Game: Hitman Go
Platform on which it was played: IOS
Score: 7/10 – Square Enix have done the unthinkable and meshed two drastically different game-play styles, to deliver a superb example of what a developer can achieve when they ignore criticism, negativity and instead focus entirely on creating a radical and refreshing gaming experience.
Price Paid: £3.99
My finger glides across the screen as I direct Hitman to attack a patrolling guard, the screen stutters slightly as 47 slides into a previously occupied space; no blood hits the screen, no gunfire is heard and no tightening of wire takes place, the piece is simply replaced and game-play continues, this begins a three-hour marathon of pieces sliding into occupied spaces and expletives replacing the majority of adjectives in my vocabulary.
Hitman Go is a turn-based puzzle game in which, you move Agent 47 around a small playing arena while trying to avoid multiple threats, picking up objects and , ultimately, assassinating the target.
Hitman Go began life on IOS and Android in 2014 as a relatively small release based on a popular and unique IP.
The game was then developed into a ‘definitive edition’ for release on Playstation 4.
Hitman Go has no discernible narrative and the majority of enjoyment of the game comes from the strategic approach and patience which a player must employ to complete each mission.
Each mission is an intricate puzzle which will task your assassination and concentration skills to their limit.
HG pulls no punches once you have completed the limited tutorial level(s).
Constantly developing your method and continually adapting your strategy is the only way you can hope to succeed in Hitman Go.
The enemies follow a set route that can be observed and planned for ahead of time, this method will only get you so far as the game progresses, more and more enemies appear on-screen and the task of being able to memorize their patterns becomes a Herculean task.
Every move matters and the smallest mistake can throw a level’s success out of the proverbial window.
Each mission can be achieved merely by reaching the end space – which is denoted by small arrows surrounding a circular space – but for anyone adventurous and competitive enough, there are other objectives throughout the level such as; collecting briefcases, collecting weapons and eliminating the target with the weapon and finally, completing each mission in a set number of turns.
Completing any of the ‘special conditions’ will contribute to the rating you receive for completing each mission.
Ratings are displayed as ICA insignia icons, there are three to collect on most levels and they allow you to unlock levels in order to progress through the game.
If you happen to struggle to achieve a full 3-sign rating on one play-through, the game allows you to replay any of the levels which you have already completed.
Simplistic in presentation, HG’s re-playability and allure come from the fact that, you must be constantly be on your toes and always thinking about the next four moves that the AI may or may not make.
Graphically HG ticks every box one could think of; well textured – check, appropriately coloured – check, adequately distributed lighting – check, and simple yet identifiable character and level design – check.
HG isn’t about to make any waves with it’s presentation but for what it supplies, it doesn’t disappoint.
Music and Sound Effects
I tried playing the game with the sound on for the first hour but the repetition of grunts, growls and *clops* as pieces were moved across the playing area and interacted with one-another, just became tedious to the point of coma inducing.
The score doesn’t hold up to the series standard and it is obvious that the team behind HG do not fully understand what makes ‘Hitman‘ such a loved series of games, it is – at best – clumsy and irregular and never quite ‘fits’ into the overall experience.
A turn-based Hitman game was never a concept I thought would be actioned especially not in such a way that would force me to re-think how I feel about turn-based games as an idea.
Hitman Go combines video-gaming and board gaming into a holy union of finesse, beauty and simplicity.
If you can forgive slight glitches and a poor score then you will be sliding and slashing your way to contract completion before you can say, Merces Letifer…