Square Enix Montreal’s got a new take on the Hitman franchise, and it comes in the form of a puzzle game with the aesthetics of a board game. Wait, what?
Some may think trading in the explicit violence the series is known for leaves something behind, but after giving the Definitive Edition on PlayStation 4 a go, I can’t help but think that Hitman GO represents the series distilled to something simpler and sexier. You can watch me play through a few levels in the video below.
Each “board game” represents a different location and there are seven in total. Some are based on classic Hitman series levels too, which is a nostalgic treat. You move Agent 47 in four cardinal directions, trying to remain out of sight and take down enemies in your path to reach an exit or to take out a hit. How stealth mechanics have translated to this setting is nothing short of brilliant.
It all starts out simple, but new twists are routinely worked in. Many of the levels are quite clever, and challenges to complete them in a certain amount of turns bring out the best in the game. You’ll earn currency by completing aforementioned challenges, for which you’ll be able to unlock new boards later on.
Where Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and Theatrhythm Dragon Quest honor the musical legacy of their respective series, Hitman GO (and the recently-released Lara Croft GO) are a nice analogue for the Eidos library. Think gameplay mechanics instead of music. While we’re on the topic, the music and sound design is appropriately restrained and clean, and Schubert’s “Ellens Gesang III” or “Ave Maria” is reserved for levels where you’re taking out a hit.
Previously, the game launched on mobile platforms, but the Definitive Edition brings together all the DLC and ups the graphical presentation for HD platforms. For PlayStation 4 owners who also own a Vita, note the game is cross-buy and cross-save, and it’s really a great game to take with you anywhere.
Definitely check this one out, even if you’re not a self-professed Hitman fan.
Hitman Go: Definitive Edition is available for $7.99 on the PlayStation Network and Steam.