Review: Hitman GO
After obsessing over the game on my phone, Hitman GO became my go-to example for how to create a mobile spin-off of an established AAA franchise. Instead of feeling like a cheap cash-grab Hitman GO works perfectly for gaming in small chunks on the road, plays well on phones, and simplifies what Hitman is all about without losing its ‘soul’. The Definitive Edition recently released on PS4 and Vita includes the DLC present in the iOS/Android/Windows Phone versions and continues to be just as great whether you’re on the go or playing on the big screen.
Hitman GO takes place on a series of boards that are sectioned off into their own uniquely styled board games. Each board is finely detailed and the minimalist character pieces work perfectly as board game pieces. There’s a lot of attention to detail that makes it easy to appreciate how much this game looks like an actual board game.
In each stage the goal is simply to reach the extraction point or take out a specified target. To do this you’ll move Agent 47 up, down, left, or right as you navigate various pre-made pathways. With each move you make other pieces on the board will also react. Some pieces will patrol specified areas while others will remain motionless until they spot something suspicious. There are trap doors you can interact with, disguises to wear, throw-able objects to use as distraction, and a number of other things in the environment that can prove useful. Across seven chapters Hitman GO continuously introduces new mechanics that keep puzzles interesting.
Unlocking these chapters requires you to complete a specific number of side-challenges. These side-challenges are completed by collecting the briefcase in a level, finishing in a set number of turns, killing all enemies, as well as a few others. Earning all three side-challenges per level typically requires a second playthrough which usually leads to slightly different solutions. Finishing a level without any kills can actually really change up the approach to a level.
Hitman GO worked so well on phones because the act of sliding your finger across the screen to move a game piece just made sense. It’s simple and it worked. Those same controls work great on a D-Pad or analog stick. The only minor nitpick I have with the game comes in a small handful of situations. There are some boards where the camera orientation will change depending upon where your game piece is. This mid-level shift impacts what direction you need to press and on a couple rare occasions caused me to screw up. That alone is my only (very) minor complaint and it happened so rarely that it’s incredibly easy to overlook.
Hitman GO is fantastic no matter what platform you choose to play it on. Unlike some other games it actually understands what Hitman is about and stays true to that formula while giving us something unique.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Great visuals that make Hitman GO feel like a board game x diorama
- Boils down Hitman to its core
- Fun/interesting puzzles
- Consistently introduces new concepts until the very end
What I Dislike:
- Very rare mid-level camera swings cause some confusion with movement controls