detection through disguises.

The game also introduces an online option to Hitman series, 'Contracts Mode', where players can create their own missions for other players to complete. Players choose one of the areas from the game's story missions and decide which NPC's are required to be eliminated, what weapon must be used to eliminate each target, what disguise is required, whether the body must be hidden or not and if the player is allowed to be spotted by the enemies. However servers for Contracts Mode has have since been shutdown, potentially forever.

New features

  • Saves are replaced by checkpoints.
  • Large, self-contained, open-ended missions have been replaced by a series of linear mini-missions, each connected via a single door. No mini-missions contain multiple exit points, nor do any allow players to leave the same way they came in.
  • There are cinematic sequences during the missions, therefore, the newspaper feature is removed.
  • Point shooting, which allows 47 to place strategic shootings in slow motion to kill multiple enemies quickly at the cost of Instinct, similar to the Dead Eye mechanic in Red Dead Redemption or Mark And Execute from Splinter Cell: Conviction and Blacklist.
  • Absolution formerly introduced a "Contracts Mode", which allowed players to select up to three targets from within any level to assassinate and create a custom made challenge that could be saved and shared online. They could bring in any weapons they like and used any weapons from within the level, but they had to be able to complete the contract they set up in order to be allowed to save the challenge.[3]
    • Weapons and disguises collected during Story Mode were used on Contracts Mode for free, but the player was also buy them using money gain from contracts. 
  • 47 can take cover and peek around corners similar to most third person shooters. He can also grab targets over low covers.
  • Absolution has an improved firearm aiming system that is more typical of third person shooters, unlike the previous games, as aiming the gun is required before firing it. The first-person view is also removed.
  • The ability to hold Breath is introduced, which makes 47 stronger in hand to hand combat.
  • 47 can now conceal heavy weapons or long rifles, thus removing the ICA crates and weapon briefcases.
  • 47 can now subdue or kill targets from behind with his own hands, removing the necessity of sedatives.
  • 47 can now use his exceptional hand to hand combat training to his advantage during gameplay against other NPCs in the form of a quick time event.
  • All the melee weapons kills in one hit regardless of use in front or behind.
  • Some melee weapons, such as the bust, the bottle and the bong, will break after being used.
  • Dual-wielding has been greatly expanded upon; now 47 can switch from carrying two of smaller firearms to only carrying one and vice versa mid-mission (if two of them are collected), unlike in Hitman: Blood Money where the player had to choose between carrying one or two Silverballers before the mission started. Furthermore, when 47 dual-wields handguns, the pistols are fired one at a time and not simultaneously like before, allowing for less frequent reloads, and better efficiency.
  • The circular inventory system has been removed and replaced with a D-pad-like one (or a simple vertical one if on PC and using keyboard and mouse) that doesn't pause the game when brought up. It's also limited to the pair of Silverballers, another kind of handgun (plus one of the same for dual-wielding if found), a sniper rifle, another large weapon such as a submachine gun (which can also be dual-wielded if another is found) or an assault rifle or a shotgun, a garrote weapon (usually the fiber wire), another melee weapon and a Remote Explosive.
  • 47 can now find poison and sedatives in some of the levels. They are no longer available from the beginning, nor they are able to be obtained through the upgrades.
  • The throwing mechanism has been improved with a lock-on system, when 47 throws bladed weapons such as knives and axes. When throwing a object, the game now shows its trajectory to make aiming easier.
  • The Fiber Wire or a garroting weapon is now used by simply pressing a specific button, instead of first tensing the wire before executing the attack like in previous games. 47 now drag the targets with fiber wire immediately after strangling them.
  • 47 can no longer drop or throw firearms. Frisk searches, metal detector wands, and full-sized metal detectors have been completely removed.
  • 47 can now take off silencers or put them on any time. Silenced weapons deal less damage but are useful for killing enemies silently.
  • 47 can now hang on to ledges and move and can also grab NPCs above him or through windows and pull them over the edge, thus killing them.
  • 47 can now hide two bodies in the Body Containers and also hide himself in them. Additionally, closets can now be used to hide bodies in.
  • 47 can navigate through vents, allowing him to travel undetected while also scanning the environment for enemies.
  • 47 can no longer walk around completely safely wearing a disguise as NPCs wearing same clothes will recognize him through the disguise. To prevent this, 47 can use Instinct, while in their sight radius, to trick them or simply keep his distance.
  • 47 can now interact with his environment to hide at a safe spot, such as standing by a box of donuts pretending to eat one while disguised as a cop, standing by a food stand pretending to read a menu, or hanging on a wooden cross disguised as a scarecrow.
  • 47 can now trigger car alarms by hitting or shooting the car to create a distraction. Previously, this was only possible by shooting the cars. Also, cars are now explosive.
  • Instead of using the coin as the primary mean of distraction, 47 can now use bottle, brick, melee weapon or even activate the radio for distractions.
  • If 47 is caught trespassing or doing some other suspicious activity by guards, the rest of the NPCs won't be alerted immediately like in older games. Instead, he will be asked to leave (if trespassing) or held at gunpoint and will have a moment to gain control of the situation by killing them or knocking them out before they can alert other people. 47 can also fake surrender, where he will grab the guard who approaches him, disarm them and take them as a human shield. When holding a human shield, 47 can no longer reload weapons.
  • The game now has a score system which gives points for actions such as killing discretely, hiding bodies and performing headshots and deducts points for infractions such as being spotted and killing non-targets. Subduing non-targets will also deduct points, however if the body is hidden, then the lost points will be restored. Each segment has separate scores, which determine the total score in a level. The rating is awarded depending upon the score.
  • There are multiple objectives/achievements to unlock for each level, done through Challenges, that also affect the final score of a mission. The objectives vary, from collecting evidence to infiltrating using a specific disguise. Most of these deal with the way a target is eliminated or how many disguises 47 uses during a playthrough. The objectives are so varied that it's impossible to get them all during a single session, and some of them directly oppose each other (such as Suit Only and Chameleon, the latter being collect all disguises), encouraging the player to replay levels and try different tactics.
  • If 47 triggers a full scale alert, the level's guards might call for backup.
  • Crowds have been drastically improved, reacting to violence and alerting guards.
  • Civilian NPCs will sometimes report gunshots, explosions, and bodies to 47 if he is disguised as a guard or police officer or the military.


