Assassin on board!
Hitman Go: Definitive edition is the sort of game which is light enough on system resources to always run minimized even on your work laptop. Simply ALT-TAB between bouts of dreary “hard” work and instantly receive some much needed mental exercise. It is that game, which after several hours of playing, you simply will not have the heart to uninstall, not because it is “Game of the Year” material, or its unfathomable depth, but its promise of a quick fix. It is a game you can play when you literally have two minutes of free time. It was, after all, designed for a portable device. Yet, it does not feel incongruous on a PC monitor or the 70-inch TV in your living room.
In Hitman GO, each level is a scale model set piece. Imagine you’re playing a board game with moving pieces, with control over everyone’s favourite bald-headed assassin. Like Chess, you can move one step to another point on the board, after which the AI moves one of its pieces. It is your goal to reach the exit to a level or assassinate a target. And like Chess, moving into the same point as another piece will remove it from the board. As you make your way through the game, new enemy pieces and elements are introduced, progressively adding to puzzle complexity and increasing game difficulty.
There are over 90 levels to play in total, with the game being split into “episodes” of 15 levels. With each level sporting three challenges, there’s incentive to replay them to gain unlock points for later episodes—a system not too different from the one present in Angry Birds, for example. The scenery, enemy pieces and interactive elements change from episode to episode—much like levels in an action/adventure game. The added challenge and unique visual style of each episode ensure that the game doesn’t end up feeling repetitive.
|Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Puzzle, single-player
Platform: PS4, PS Vita, iOS, PC, Android
It is difficult to fault the progression system and level design in Hitman GO, but if I were to nitpick, it would be that some of the challenges can be accomplished only in linear fashion, with little room for alternative approaches. There’s not much separating it from its mobile counterpart, either. The micro-transaction system has no place here since all the extra missions come bundled (this is the “Definitive” edition after all) with the game, and there don’t appear to be any visual improvements or leveraging of superior hardware available on PC and console.
The port of last year’s mobile game is not perfect either. Hitman: GO was designed for touchscreen devices, and this will become apparent to you as soon as you’re asked to make your first move. I might have spent several hours solving the puzzles GO threw at me, but the first half hour was definitely the most frustrating. This isn’t because I was bamboozled by the complexity of its puzzles, but more so by the counter- intuitiveness of its control scheme.
The game takes its Chess inspiration a little too seriously, with the player being required to drag and drop Agent 47 rather than simply clicking on a point or using directional keyboard input. I tried using a controller as well, and while it fundamentally works better than the mouse, at crucial moments, the input required is not very clear. Pressing the “left” D-Pad instead of “down” can force an end to your valiant assassination attempt. In the end, I settled on an unholy alliance of my DualShock 4 for general play and mouse for precision input when required.
Should you buy Hitman go?
For Rs. 349, Hitman GO: Definitive Edition offers good value. It is an impressive use of the Hitman franchise. In addition to its name, it borrows and utilizes elements of the Hitman universe to great effect; be it locations, weapons or items such as disguises. For fans of the Hitman series, the set pieces will feel instantly familiar (particularly with call-backs to Blood Money and Silent Assassin). The level design and ideas in play are great—not only will it give you tremendous satisfaction after solving puzzles, but there’s incentive to replay levels to complete all challenges. From its visual minimalism, to wonderful use of music and progressively complex puzzles, Hitman GO is something every Hitman fan should experience.
|Great in small doses||Controls can feel awkward|
|Challenging puzzles||Nothing really separates it from the mobile version|
|Unique visual style|
|Good use of the Hitman franchise|
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