Hitman has now been one of the most famous video game series in recent memory. Ever since Hitman: Blood Money, the gaming industry has always been looking forward for more Agent 47. With the release of Hitman Absolution on the last generation of consoles, Hitman has been back with a small but firm bang. The Hitman movie of last year’s summer and the newly released Hitman on new gen have created quite a hype for everything Hitman. It comes to no surprise then that Square Enix have decided to continue the series by releasing Hitman GO, a portable take on the assassination world.
Hitman GO is quite different from traditional Hitman games, and rightfully so due to the lesser processing power of the handheld devices, and also because the quick nature of portable games rarely permit fully blown titles to have success. That said, I did not expect a Hitman game such as Hitman GO at all. I personally admit I was expecting something similar to the famous Hasbro games in format, where you move and then you can decide from a series of actions, but instead I found myself in a sort of a checkers board, with Agent 47 in subbuteo form. The game also plays out like a game of checkers, since you and the AI take turns to move, with the only difference that you move one piece while AI moves all the pieces on the board. Killing works similarly to checkers but in practice is more close to chess, since you will take the spot of the piece you kill, instead of jumping over it.
The basic gameplay mechanics have been explained above, but there are also more complex mechanics such as picking up items and throwing them elsewhere to distract the enemies, which brings into play tactics and planning. Planning in Hitman GO is based both on thinking and on trying, which is permitted due to the relative shortness of the levels. It brings an element of strategy which is oftentimes central to the console versions of the Hitman games, therefore living up to the name of the game.
The levels in Hitman GO are divided almost like a Mario game, with a world and different levels within that world that make up the whole area. There are different targets within each level, and killing the main target or getting to the end point will finish the level in success. There are also three optional objectives which you can clear within the level, such as not killing anyone, finishing the level under a certain number of moves and so on. Multiple tries are sometimes compulsory to achieve these objectives, but as mentioned above, since the levels are very short, restarts are permitted aplenty.
If there are two things which I did not like that much in the game is that sometimes you have to play exactly in a certain way or else you will never get to the solution of the level. There have been levels which I have tried over thirty times and only then you will start figuring out the pattern to follow to beat the level, because otherwise there is no way you can beat it. The other aspect of the game which I was not crazy about is the fact that items have to be thrown the moment you walk upon them. While I understand why this design decision has been implemented, having the ability of adding items to your inventory would have opened up a whole new world of other puzzles and levels, so apart from giving you new options, it would have given the developers as well new options as to what levels to create and how to create such levels.
Hitman GO is definitely a game to try if you ever liked anything Hitman. Even though it markets itself as a portable game to be played on the go, it requires strategic thinking and anyone thinking that each level can be cleared within minutes will be in for an ugly surprise. Square Enix have definitely made huge steps forward with the release of yet another portable game, and building on this game has to be on the agenda for any new release on the horizon.