Stealth across the board.
Mobile spin-offs of popular videogames do have a tendency to be disappointing. Players will generally pick them up, hoping for a portable version of their much loved series, only to end up with something lacklustre and unimpressive. However, Square Enix did something pretty amazing with the mobile Hitman spin-off – they managed to make a damn good game. Hitman GO offered not just the fans of the series, but also the more casual mobile audience, a fairly authentic experience that just happened to be translated into a puzzle game.
Congratulations to Square Enix for this accomplishment, but the publisher didn’t stop there. Following on from the success of their mobile Hitman experience, Square Enix set to work to bring the game to the PS4 and Vita in a cross-buy, cross-play format. Again, mobile games don’t always make the transition to console successfully. And again, Square Enix have managed to pull it off with Hitman GO: Definitive Edition.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition not only gives gamers a chance to dust off their Vita for some very suitable puzzle playing action, but also manages to pack in all of the DLC for the mobile game, resulting in a substantial package for puzzle or Hitman fans. Other changes over the mobile title include an improvement in the visuals, although the game looked good anyway, and the option to either use the traditional touch controls, either through the Vita touchscreen or the PS4 controllers touch pad, or a more console friendly controller scheme. Either way, they both work well. There is also trophy support to encourage players, as you would expect.
Outside of this, anyone who has played the mobile title will know exactly what to expect – beautiful dioramas and boardgame like turn-based gameplay. The dioramas really are a stand out feature of the game. Each level is set on one of these dioramas depicting an area through which Agent 47 must move undetected. Guards, bystanders and even the main character are represented by little statues and the player and AI take their turns simultaneously. This means that while the player has all the time in the world to decide their next move, once they execute their move, the guards will also. Moving through a level undetected will mean watching the guards patrol route and timing or moving accordingly.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Hitman if it were just a simple game of hide and seek. As the player progresses through the levels, new mechanics are thrown in to increase the difficulty and keep it fresh. Different guards will have different patrol routes, and the player will have Agent 47 hiding, distracting guards, donning disguises and even eliminating threats to get to their objective. Oftentimes, levels will look impossible, but careful planning and making use of any available methods will see Agent 47 reach the end. Adding replayability and even more challenge, there are also additional objectives for each level, such as reaching the end in a limited number of moves.
There is not much more to it, Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is a mobile port after all, and the lack of depth is to be expected. But there are a massive number of levels to play through, and the additional objectives will keep the player coming back for more. Like most mobile titles, Hitman GO is best played in small bursts rather than as a marathon session. However, it does serve as a great quick hit distraction, and the new Hitman game should arrive soon to fill in the lengthy sessions between levels.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is a mobile puzzle game ported over to the PS4 and Vita. While it may still feel like a mobile game at heart, it looks stunning, plays really well and is well packed with content. For the refreshingly low asking price, this is worth checking out by both Hitman fans and the more casual puzzle playing console gamers.