Version Tested: PC
Available On: PC, PS4, PS Vita
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Official Site: Hitman.com
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Hitman GO takes it’s mobile-based gameplay and blows it up to a bigger screen, and it all works great. Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is an improvement in almost every way, while still being true to the original from 2014 and the source material from the Hitman series. It’s a beautiful game that just simply works, in every way.
Agent 47 has a long-standing relationship and history with gamers, he is arguably one of the first stealth-action heroes in the newer generation of consoles. The slick maneuvering and dressed hitman has been around the world numerous times, sniping and snapping necks like it’s his job… oh wait it is! Hitman GO is no exception, though it’s new and unique take on the stealth gameplay is an amazingly fresh feel I loved from start to finish.
Hitman GO was a mobile game released by Square Enix Montreal in 2014, winning a number of awards and being recognized as a top iOS game that year. Enix’s follow-up title Lara Croft GO from 2015 did just as well commercially and critically. The Definitive Edition of this game expands the world for players to enjoy more levels and puzzles to tackle, nothing mind blowing, but in a game like this more is always better.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition drops players in the shoes of Agent 47 once again, this time, the world is laid out in a board game-esc design. As the Hitman, you have a set path you can travel on, while your enemies also take their own turn moving or turning on their paths. It plays very much like a board game, a turn-based strategy that calls for concentration and thought out moves every step of the way. Every move you make with your Agent 47 piece matters. In some of the later stages you take anywhere from 30-50 moves to “sneak” your way to the exit or your target kill, one misstep could cause you to fail the whole stage.
That almost sounds like a downside, but it’s really the brilliance of the gameplay and slick level design. Whether it be Stage 1-3 or Stage 5-12, they’re all so well thought out and designed. Your goal in each stage is to collect a briefcase (optional objective), and get to the exit or take out your target. The simple-yet-complex layout of each stage hides their complex puzzles, there’s more than meets the eye most times.
Each stage has its own version of a 3-star “rating system” based on how many turns you take to complete it, and if you complete it a particular way. This is normally a mobile game approach that honestly annoys me and turns me off, but here, it’s different. The elegance of the stages and puzzles urged me to tackle each one again and again. While there’s only really one way to escape or execute each stage, even though I replaying most levels to gain extra stamps/stars, they still felt fresh. I knew I had only one way to beat the stage, but my tactic had to change based on which objective I was attempting to complete.
One of the first things I noticed when playing the original Hitman GO and especially the Definitive Edition, was how amazing the game looks. The developers somehow managed to take a simplified board game aesthetic and make it rich and beautiful. The lighting makes the daytime and brighter levels pop while the nightscapes are dark, dreary and perfectly rendered. It looked great on a mobile screen and looks fantastic on a larger screen. The aesthetic and design of the game are just excellent, even the simple board game-esc sound effects and slow but wonderful music really hits the spot. Most levels I’d begin by dragging around the diorama laid out in front of me, just to see the fine touches Square Enix had placed on the board. From a wedding scene, to cult groups on a balcony, and even a beautiful theater stage, each and every stage has its own character and mini story to go along with it.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is a simple game with a ton of complexity under the hood. At a low price, there’s no reason not to pick it up. Yes, the original Hitman GO was a mobile game, but the Definitive Edition bring more than enough to the (board game) table to grab it for your console or PC.
- Gameplay: Simple click-and-drag, turn-based puzzles that can be mind-bending and very challenging at times
- Graphics: More simplicity, but it all works. Aesthetic of a board game, pieces, diorama and all
- Sound: A quiet game with subtle sounds of board game pieces and methodical music in the background
- Presentation: An overall beautiful game that uses its clean gameplay and aesthetic to its advantage from the beginning
- beautiful design and style
- the game allows yu to learn on the fly and from your mistakes
- simple, yet amazing sound and music
- well designed and thought out stages
- each stage tells its own silent story and brings you into the world
- limited story being told overall
- only one way to the end of each stage, a variety of choices limited unlike regular Hitman games