Hitman GO: Definitive Edition Review

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Title: Hitman GO: Definitive Edition
Developer: Square Enix Montreal
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 522 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: 
Yes

The Hitman series hasn’t seen a ton of action lately, though there is hype towards the upcoming game.  That is in the console and PC world, though.  What is there for Hitman in the handheld world?  Almost nothing, to be honest.  Mobile got a Hitman game that was a pretty big hit, but dedicated handhelds haven’t really had any Hitman games at all.

Square Enix went recently to change that.  The Mobile game has been such a hit that they decided to send it over to the handheld, console, and PC world in a definitive release of the game.  That’s right.  The mobile game has now released on Mobile as well as Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation TV.  So, here is my review of Hitman GO: Definitive Edition.

Story

Due to this game having no storyline, this section shall remain blank.

Gameplay

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Hitman Go is a different breed of game than its predecessors in the series.  Instead of being a tactical shooting game, it is a grid-based puzzle game with strategy elements thrown into the mix.  You move along a grid, avoiding and taking down enemies in the hopes of reaching the end of a grid or taking out a certain enemy.

A lot of fans of the series may be turned off, because this is so different than the rest of the series.  I will admit that it really threw me off when I first started playing it.  Hitman is not where I’d expect there to be a grid-based puzzle game.  However, the more I played it, the more I didn’t want to put it down.  The gameplay is surprisingly charming, so let’s talk about that now.

First, how is this different from its Mobile counterpart?  Mobile has micro-transactions for hints and automatically unlocking levels.  This version doesn’t have that.  So, what are you getting for paying $3 more for the PlayStation version?  Other additions are typical Mobile to PlayStation enhancements, like button controls, cross-save, and trophy support (including a platinum trophy).  Regarding trophies, one such feature that’s new that is nice is that the game warns you if you’re about to take an action that would make getting specific trophies impossible.

Progression goes through 7 hub worlds that contain stages.  Each time you clear a stage, the next stage opens.  Clear all 15 stages in one world and you unlock the next world.  The worlds can also unlock by gaining high scores on the stages.  Either way, you play the stages to unlock new stages and new worlds.

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Going through a stage has you on a grid in an environment.  You move along the grid in a turn-based fashion where you move and enemies also move.  Enemy types will always move and perform specific actions during their turn.  Some enemy constantly move from point to point while others will turn, changing their aim to a different area.  The key is to learn patterns on the grid to avoid them as you can never be seen by the enemy or they’ll kill you and its Game Over.

You do this not only by learning patterns, but by using your surroundings.  There are many objects that help you hide, like bushes that will hide you from the enemy, even if they’re on the same part of the grid at the time.  There are also colored suits you can change into, making you friendly to all enemies of that same color.  Apart from this are aggressive items, like sniper rifles you can use to take out enemies that are in far-away locations.

Apart from finishing a level, there are challenges which add to your score to unlock worlds sooner.  Each level has 3 objectives.  One is normally just finishing the level with the second going out of your way to collect a briefcase and then finish the level.  The third can vary, mostly being finishing the level within a certain number of turns, but could also be killing all enemies or killing no enemies.  Each of these requires you to master the level to be able to accomplish.

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This is about all there is to it.  As a mobile game, it is something you don’t play in long sessions, but short sessions.  This makes it perfect for the PS Vita, not so much for the PS4, but we’ll get to my gripe with playing it on a TV later.  It is also better for quick play because of how you play and how the difficulty rises.  It is a strategy game, so it’ll have you thinking a lot and it’s not something you really want to keep doing for a long time.  That’s one reason my Twitch stream (twitch.tv/reviews2go) of the game wasn’t all that long.

Although this isn’t really something you would gauge a time-frame for, I can give you details on that.  There are 7 worlds, each with 15 stages.  That is over 100 stages.  I would give each stage an average of 2 minutes, maybe 3 for trying, succeeding, and mastering.  So I’d gauge the whole game around 5-8 hours.  Lots of time for an $8 game.

Controls

Controlling the game works well, whether you’re a mobile or console player.  The touch controls from the Mobile release are here as well as button alternatives for absolutely everything.  The PlayStation TV is supported here as well, but there aren’t any L2 or R2 controls.  I believe this is the same with the PS4 version as well.

Cycling menus and moving is done with the D-Pad and Left Analog Stick.  The Right Analog Stick can be used to move the camera within a stage and change the perspective.  L and R don’t really do anything, so there’s not much point in using them.  The X button is used to interact with objects and menus.  Square can restart a stage.  The rest of the face buttons are just used in menus and not really used in stages.

I don’t really have a problem with the controls, but it would’ve been nice for the game to have told you what you’re supposed to do.  The game just throws you under the bus and lets you figure out everything about the game by yourself.

Presentation

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Visually, the game looks nice.  I honestly don’t see all that much difference between the visuals of the PS Vita version and PS4 version.  Everything is nice and smooth.  Things flow well, and the music also goes well with each environment.

The only gripe I have with playing on the PSTV (or PS4) is that this isn’t a game you want to sit far from your TV to play.  When I played it on my TV and sat across the room (Probably 10-15 feet away from the TV), the visuals blended and got fairly blurry.  When I set it up on my 19” TV on my computer desk it was fine, but it got to be quite blurrish further away, something that most games do not do.  At first, one could think this is because the PSTV is 720p, but the PS4 version does the same thing, so it’s something to do with the game, itself.

The real thing about the presentation is that the Vita version fidgets when changing screens.  The PS4 version runs incredibly smooth and the Vita version is jumpy regarding its frame rate.  This doesn’t happen in stages, but when switching menus or going into stages.  It’s something noticeable enough to make worth nothing.

Summary

Hitman GO: Definitive Edition really does have a “definitive” feel compared to its Mobile release.  While the game does get a little jumpy on the Vita, gets blurred on the PSTV if you sit very far from your TV, and the game doesn’t explain things to you, it’s not a bad purchase for fans of the Hitman series or the Mobile version, especially considering its only $3 more.

7/10

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