Hitman: Absolution is two games in one -- a disappointing sequel to its predecessor, Blood Money, and a flawed but enjoyable murder simulator in its own right. Batman has his gadgets. Corvo has his magic. Agent 47 can kill you six different ways with nothing but his iconic red tie, and leave without anyone ever realizing. It's just a shame that the ultimate predator himself has to fall prey to his creators' thirst for mainstream appeal, in an overly cinematic adventure tied down by how much more it could have been.
At its best, Hitman: Absolution goes like this. Agent 47 isn't just a killer, he's a professional -- a silent assassin from the shine on his head to the genetically engineered code in his bones. An amateur might take out a target with a gun in each hand, one bullet spent on every problem. The professional, he waits. Observes. Spots the few seconds where a loop of wire around a convenient neck can replace his trusty black suit with newly pre-owned janitor's overalls. Disguised, he walks past the guards -- even past the target puffing on a disappointing last cigarette. In the target's office, a little rat poison borrowed from the kitchen spices up a tasty chicken baguette. By the time anyone notices, it's too late -- the professional, of course, is long gone, leaving nothing but rumor in his wake.