Mobile ports have been largely hit-or-miss so far on consoles. For every game that has successfully managed to make the transition to consoles by smartly reworking control schemes, there have been many more that couldn’t figure out how to make that leap. Thankfully, Square Enix Montreal has threaded the needle successfully in bringing over their highly successful strategy title, Hitman GO to consoles.
The turn-based stealth game, which is appropriately named Hitman GO: Definitive Edition on consoles, contains everything that made Agent 47’s mobile adventure a hit. Gone are the gross micro-transactions for in-game hints, and all 7 chapters of interesting puzzles are included in the base price of $7.99. Throw in trophy support and cross-save compatibility for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, and this is a game that lives up to its lofty title.
What’s truly genius about Hitman GO is how it manages to seamlessly turn the stealth gameplay that Hitman is famous for into a turn-based board game. Players move Agent 47 around each level, which are all gorgeously crafted dioramas, with the objective being to get to a certain location or kill a target. Getting where you need to go is typically harder than it sounds, as there are a ton of guards in the assassin’s way. Players will have to sneak up on enemies, memorize movement patterns, and use the same stealth skills that the series is famous for in order to complete a level.
With the gameplay being turn-based, you’ll have plenty of time to think before you make a move. Careful planning is a must, as one mistake can lead to players having to restart a level. Even though the game’s puzzles will manage to stump you, especially if you’re trying to achieve the two optional objectives in each stage, things never get too frustrating, as every death is due to an oversight on your part. Hitman GO expects smart play from gamers, and it’s incredibly rewarding when you succeed.
The most incredible part of Hitman GO: Definitive Edition is how it manages to stay fresh throughout all of its 7 chapters. New mechanics such as hidden passages, and different enemy types, are constantly introduced. No addition ever seems like a gimmick, either, as they all feel like the natural progression of the gameplay. You even get to use the hitman’s full arsenal of toys, including his signature pistols and sniper rifle.
As mentioned before, each of the game’s 80+ levels (aside from a few tutorial stage) have two optional objectives to complete. These goals encourage you to play levels in different ways. From finding hidden briefcases to finishing a level without killing anyone, these goals give the game a ton of replayability.
While there’s no deep engaging plot to be found here, a prerequisite knowledge of the Hitman series will make the game more enjoyable. Two of the chapters here are based off levels in Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. These are awesome throwbacks for fans of the series, and it’s a real treat to see these memorable locations recreated in beautiful virtual dioramas.
Hitman GO: Definitive Edition also replaces the game’s touch-based controls with a traditional console control scheme. It doesn’t lose anything in the transition, although there are some awkward moments when the game will go for a cinematic camera angle and you’ll have to manually tweak the camera before a D-pad input will be accepted.
These more cinematic angles can be turned off at any time by pressing the left trigger if you choose to do so, but the better looking game is typically worth the infrequent annoyance. Touch controls are also present for those who want to use them, as both the DualShock 4’s touchpad and the Vita’s touchscreen replicate touch controls perfectly.
It should also be noted that both versions are practically identical. There are longer load times on the Vita version, but it’s never ridiculously lengthy like Wipeout 2048. The cross-save also works as intended, so it’s very easy to continue your game on the Vita if you want to take your adventure with you. This is one of the best examples of cross-buy, and it’s great to be able to play the game however you want.
When developers want to port their mobile hit to consoles, they should be looking towards Hitman GO: Definitive Edition for an example to follow. There are no micro-transactions to be found, and the game feels natural on a controller. Square Enix Montreal’s simplistic take on stealth is a joy to play and the action is absolutely stellar, whether it be on the big screen or on the go.
This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version, which we were provided with.
Hitman GO has made a fantastic transition to consoles. With the added ability to earn trophies and having all of the DLC in one package, there is no doubt that the definitive edition is appropriately named.