Replayability has become a huge selling point for video games. Gamers want the opportunity in every new title to replay the main story with different choices and outcomes. But replayability has begun to be marketed as difficulty settings, online gameplay, or really anything at all. Every game wants the approval of replaybility because when reviewing a game it’s become as important as graphics and story. A game needs a whole list of different features before I can actually find myself replaying it, and Hitman: Absolution has them.
First off Hitman: Absolution has different difficulty settings. But unlike other games where a harder difficulty just means stronger enemies Hitman changes compeletely. The AI are not just stronger but way smarter, and sneaking through levels becomes much harder. The player also doesn’t get the benefit of hints, loses some abilities, other abilities don’t recharge, weapons have less ammo, and the player is rewarded and penalized more points. Honestly it’s rare for a game’s difficulty to really matter much to experienced gamers, but in Hitman: Absolution I don’t think I could get past the first level on the hardest difficulty. It’s difficulty settings make it so you could replay the game exactly the same and have a totally different experience.
Another way Hitman: Absolution offers replayability is through the dynamic levels. Every level there is a target or targets that the player has to assassinate. But there are so many different ways to get the job done that you could replay the game ten times over and still kill targets in play every level differently. There’s so many different ways to lure the target or his guards to certain areas, so many ways to sneak through the map, so many weapons to find that levels can be completed using some imagination. And if it’s too hard you can just run in guns a blazing, at a huge point penalty of course. Lots of games market replayable levels, but Hitman actually delivers on this promise.
Contracts are another awesome way that Hitman offers replayability. Contracts are player made objectives that other players online can play. Basically a Contract takes a level and lets you make your own mission within it. You pick a target or targets and other players have to find unique ways to assassinate them. It adds another level or replayability to the original story’s levels. While I was playing through different contracts here and there I discovered whole parts of the map that I had never been, because that’s not the direction I went to assassinate my original target. The coolest part is it’s user run, so you and your friends can try to stump each other with challenging assassinations.
Hitman: Absolution didn’t have to do much to get the title of real replayability. All they did was make a game that’s actually fun to go back through. It’s not fun for gamers to go back through all the levels of a story to pick up some small collectible. That’s not real replayability. Neither is different difficulty settings that barely change the game. So reviewers, before you start approving of games because they have replayability take a look at Hitman: Absolution, a game with real replayability.