Game: Hitman Go
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Release date: April 17th, 2014
Platform: iOS (Coming soon to Android)
Hitman Go is a fantastic puzzle game based on the Hitman videogame series. It’s a departure from the traditional action-stealth, first and third-person videogame of tactical assassination. The first game was released on the year 2000 and five games have been previously released before Hitman Go, the latest being Hitman: Absolution.
I usually don’t like “mobile version” games that most of the time seem like half-baked attempts to expand the franchise with a mediocre game. The iPhone is more than capable to (arguably) run almost-console quality games like with Dead Space: Extraction, Real Racing 3 and Infinity Blade 3. And maybe just porting a console game to mobile wouldn’t work great either. For example, Max Payne Mobile is basically a mobile version of Max Payne 1 for the Playstation. The graphics are not the problem, the iPhone’s more than capable, but controls are not easily ported to a touch screen.
With all that being said, Hitman Go is a mobile version of Hitman that doesn’t try to port the entire original game to mobile with clunky controls nor it’s an uninspired spin-off game of the popular franchise neither. The Hitman name is just there, but it could have had any other theme or name and it would have been almost just as fun, and I say almost because the the Hitman franchise does add finesse to the diorama-style, turn-based strategy game for iPhone and iPad. It’s the first official game done by Square Enix Montreal and they even made it clear that Daniel Lutz was the game’s creative director. Good to know, because he must be the one responsible for the games outstanding art direction.
Again, iOS devices are very capable nowadays and great “traditional graphics” are very possible, however art direction and style is very essential in these times also so gamers can more easily differentiate a game from the others. Hitman Go has the looks of a fantastic board game or more precisely, a fantasy scale model with figurines of the scenery of the meticulous planning of an assassination, and so you must be scrupulous when playing this game.
Don’t get carried away by the gorgeous and realistic scale model style, Hitman Go is a hard game to beat with a perfect score and completing all three objectives for each level. You have to meticulously plan your moves and understand the movement of the guards to progress without getting killed before you reach your destination or kill your mark. Other objectives might include to kill everyone or not the kill anyone, pass the level under a certain number of moves, or collect briefcases before getting to your goal. There will be lots of trial an error at first but if you’re repeating a level after you have already been introduced to the guards your up against before, you’ll feel dumb repeating the levels over and over again.
The game has a total of 194 objectives in five “worlds”, each with 15 levels except for the last one with only eight. 68 levels in total. More “coming soon”. It has a hint system with five hints included in total and you can purchase more. This smart game feels like chess on a grid map and my only complain would have nothing to do with the gameplay itself or even the game’s art design, on the contrary, I like the game’s visuals so much I would have liked to freely move around the camera, instead of having my perspective change while I hold it with my finger but then going back into a fixed perspective again on release.
Hitman Go may disappoint those who were looking for a “full Hitman game” on iOS but Square Enix Montreal did a fantastic job of translating everything to an engaging puzzle game that people unfamiliar with the original franchise could easily enjoy too. Hitman fan or not, you should relish this game for what it is, a mobile game with outstanding and difficult puzzles and a gorgeous game design. It doesn’t even try to cram in next-gen graphics or be a mobile shooter, it’s just a fantastic game by its own means that anyone can enjoy. Be delighted by Hitman Go on iOS now with an Android version coming later. It’s available on the App Store now for $4,99.
Rating: ★★★★★★★★●☆☆ (8.5/10)