Note: While the general plot of Absolution follows a distinct path, many elements such as the assassination methods and character interactions are subject to the player's decisions. The game offers several events and methods to targets, along with multiple decisions based on the sandbox gameplay. This story synopsis concentrates on the main plot thread of the game the player would generally encounter on their first time playing.

A Personal Contract

Following the events of Hitman: Damnation, Agent 47's handler Diana Burnwood, without explanation, betrayed her employer, the International Contract Agency (ICA) by revealing their identity to public and sabotaging their funding and database, before using the subsequent confusion to vanish. After the reformation ICA, 47 was tasked by his new handler, Benjamin Travis, a high level official within the ICA, to eliminate Diana for her betrayal and retrieve an important Agency asset; a teenaged girl named Victoria, from her mansion in Chicago, Illinois.

47 firing at Diana

47 arrived at her mansion under the cover of an ice cream truck driver and sneaked inside, before finally confronting Diana while she was having a shower. She noticed 47 before he could fire and asked him to stop and listen to her, but 47 shot her. However, as she collapsed onto the floor and 47 went to deliver the final shot to end her life, he stopped and comforted his dying friend, asking her why she betrayed the ICA. Diana told 47 that she had discovered that Victoria was genetically-engineered to become a above human assassin for the ICA, just like Agent 47 who was cloned by Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer. Not wishing to see Victoria suffer the same fate as 47, she betrayed the ICA and escaped with her. As Diana's final request, 47 agreed to protect Victoria. He took her away from the mansion and cut off his connection to Travis, who, after knowing that he had escaped along with Victoria, became extremely angry and branded him a traitor.

