Hitman: Absolution

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Hitman: Absolution Game Poster Image
Extremely violent game about being a cold-blooded assassin.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 29 reviews

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational value

Hitman: Absolution wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

 
Positive messages

The game is about a cold-blooded hitman who knocks off multiple targets in a number of graphic ways. It doesn't have a positive message at all. The game also introduces a Contracts mode, where online gamers can create and share their own custom assassination challenges. You are penalized for killing regular civilians, though.

Positive role models & representations

Agent 47 is a killer for hire. He can stalk his target, creep up to discretely slice or strangle his neck, or use weapons, such as guns, to assassinate adversaries. But he can kill police officers, too. Compared to other Hitman games, we do learn a bit more about the bald-headed and sharp-dressed killer (who can use different disguises to remain undetected), but the bottom line is he kills without mercy for money.

 

 

 

Ease of play

Hitman: Absolution isn't difficult to control, but prior knowledge of past games will help. On the console versions, Agent 47's movements are controlled with an analog stick, the camera controlled with the other stick, and the face and shoulder buttons for combat.

 

 

 

Violence

Hitman: Absolution is an extremely violent action/adventure hybrid. Played from mostly a third-person perspective, but also first-person at times, you'll use a number of different guns, knives, and explosives (and your bare hands) to snuff out targets. Occasional slow-motion attacks dramatize the action. You can acquire a sniper rifle and take out targets with "head shots" or by activating a mode that lets you tag targets with time standing still and then you'll see each character bite the bullet once you resume the action. Large amounts of blood, body parts, and "gibbed" flesh can be seen in some cut-scene sequences -- including dead and bloody nuns in one instance.

Sex

The game has some partial nudity, including dancers on poles at a strip club and sitting on men for lap dances -- some of them are wearing pasties. Another scene has a woman in the shower and you see her bare buttocks through the steam, and in another part of the game, a women undressing for Agent 47. The dialogue is somewhat sexual in nature, too.

Language

The game has some very strong profanity, including "c--ksucker," "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," p----y," "bitch," "ass," "son of a bitch," and other words and phrases.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Some scenes have characters who are doing illicit drugs, including snorting cocaine off a coffee table and inhaling smoke from a tall bong with marijuana plants nearby. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is called Hitman: Absolution for a reason: You play as a deadly assassin who must kill a number of human targets in a realistic way. In some cases, you'll use stealth to sneak up and strangle, while at other times you'll use weapons (primarily guns and bombs) to destroy targets. There is a lot of blood and some gore. Parents should also know there is partial nudity, strong profanity, and scenes with characters ingesting narcotic drugs. 

User Reviews

Parent Written byrobert2111 October 7, 2013

12+

Hi parents, The other day my son asked me for Hitman Absolution so I looked it up on this site. I never read the normal review by CSM I go straight to the paren...
Parent Written byMaaah July 28, 2013

the best of the best

THE BEST HITMAN EVERY.
Teen, 13 years old Written byUndercover_Goat December 12, 2012

Hitman: Absolution, a more accurate picture

So, I am already a proud owner of the game, and was curious to see Common Sense's thoughts. Their description of the game was rather odd, describing the di...
Teen, 15 years old Written bylasercorn December 6, 2012

PARENTS, READ!

This game may be violent, and parents may think, "oh, you cant get it! its rated M, and common sense media says not for kids". well, thats not true. a...

What's it about?

As with other Hitman games from IO Interactive, HITMAN: ABSOLUTION follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin who must first kill Diana Burnwood, his former employer and friend. But the tale is largely about a major conspiracy -- that you find yourself in the middle of -- and you must uncover throughout various missions. As with the past four games in the series, you're a contract killer who receives targets to hit throughout the course of the single-player game. You can approach the level in various ways -- through stealth or guns a blazin' to get the jobs done (and then hide the bodies). Much of the game is played from a third-person view as you take out targets with guns, explosives or your bare hands, but there are some first-person sequences, too. The game introduces an asynchronous Contracts mode, where gamers can choose level, targets, and weapons in the solo campaign and then challenge online friends to complete the contract with specific rules.

Is it any good?

Hitman: Absolution is a good B+ grade game that has a lot going for it. Along with open-ended environments to let you approach the task at hand how you like (which also adds to the game's replayability), Hitman: Absolution also has the best story in the franchise so far, slick high-definition graphics thanks to IO Interactive's proprietary GLACIER 2 technology, and the unique online mode that lets you create game challenges for friends (those who complete a contract get in-game currency to buy weapons, disguises, upgrades, and more).

But the game has a frustrating checkpoint system that results in having to replay large areas of a game again to get back to the point where you perished. The artificial intelligence (A.I.) is also spotty, as enemies don't always shoot in your direction (which hurts the suspension of disbelief). But overall, while very mature, Hitman: Absolution is a lot of fun -- in a guilty pleasure kind of way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of being the bad guy. Instead of being the hero, this game puts you in the role you'd never take on in real life. Why is that appealing?

  • Families can also talk about the impact of violence in this game. How does it make you feel when you play?

Game details

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