In the past, I've been tepid on the Hitman series, partially because of the inconsistent gameplay rules about stealth and partly because of the rather cardboard stories and characters. Hitman Absolution is definitely an improvement but still falls into a couple of the series pitfalls.
I guess I'm just the kind of person who can't connect to Agent 47... ever. Unlike the protagonists in other stealth action games, 47 just completes missions that someone tells him to do regardless of their validity. Case in point, the opening of Absolution. Agent 47 is tasked by the Agency (who he never seems to get along with anyway, but still works for) to kill his old handler (who saved his life and who he feels personally indebted to) for reasons they won't elaborate on (because their shady characters, as they've always been). So 47 goes to her villa and shoots her, then decides it's a good time to have a chat while she's bleeding to death to find out why the Agency wanted her killed. He then takes up her crusade, since she's now indisposed on account of that bleeding to death thing, to save a girl with mysterious powers from the Agency and a bunch of other people. It's like if Corvo Attano had actually killed the Empress in Dishonored and then vowed to avenged her death. But I digress...
The gameplay itself works much more organically than previous titles and you get plenty of options to deal with your targets. However, some of the quirks in the controls and the occassional quicktime events seem to diminish your in-game experience. And, still, your rules on staying stealthy are questionable.
The game looks great and offers a contracts mode for players to challenge each other on efficiency. There's plenty of replay value to complete all the challenges in each mission as well. Did I mention there's a chipmunk outfit?
There's a lot of good stuff in Absolution and the series has definitely stepped into the modern age. It still needs work to become a perfect stealth game, though.
good story nice environments. You can play stealthy for a high score or just kill them all for fun its up to you with lvl select you can replay your favorite lvls many times many ways. many many hours of gameplay here.