Escape and Evade

47 hides in a library while evading Police

With the help from a Nun named Sister Mary, 47 dropped Victoria off at the Rosewood Orphanage to hide, believing that all of his hideouts were known by ICA, excluding the orphanage. Following this, he contacted Birdie, a former ICA operative, for information about ICA and anyone after Victoria, which Birdie agreed to provide once 47 had assassinated a crime boss in Chinatown for him. 47 killed the so called "King of Chinatown", but Birdie than asked for 47's Silverballers pistols as a price for providing information. After cutting the barcode tattoo out of his head and giving his Silverballers to Birdie, 47 was informed by Birdie about a man named Blake Dexter, head of Dexter Industries, a home defense system company, who was staying at the top floor of the Terminus Hotel and was trying to get his hands on Victoria after knowing about her somehow. 47 sneaked into the hotel and, from a conversation between Dexter and his secretary Layla Stockton in his penthouse, leraned that Dexter was planning to kidnap Victoria and sell her to the highest bidder. 47 tried to strangle Dexter's bodyguard Sanchez, before dealing with Dexter but failed as Sanchez's above human strength allowed him to survive the attack and knocked out 47 by throwing him onto Dexter's room's door. Dexter, realizing 47 as the 'legendary Hitman", killed a hotel maid, framed 47 and left him to die after setting his penthouse on fire. He escaped and soon the hotel was surrounded by Chicago Police. 47 managed to escape the hotel, avoiding the policemen and chopper through an abandoned library and apartment, before arriving on a railway station. Hunted by the Chicago Police, he escaped the area immediately on a train.

Rosewood Massacre

After escaping the police, Birdie informed 47 about Dexter's informant in Chicago, a strip club owner Dominic Osmond and believed him to be the man informing Dexter about Victoria. After Dom was killed, 47 listened to a taped phone call in Dom's office and found out that Dexter had hired thugs led by a mercenary named Edward Wade to find Birdie in order to discover Victoria's location. Birdie called 47 for help immediately. 47 headed to Chinatown, passing through a derelict building and store, before killing Wade's thugs searching for Birdie. However, as he reached Birdie's hideout, an abandoned Bus, 47 discovered Birdie has already been captured. He immediately headed to the orphanage, unaware that Birdie had betrayed him by revealing Victoria's location to Wade so that his life may be spared.

Lenny takes Victoria hostage

47, disguised as a Priest, managed to arrive at the orphanage just as Wade and his men attacked. He took Victoria with him and headed for the elevator to hide in basement, but the power was cut off by Wade's men, forcing 47 to find fuses and restore power. However, before he could get in basement, Wade captured Victoria. Sister Mary tried to save her, but Dexter's son Lenny unintentionally killed her when Wade mocked him. After getting into, 47 mortally wounded Wade but Victoria was kidnapped and taken hostage by Lenny. Learning where to find Dexter from a matchbox found on Wade, 47 headed to the town of Hope, South Dakota, where Dexter ruled due to his PMC's and the corrupt town sheriff, Clive Skurky, who was under his pay.

Meanwhile, Birdie met Dexter and told him about Dom's murder by 47, asking Dexter to use him as a informer now. Dexter however, refused, and let him go after Birdie informed him that ICA was after Victoria. Birdie, angered by Dexter's refusal and behavior, decided to trick both 47 and Dexter, and he sent 47 Silverballers to a gun shop, and a message to Travis, revealing 47's location to him. With 47's location confirmed, Travis decided to send his men after 47.

Arrival at Hope

47 arriving at Hope, South Dakota

After arriving at Hope, 47 learned Lenny's location from a local bartender, before being called by Birdie, who informed him about his Silverballers location. After retrieving his Silverballers, 47 took out Lenny's gang, the "Hope Cougars", who were planning to kidnap Victoria from Dexter and sell her to a rival weapons company, before subduing Lenny Dexter and interrogating him about Victoria's location. Lenny revealed that Dexter had ordered him to leave her with Sanchez, who ran fights at Dexter's factory.

Meanwhile, Blake Dexter was informed by one of his scientists, Dr. Warren Ashford, that Victoria was a genetically engineered individual, with above human abilities only activated by an Isotope in her necklace . Shortly after, Dexter found out about the kidnapping of his son Lenny. Becoming angered over this, Dexter ordered his assistant Layla to ask Skurky to find Lenny and Travis's assistant Jade Nguyen to set up a ransom for Victoria.

