Coming out just before the next major instalment of the Hitman franchise, Hitman GO is a digital game which has previously been available on mobile devices. Set in the same world and using the same stylings, Hitman GO is a puzzle game and an interesting proposition.
At its core this is a game about navigating a grid while avoiding enemies. The grids range in shape, size and complexity and it’s played out as turn based between you and your enemies. Everything moves like clockwork and you can understand where all enemies will move to before they do, thereby allowing you to plan your next step. The whole game ticks along on a turn by turn basis.
As with the best puzzle games the tight rules allow it to provide excruciatingly difficult challenges. What can look like a simple map with limited options can prove teeth gnashingly difficult to complete, and if you are going after the level specific medals the challenge ramps up further.
The depth to this game comes from these medals. Often you’ll receive one for completing the mission, one for collecting an item and one for completing the mission in a set number of moves. These add a nice additional layer to the challenge on offer, and the completionist in me wouldn’t let me move on till I’d got each medal.
As the game progresses new enemies are introduced alongside new environmental objects you can interact with. It’s a well paced progression and each item comes at the right time to keep you engaged. Nothing feels too gimmicky either, and it all fits together in the universe well.
The way this game is presented is lovely, everything looks like pieces from a board game. The mission select screen displays the boxes of the boardgames, with the loading screen showing the playable pieces tumbling out, and the map between levels is displayed on a board game base. The levels are displayed on wooden plinths as a kind of dolls house approach. It really looks lovely and well crafted. The simple graphics do show the games mobile roots, but the overall impression is very accomplished.
Hitman games have always been puzzle games at their core, planning your entry, avoiding detection and getting your mark. The transition to this more rigid puzzle game suits the series well. The feel of the Hitman universe is translated perfectly, from the gently operatic score to the feeling of a perfectly planned hit. For the cheap entry price this game offers a decent puzzle experience, and with cross buy and cross save between the VITA and PS4, planned for early March, this is a great little purchase.