I love the Hitman franchise. I remember working at Gamestop when Codename 47 was released. I remember as a store manager going to Texas for a conference and having the pleasure of having a first look at Hitman 2 from the developers and being the only person in the room who knew 47's name. Which is 47 by the way. I have my work keys attached to a Hitman Contracts lanyard and a picture of 47 on my employee drawer to signify it's my stuff. I love the Hitman franchise. In preparation for Hitman Absolution's release I decided to replay the previous games in the franchise starting with Hitman 2. I've finished Hitman 2, Contracts and am still working to get through Blood Money and yet I still want to play more. Heck, I even love and own the Hitman movie! I love the Hitman franchise.
PCGamer review of Hitman. Of course being a fanboy my knee jerk reaction was to believe the review has lost his marbles and has no idea what the heck he's talking about. Seeing a game I am super excited to play get a 66 was bothersome to me. Once I was able to calm down and think clearly I decided to re-read the review. The review itself is not bad and it was informative, however, it's clear from the beginning based on his admission to loving Blood Money that he was just looking for more of the same in Absolution.
If you were to believe this review you would think the game is complete rubbish, but a quick check of Metacritic shows that not to be the case. Just from browsing some of the reviews it would appear that the mixed reviews tend to dislike the change in direction of Hitman and what I found even more interesting is the ratio of positive to mixed reviews is lowest for the PC version. That could very well change as the week goes on, but I can't help thinking that PC gamers are much more resistant to change than our console brethren. Just a thought.
The whole thing reminds me of when Splinter Cell Conviction was released and the outcry of fans who felt Ubisoft has killed off the series with it's new direction towards a more action oriented gameplay. I too felt the same way about Conviction. Double Agent, a game all about stealth first and only stealth is one of my favorite games so how could they do that to Conviction! Then I bought and played Conviction and absolutely fell in love with the game.
The strength of previous Splinter Cell games was it's stealth gameplay, that's what the series was known for really. But Conviction's ability to balance the stealth with action made the game far less punishing to the player if they didn't stealth through an entire level. Sure a pure stealth or silent assassin run through a level is far more rewarding that just going through guns blazing, but Conviction was able to mix both and still be a rewarding experience.
To be honest I knew I wanted to buy Hitman, but it wasn't till I saw the Conan O'Brien bit on Youtube that I knew I had to preorder the game. After seeing that video and knowing the reaction from reviews I get the feeling I will have the same reaction to Hitman as I did with Conviction. That's my hope at least.
In the end I guess all that matters is what I think of the game and to not let the negative views taint my experience with the new Hitman.