47 arrived at Dexter Industries headquarters. He sneaked into the company's laboratory, killed the scientists who examined Victoria and destroys their research data on her to disclose her identity and origins. Before killing Sanchez in an underground cage fight, 47 found out that Sanchez had left Victoria at Hope's Sherrif's courthouse.

Attack of The Saints

The Saints arrive at the hotel

47 later recuperated at a hotel but the hotel was attacked by an ICA strike team lead by "The Saints" an elite group of female killers sent by Travis. 47 eliminated The Saints including their leader, Lasandra Dixon and raveled this to Travis after answering his call to the now killed Saints. Angered over this failure, Travis headed to Hope with a large group of ICA operatives to kill 47 and find Victoria.

47 managed to find Victoria under the Hope Courthouse jails but was subdued by Sheriff Skurky. Dexter tortured 47, demanding to know where his son was, but left after being informed that Travis wanted Victoria back in exchange for $10 million. 47 managed to escape into the streets of Hope, just as the ICA took over the town. 47 chased Skurky to a church where the sheriff, wounded by 47, told him that Dexter was heading to Blackwater Park in Chicago, as 47 tortured him by stepping on his wound on his leg. As Skurky died, 47 left the town of Hope, now almost completely destroyed and burned by the ICA, and headed to Chicago.

Return to Chicago

In Chicago, Dexter and Travis attempted an exchange for Victoria for $10 million but the deal turned sour when Travis refused his part of the deal, but Dexter took the money anyway after killing a woman disguised as Victoria in front of Travis, forcing him hand over the money, fearing that Victoria could be killed, However, Dexter didn't deliver Victoria to Travis.

After infiltrating the Blackwater Park, 47 shot a surveillance camera in the elevator, warning Dexter about his arrival. As Dexter became panicked, Layla assured him that he should leave with Victoria, as she had got what it takes to stop any man.

47, however, killed Layla, and after entering Dexter's panic room, listened to Layla's phone and found out that Dexter was trying to escape on a chopper. 47 finally confronted and killed Dexter, after the latter had decided to blow off the hotel to ensure 47's death. In Dexter's dying words, he offered an apology to his son and his money, leading a disgusted Victoria to throw the $10 million on his body before leaving with 47.


47, before ending the life of Travis

A few months later, Travis and his assistant Jade Nguyen arrived at a cemetery in England with an ICA crew to find Diana's grave as Travis had suspicions that Diana might not be dead. 47 arrived there as well as he recounted the letter Diana gave to him. In the letter, Diana revealed Victoria was created by Travis's funding without the knowledge and approval of the ICA higher ups and tasked him to eliminate Travis. After eliminating Jade and Travis's elite bodyguards,the Praetorians, 47 confronted Travis himself after injuring him in an explosion. As Travis ranted at 47 for wasting Victoria's potential for the ICA, he asked 47 if he really did kill Diana to which 47 responded "You will never know" before shooting Travis with his pistol and ending his life.

Diana, in fact, had survived and Victoria was with her at her mansion where 47 watched them from his scope as Victoria decided to dump her necklace into the river, thus refusing to live the life of a killer.

This revealed that only 47 knew all along he hit Diana with a shot that would not be fatal. Diana sent a message to 47, welcoming him back to the ICA and thanking him for his help. Meanwhile, Detective Cosmo Faulkner of the Chicago PD, who had been tracking 47 since the Terminus Hotel fire, was having trouble discovering 47's identity until Birdie offered to help him for a price.


Hitman: Absolution consists of 20 missions. All of them, except the epilogue, take place in Chicago and fictional town of Hope in South Dakota.



Hope, South Dakota






Hope, South Dakota





For the category, see Hitman: Absolution weapons.


