Hitman GO is a puzzler where you have to guide Agent 47 from one side of a small grid to another without being apprehended by guards who are also prowling the level. Hitman fans may get a bit of a shock when they see GO but the series’ core elements are all present in its strange tablet-based second cousin. Purists would point out that deep-down, Hitman is really a puzzle where observing and memorising enemy movement and behaviour is a much more powerful weapon than a pair of silenced pistols. GO has taken this central idea, added a turn-based element and presented it in a board game style that is both stylish and clean.
The point of each small level is to get to the other side. After each swipe Agent 47 moves one space in the desired direction and then each guard takes their action too. Basic guards may move along a prescribed path, spin on the spot or just stay facing the same direction. If you are in a space in front of one of them they apprehend you and it’s back to the start. In the early levels you can try to sneak around or dispose of guards but later levels let you throw rocks as a distraction, get access to one shot sniper rifles or fire the iconic silenced Silverballers.
Enemies get more complex too and there are dogs that chase you down or snipers that stare down lanes in the grid but the incredible visual design means that you easily remember what each does. The soundtrack is simple too and the gentle background music is replaced by Hitman favourite Ave Maria in levels where you have to assassinate key targets. Other sounds are the gentle toppling of pieces and the swish after each movement. It’s wonderfully pared down.
In addition to just getting through the level there are a number of extra objectives that you can attempt which give you extra stars that unlock new bundles of levels Angry Birds style. These add an extra layer of playability to each level but if you don’t get them then you will not be able to play later levels which could be frustrating for those that want to see everything. Naturally there is the option to pay real money for hints or unlocks but such painful wallet-wringing is a bit unpleasant and I can’t see many going for it.
Hitman GO is an excellent title. The basic gameplay makes for a solid puzzle title but the Hitman skin and tabletop presentation make it something special.