Like many of you out there, mobile games aren't quite my forte. While a lot of gamers look down on phone games and refuse to even acknowledge their existence, some of us just do not want to help our phone’s battery deplete any faster than it already does. I fall into the latter group. Most days, I am happy to make it home with any battery life to speak of, so the thought of playing anything that speeds up that process throughout the day — while tempting — is just not in the cards for me. Hitman GO was one of the few mobile titles that really sounded appealing to me, but I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger and purchase it. Thankfully, the folks at Square Enix Montreal have brought this mobile gem to not only the PlayStation 4, but the Vita as well. Offering up enhanced visuals, great pacing, and trophies, Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is a satisfying solution for those of us who wish to spare our cell phone batteries for a few more hours.
Title: Hitman GO: Definitive Edition
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed) / Vita / PC / iOS / Android
Price: $7.99 (PS4/VIta Crossbuy)
Hitman GO is a chess style strategy game that tasks players with navigating their way through a board filled with various guards in the hopes of eventually reaching a goal point. The game features a total of seven boards: five standard boards consisting of 15 levels each (two of which require you to take down a target), and two themed-boards designed around hits from a couple of the mainline Hitman games. These themed-boards contain eight intricately designed levels. Unfortunately, I have not played many of the past Hitman games, so the content they are based is lost on me.
Gameplay is very straightforward. Players navigate an Agent 47 pawn through a maze of security guards in order to reach a goal point to proceed. This goal point is usually just a goal, however, each standard board features at least two levels that replace the goal with a target. These targets do not move, but they’re typically surrounded by a lot of guards which you need to either slip past or take down in order to reach them. This is achieved by learning each guard’s movement pattern and using objects in the environment, which can range from an empty can to a sniper rifle, to clear a path to your intended target. Fans of the franchise may be disappointed that the series’ signature open-ended gameplay is not present here; there are not multiple paths to eliminating these targets or different ways to pull off the hit.
To keep the game fresh and compelling, new objects and enemies are constantly being introduced throughout the game. A board that starts with only a standard guard and an empty soda can to distract him, ends with at least eight enemy variants — ranging from snipers to riot shield guards — and a plethora of ways to either sneak past or eliminate them, including Agent 47’s classic dual pistols and costumes to help blend in to complete your objective. Along with a constant flow of new enemies and ways to subdue them, levels also feature three challenges that range from not killing anyone to completing a level in a limited number of turns. These challenges encourage the use of the restart button as players search for new paths and strategies to reduce the amount of turns needed to finish a level.
After taking a look at some older Hitman GO videos on YouTube to get a feel for the visuals, I can say this version has earned its Definitive Edition branding. Graphics are crisp and load times are minimal, whether it is loading up a level or hitting square to reset the current board to tackle a different challenge. Players typically have a birds-eye view of the board, but you may find yourself adjusting the camera frequently as some of the default angles make it hard to see enemies in a corner or whether or not you can move to a space. The camera can be rotated with the right stick, but it’s on a limited axis and, unfortunately, there were a few levels that had bad camera angles throughout. I also found myself accidentally moving the wrong way on occasion if the camera angle wasn’t directly overhead.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition packs a hair over 90 puzzles and trophies (including a platinum!) into this handsomely priced console version of the game. Players expecting a tried-and-true Hitman experience may be disappointed in the lack of options when playing a level with a target to assassinate, but it’s a minor beef in the grand scheme of things as the game’s excellent design shines through. Players knowing what to expect from this game will be pleased with the graphical upgrades and the steady stream of new obstacles to overcome. Despite the occasionally clumsy camera angles, Hitman GO is sure to keep players engaged as they progress through everything the game has to offer.
Hitman Go: Definitive Edition was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 code graciously provided by our friends at Square Enix Montreal
- Comfortable flow of progression
- Reset option is almost instant
- Great level design
- Clunky camera
- Only one way to kill targets