I’ll be honest here, when I signed up to review Hitman GO: Definitive Edition I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew this was based off a mobile game so I went in expecting an endless runner, an Angry Birds knock-off, or something equally as ridiculous. What I got instead was a very weird puzzle game that inexplicably preserves the core of what makes a Hitman title and is rather enjoyable on its own accord. You wouldn’t think that the Hitman experience could be effectively translated to a cardboard game within a video game but it has.
Hitman GO contains several levels which are themed like cardboard games we used to play when we were little kids. Within each diorama you control a plastic version of Agent 47 and have to get him to a specific spot on the board by moving him across lines etched on the ground. Of course, you will have to contend with enemy puzzle pieces along the way. You can take them out by coming up from behind them or from their sides. You can also use items to distract foes, and later on, weapons and disguises. It’s all rather simple to figure out but mastering it is a whole other story.
This game is tough, sometimes brutally so. That’s because, for the most part, levels can only be completed a specific way. The challenge comes from figuring out the exact pattern you need to move in so that you can meet your objective of leaving the level or of assassinating a target (by knocking them over). This can become very frustrating at times, and I had to go to YouTube to figure out how the hell to finish certain levels. While the game is difficult and can be rewarding because of that, knowing that the challenge really boils down to deciphering the exact pattern you need to traverse can make the whole thing seem less fun.
Most levels have a few side objectives that can be completed. These consist of briefcases that can be collected or having the player kill or not kill a certain number of guards. Some of the objectives are mutually exclusive so multiple playthroughs of each stage are required in order to meet all of the objectives. Since completing the objectives doesn’t offer you anything to help you in subsequent puzzles, I found myself ignoring them and just focused on completing each level.
While the game is fun on consoles, it’s abundantly clear that it was a mobile game first. Though the graphics are somewhat interesting, they aren’t exactly up to the quality of a modern console game, even a stylized one. Also, moving across the board can sometimes be cumbersome as the game sometimes ignores your controller input, or even worse, makes you go in the wrong direction, thereby making you fail the mission.
For all of its faults, Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is an enjoyable title that you don’t normally see on consoles. It can get extremely infuriating at times and the controls aren’t as precise as I would like, but the game isn’t overtly annoying or anything of the sort. It’s a neat little title for when you want to kill a few minutes in-between playing something else.
This review of Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is based on a digital PS4 copy which was provided by Square-Enix.