We live in a time right now when we have everything at our fingertips – information, friendships and of course, video games. In amongst the sickeningly colourful worlds of Candy Crush and Angry Birds, a new title has emerged and taken mobile gaming in a new direction – Hitman GO.
Now I can honestly say I have never played a Hitman game – unless of course you count the first 5 minutes of Hitman Blood Money – so this review is coming from a completely impartial perspective. I have, however, played similar mobile games that have spun off from successful franchises such as Lara Croft Relic Run, and in-between the game demanding you cough up the dough to progress, I have to say mobile gaming is pretty fun!
Developed by Square Enix Montreal – their first game – Hitman GO is a new pick-up-and-play title in the Hitman series which takes the antics of Agent 47 in a new direction. Playing more like a game of chess than the stealthy crime drama players are used to, Hitman GO puts the player quite literally on the game board and lets them plan their approach through the use of turn-based gameplay.
In a style coined from traditional board games, and later utilised in gaming titles such as Metal Gear Ac!d, Hitman GO allows players to move or attack on their turn as they work on completing the goals. Each level has 3 objectives to complete, ranging from collecting a briefcase, to avoiding all enemies and (perhaps hardest) completing the level in a set amount of moves! All in all, finishing this game with all objectives is going to be something next level that only the toughest puzzle solvers will achieve!
Played out on a fancy looking wooden board, the game puts players in control of a small Agent 47 figurine whose job it is to slide his way to the exit. Constrained to move only on certain paths through the level, Agent 47 is challenged by enemy figurines who will try and slide in his way to knock him over. When you move, they move, so you have to time your movements carefully to ensure you take them out without getting taken out yourself. Watch their patrols carefully to make sure you can anticipate their next moves!
Or you could just avoid them and get to the exit – that’s the beauty of this game. In the style of stealth classics such as Metal gear Solid, sometimes sneaking past the enemy is the best way to win. Also in true espionage fashion, the player can throw rocks and other projectiles to gain an enemies attention and force them to change their usual route!
Pros & Cons
Unlike previous entries in the series, Hitman GO is essentially just a game of chess with a red tie. But this isn’t a bad thing – the game plays as a series of small levels that the player has to complete and provides ample replay value as, in typical mobile gaming style, you have to go back into each level to finish all 3 objectives in order to get 100%! Prepare to become VERY frustrated, but at least you’ll get your moneys worth! The game provides a challenging experience and forces the player to use logic and cunning as they navigate the levels. You’ll need to play each level several times in order to get your strategy down, but that’s half the fun, right?
And that leads me onto the one major problem I encountered – the camera angles! Initially starting in an isometric view, you can use the right analogue stick to rotate the camera and explore the level from different angles. However, it isn’t all cut and dry. Being able to move only in the X and Z axis and ONLY along the set paths in the level means that, should the angle be off slightly, pressing a directional button can result in you moving in a different direction than you intended!
And let’s not forget this is PS4 and that means one thing – TROPHIES! The list isn’t extensive and it can certainly be knocked out in a couple of sittings, but it provides yet another challenge to those players already storming ahead with the standard objectives. Roll on the next Platinum!
Summing up, Hitman GO is a fun, challenging puzzle game that will give you plenty of game play and tonnes of replay value. Get your head around the fiddly camera angles and before long you’ll be a grand master of the board! Not only that, but you can take advantage of the cross play feature to put your game save onto the Vita for true mobile gaming – which is ultimately where this game came from and where I feel it belongs.
It’s not the most ambitious PS4 title but for a title that you can just pick up and play, it’ll do the job nicely. Yes, it can be frustrating and at times downright maddening, but for a fun puzzle it serves its purpose well and I for one will certainly be tearing my hair out in order to finish it!