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Game Review: Hitman: Absolution

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December 19, 2012

Spoil a party from long range

Spoil a party from long range

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April 8, 2009 Zero Motorcycles was a surprise hit in 2008, selling out its stock of 'X' battery-electric motocross bikes much faster than expected and proving in the process that customers are well and truly ready to slap down the dollars for a quality electric off-roader. Now the company has announced the Zero S - a street-legal electric supermotard capable of 60mph and with a 60-mile range off a full 4-hour battery charge. At under US$10,000 - before you get your 10% Federal plug-in vehicle credit - the Zero S joins the Vectrix electric maxi-scooter in the list of truly practical electric bikes capable of freeway speeds. And with a power-to-weight ratio almost identical to Suzuki's DR-Z400SM, it should be a bag of laughs to ride. If consumers liked the X, we reckon they'll go crazy to be the first on the block to ride this street-legal, lean, green giggle machine.

Technology is finally beginning to catch up with the demands of the market in electric vehicles - and the Zero S is a great example of how. Its maximum range of 60 miles and max speed of 60mph are more than enough for the average daily commute - and if you plug it in at the office, you've got plenty of extra power to play with. It's still pretty limited as a weekend thrasher, but every other day there's a new advancement in battery technology - we're sure we'll see a 300-mile bike with a burn-your-license top speed before too long.

Like all electrics, it costs next to nothing to recharge, working out at less than a cent's worth of electricity per mile - and the savings keep building as your petrol-powered bikes need servicing and the Zero S simply doesn't.

The S might only make 31 horsepower, but then it only has to pull a tiny 225 pounds (102.1kg) dripping wet. Except, of course, it's not wet, there's no petrol or coolant or oil to speak of - meaning that maintenance is pretty much limited to looking after the brakes, tires and chain. By comparison, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM makes a claimed 40hp, but hauls 132kg before fuel and fluids are added. The power to weight ratios are almost identical (0.3030hp/kg vs. 0.3024hp/kg).

The DR-Z might not be the craziest street supermoto going around, but it's still a great fun bike to ride - and the Zero S can pump out its full torque from idle, so the low end response should be excellent. The handling should also be beaut - everything has been kept so light that it should be a most flickable beast.

The Zero-S will start shipping in May, but pre-orders are being taken now at the Zero Motorcycles website. The price is USD$9950, with an extra $500 if you want it shipped directly to your door. With the US Federal plug-in vehicle credit of 10%, that comes down to less than US$9 grand - only around 2 1/2 grand more than a DR-Z. Starting to make sense, isn't it?

Check out the video below to see the Zero S in action.

Loz Blain

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2 Comments

I totally disagree with a bunch of your points. Of all the Hitman games (as I have played them all while growing up), this one had one of the most dynamic plots, as you learn that 47 is not just a contract killer. The plot has that witty B-movie grit to it because it is a game that is able to laugh at itself at times, with tons of little easter eggs for hardcore fans.

When you commented on the fact that you will kill everyone, that is simply not true. As it says directly in the loading screen "the mark of a true assassin is one who leaves the world around him seemingly untouched." In the old games you could choose to load-out sleeping syringes, but with the lack of that in this game, you are encouraged (if you want the top score) to take out anyone who isn't your target through just knocking them out cold.

Not that I disagree with everything, I just think that you overlooked some main stuff. I had a few gripes myself, but overall, it's one of the first games in a while where I've gone back and already played through it two more times, before I have even touched "Contract" mode.

thegodawfulcynic
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

Thanks for the feedback.

On the issue of plot I think it is very much a matter of personal preference, but I felt the stages didn't hang together very well and the narrative seemed at times to be a clumsy bridge between missions. The Chinatown hit is a key example, as it sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't contribute anything significant to the core narrative and its development. Still I agree the story is probably better than previous games.

Re the issue of being able to kill everyone I do not say the game forces you to do this. You CAN kill everyone, but I make it clear this is certainly not the only way of going about the game. It is optional and like you I agree that you get more out of the game by taking the stealthier more creative paths on offer when pursuing a "hit". I state this in the review too.

"Absolution really encourages you to be creative and the more stealthy and creative you are, the greater the reward in terms of points and unlockable game rewards."

Thanks for the feedback though.

How do you think Absolution stacks up when compared to Assassin's Creed 3?

Steve Polak
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)
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