How do you take a successful game franchise and translate it into a mobile game? It's a tricky proposition, and many companies have tried and come up short. Hitman GO takes the core stealth gameplay of the Hitman franchise and makes it into a turn-based puzzler. Is it worth your time and cash? Let's find out.
Mobile gaming is exploding in a huge way, so it's no surprise to see a lot of popular franchises represented in the mobile space. However, not every game genre translates easily to the mobile, small format, touchscreen format. First person shooters in particular are tricky, and usually end up looking more on-rails shooters like light gun games.
I've never even seen a stealth game on mobile before, so Hitman GO has a lot of trail to blaze here. Fortunately, it's done smart. This is Hitman reduced to it's most fundamental principles. In most of the levels, you are tasked with getting to the exit without being detected. While you can take out your opponents if you sneak up behind them, you can just as easily
Instead of trying to represent a fully 3-D world at some lower resolution or poly count, Hitman GO instead chooses to turn the whole game into a board game. Agent 47 and his opponents are the playing pieces, with each level containing a different set of routes to explore and obstacles to overcome. Despite the distinctive style, the classic Hitman iconography is still in full effect here. It "feels" like a Hitman game, even though it is represented as a beautiful board game.
Later levels introduce other mechanics, like the ability to distract enemies with thrown objects, secret passages between different spots on the level, or Agent 47's signature sniper rifle.
One concern whenever triple-A game companies break into the mobile space is how they will handle in-app purchases. Luckily, here again Hitman GO shines. There aren't any in-your-face reasons to pay extra cash in this game. There are a limited number of hint tokens you can use if you're stuck on a level, and you can also pay to unlock additional episodes. The episodes can alternatively be unlocked for free by completing objectives in earlier levels.
The bottom line is that Hitman GO is a unique but faithful adaptation of the Hitman franchise to mobile devices. It's a turn-based puzzle game that maintains the core focus on stealth while exploiting the advantages of mobile gaming. If you like puzzle games or are a Hitman fan, it's worth checking out.