A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, investigation, problem solving
Self-Direction: achieving goals, time management, work to achieve goals
Creativity: developing novel solutions
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: November 20, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.