A new Hitman game has arrived but it’s not the same Agent 47 you may be expecting. Hitman GO is a new puzzle/strategy game from Square Enix Montreal that made its debut on mobile devices a couple years ago. The game has now made it over to the PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC and it may be even better than the original mobile version.
Players play as the iconic Agent 47 once again but not in a shooter this time but instead what most closely resembles a board game. There are 7 different boards in the game that are each made up of 8 to 15 levels. Each level is designed to look like a diorama Agent 47 and other characters are laid out across them like board game pieces. Your mission during each one is to usually make it to the end marker on each level but sometime you will have to kill a target instead. You have to do this all unseen as if another enemy piece spots you you will have to start over. In later levels you will be given 3 objectives to complete. Some of them include kill all enemies on the board, kill no enemies, finish the level in a certain amount of moves or less, and find a briefcase. Each one you complete give you a star and you need a certain amount of stars to unlock the other 7 boards so you’ll have to complete them to make it further in the game.
These objectives help add replay value to the game and they don’t all have to be done in one run. You can focus on one or two objectives and then play the level again to complete the third if you like. Be prepared to use your brain a LOT though as some of the levels will really make you think. I found myself stuck a lot and sitting there planning my moves long before I moved my Agent 47 piece. The game starts off pretty easy and introduces new mechanics as you progress. As you move Agent 47 around the board and towards your goal you will have to avoid enemy guards. In early levels the guards are stuck in place but later they will move every time you move. You can take out guards by moving on to their place on the board either from behind them or from the side. When you do their piece will be knocked over and moved off the board and to the side of it by an invisible hand. Other ways to deal with guards is to move on to a spot that has a rock or a can that you can throw to get them to move to see what that noise was. Other things you can use are disguises to make yourself look like a guard and move by them undetected, secret passageways, and even a gun on occasion.
I mentioned above how I had to think before I moved and you’ll be doing that a lot. If you make a wrong move there is no way you can undo it and it could cause you to have to restart the level. The good thing is either when you hit the square button to restart or if you are killed the load time is pretty quick so it doesn’t keep you waiting. If you get stuck at any time you can press the triangle button for a hint. On the mobile version you were limited on how many of these you could use and had to actually spend real money to buy more. On the PlayStation versions the real money part has been removed so feel free to use it as much as you want although it will prevent you from getting certain trophies. The game controls well and you can either move Agent 47 with the analog stick or use the touchpad on the PS4 or the touchscreen on the Vita.
The other change from the mobile version is the ability to pay to unlock the other boards. Again that has been removed and you now have to earn a number of stars to unlock them as I mentioned above. This is either a good or a bad thing as I love the removal of micro transactions but some of the levels are so tough I could see some players maybe wanting to pay to get past them. The game has no online features so no leaderboards or nothing of the sort. The replay value comes solely from trying to complete all the objectives in all 90+ levels and for the trophy hunters out there 17 trophies including a Platinum.
The graphical style of Hitman GO is really nice on the eyes as well. I loved the board game look of it and everything has a nice clean look to it. There is no voice acting in the game and aside from a couple little sound effects like a character piece falling over or such there isn’t much there. The same goes for the music in the game. I also wanted to mention that the game is Cross-Buy and Cross-Save on PS4 and the Vita and the Cross-Save works perfectly. The game is an excellent fit for the Vita and being able to easily transfer your save back and forth between the two versions is huge plus.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Hitman GO and I think despite it playing nothing like a traditional Hitman game fans should still check it out. All of the levels are well designed and require a lot of thought and planning as you progress. The removal of the micro transactions from the mobile version is another plus in my eyes. Those looking for a traditional Hitman game or any kind of story should look elsewhere though and if you don’t have the patience to figure the levels out you may want to pass on it as well. For a puzzle or strategy fan though Hitman GO is exactly where you want to be.
+ Great Aesthetic
+ Awesome new take on Hitman
+ Lots of levels to play
+ Removal of micro-transactions
– No story really to speak of
– Some levels could be too tough for some
*All Photos were taken in game using the Share button on the Dualshock 4