Melee Weapons




Though plans to continue the Hitman franchise were first announced in 2007,[4] it was not until May 2009 that Eidos confirmed the game was in development.[5] Certain plot details for the game were rumored in 2009, stating that the game's story would lead Agent 47 to a low point from which he would have to rebuild himself.[6]

On April 20, 2011 Square Enix filed the trademark for the name Hitman: Absolution in Europe, leading sites to speculate that it would be the name of the fifth Hitman game.[7]

On May 10, 2011 a teaser trailer was released, confirming the title: Hitman Absolution. The short, 27 second trailer, briefly showed Agent 47 attaching a silencer and a rattle snake coiled around his Silverballer pistol. It has been reported the game will be "familiar and yet [a] significantly different experience from other Hitman Games." [8]

Keith Carradine has been hired to play the main villain, Blake Dexter. Marsha Thomason will voice Diana Burnwood, 47's traditional voice actor, David Bateson, was originally replaced, but it was later confirmed that he would be returning to voice 47. Jesper Kyd will not return to compose the soundtrack.

On May 10, 2012 a blog at Barcode Society[1] officially unveiled the release date of Hitman: Absolution as November 20, 2012 and introduced Hitman: Sniper Challenge, a stand-alone Gamestop pre-order bonus for PS3 and Xbox 360.

On May 30, 2012, IOI released E3 2012 trailer, called Attack of The Saints, showing Agent 47 against The Saints, a special team of assassins sent by ICA to kill him. The trailer received criticism for depicting the nuns in a sexual manner, which prompted Tore Blystad to apologize for the problem in an E3 interview.[9]

On August 28, 2012, IO announced that David Bateson, who wasn't scheduled to voice 47 in Absolution, will be returning to the franchise after all.[10]


Hitman Absolution received a positive reception. IGN gave it a 9, with the tagline "Well executed". GameRankings gave it 84.83% on PS3, 79.29% on Xbox 360, and 76.13% on PC. Metacritic gave it 83 on PS3, and 79 each on Xbox 360 and PC, reviewing "An excellent game with an almost Grindhouse film aesthetic to it". IMDb gave the game an 8.8 on 10. Gamespot gave the game a 7.5. Giantbomb gave the game an 8.5. The Official Playstation magazine and Official Xbox magazine gave the game 9 out of 10 and 10 out of 10, respectively. Gamemaster gave the game 90%, the Daily mail gave the game a 4/5 and Edge gave the game 7/10. However, the game also received criticism, where PC gamer gave the game 66%, saying "a passable stealth game, but the one that betrays almost everything that, so far, has made Hitman great".


  • Absolution is the only game in the franchise to take place almost entirely in the continental United States, with only the epilogue taking place out in a different country, namely England.
  • Absolution was released on November 20, 2012, which is the forty-seventh week in the year (a reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).
  • Absolution is the only game in the franchise not to feature Carlton Smith.
  • The game was changed several times during production, with the developers playing around several ideas for the game, such as playable Edward Wade, using 47's tie as a substitute for fibber wire and allowing players to use a rocket launcher. More info about the game's development phases can be found on the (currently) Apple exclusive app Hitman: Absolution Full Disclosure. The apps content can also be found here.
  • In the intro from the HD Enhanced Collection, the Square Enix logo is replaced with the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment logo, as WB Games published the enhanced port.
    • This was later replaced with the WB Games logo in a patch.
  • Despite the game's largely positive reviews, it is regarded by most fans of the series as the worst Hitman game.




See also

  1. Achievements
  2. Easter Eggs
  3. Glitches


External links

Missions in Hitman: Absolution
Prologue A Personal Contract
Chicago The King of Chinatown - Terminus - Run For Your Life - Hunter and Hunted - Rosewood
Hope, South Dakota Welcome to Hope - Birdie's Gift - Shaving Lenny - End of the Road - Dexter Industries - Death Factory - Fight Night - Attack of the Saints - Skurky's Law - Operation Sledgehammer
Chicago One of a Kind - Blackwater Park - Countdown
Epilogue Absolution
Media of the Hitman series
Main Games Hitman: Codename 47 - Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - Hitman: Contracts - Hitman: Blood Money - Hitman: Absolution - HITMAN™ - HITMAN™ 2 - HITMAN™ III
Other Games Hitman 2 Christmas Game - Hitman: Vegas - Hitman: Sniper Challenge - Hitman: Sniper - Hitman GO - HITMAN™ 2: Sniper Assassin - Hitman Sniper: The Shadows
Literature Hitman: Enemy Within - Hitman: Damnation - Overachievers - Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman
Films Hitman (2007) - Hitman: Agent 47