Published on June 5th, 2014 | by JC Richardson2
Hitman GO Review
Square Enix Montreal have stripped the beloved Hitman franchise down to its very essence, and the result is a cunning mixture of logic and extreme violence…
If your usual method of playing the Hitman games is to plough through the opposition, dual ‘Ballers drawn, leaving a pile of bodies and a crowd of witnesses, then you’re really going to struggle with Hitman GO. This is strictly for the strategists, those of you who painstakingly go for the Silent Assassin rating, rather than Mass Murderer. That’s not to say No.47 isn’t a badass any more, in fact there’s a ‘kill everyone on the level’ award in some cases, but the real accolades go to the thinkers and planners here.
47’s moves are strictly regulated on the rather gorgeous game boards that represent the stages of the contract. It’s a stylish interface, clean and minimalist, and perfectly in keeping with the cold killer logic you’ll need if you’re going to survive. Agent 47 and his enemies are rendered in neat models on stands, and topple satisfyingly when you eradicate them. Enemy moves are also tightly controlled on the board, and because they move in predictable ways, you can think ahead and bump them off the board when needed. You’ll also score highly if you avoid ‘taking’ opposition pieces too, and it pays to try different approaches to get the most out of this.
It’s these tight restrictions on movement that take a little of the fun away from Hitman GO, unfortunately. There’s no way to pass a turn, so you’re constantly forced into making a move when you really want to hide and wait, and this can be a little frustrating. In fairness, this does add to the pressure and makes for a tougher game overall, but Hitman purists might not agree on the ethic.
Fans will appreciate that Agent 47’s favourite toys are back, including the sniper rifle, multiple disguises and the ubiquitous Silverballers, but you’ll need a lot of patience before getting any of the goodies – you’re relying entirely on your wits for the early stages, and being armed only increases the strategy level.
Hitman GO is something new and challenging, and it comes at a respectable price: the only IAPs are to unlock levels instantly, rather than playing them in order. Further levels are promised too, so its good to see that Squeenix Montreal are in this for the long game.
Summary: Hitman GO captures the essential strategy of the franchise, and is perfectly elegant in its execution. It's fresh, well packaged and a must for puzzle fans.