I wasn’t sure how they were going to fashion a Hitman game into the VR world, particularly one for the Gear VR. I thought perhaps it would be very bad rendition of the current genre, an FPS but with really dumbed down graphics and limited character actions. I was happily surprised to find it was nothing like that at all. The developers took a completely new approach and created a virtual board game style, and instead of using the classic stealth approach, you have to puzzle your way around the board safely, collecting items such as brief cases, reaching your target and getting away without being caught.
This sounds simple enough, which is what I appreciate most about this game. As it has been designed like a tabletop board game there are rules to follow. There are set paths to take, and upon each step the enemies are able to make a move too. Each character is only able to move one place at a time. If you’re able to sneak up to someone, you can take them out. If you’re not so lucky and they take your place, then you have to start the level again. There are various tools and obstacles as the game progresses, from throwing rocks to distract people, to trap doors you can use to bypass people. Further on you unlock disguises and rifles add variety to the game.
The level design reminds me of old dungeon crawler games where it’s simply a square slice taken from a larger area. You’re unable to see beyond, but in Hitman Go this does not matter as you never transition from side to side, that level is contained to what you can see. The presentation of the levels is beautiful though, each one could be used as a showcase to display various in game characters, reminiscent of the large Warhammer 40k arenas found in Games Workshop stores.
At the end of each round it tells you if any of the bonus objectives were completed. Such as under a number of moves, or no kills. During the game, if you get stuck you can opt for help in the menu. Just look up and enter the menu there. The game loads quick, no delays in each level or when resetting which gives it a nice seamless game session.
From my impression I didn’t see any tutorial but it is very easy to get to grips with, and there is no voice acting. Whether this is deliberate because of cost, or to keep the in game atmosphere going, I’m not sure. There is only one major change I would recommend to the developers, and that would be to create a form of external environment on which the board game would sit on. However I can’t fault the size of the game, there’s so many levels to play, each one has multiple ways to be completed, and each are designed carefully.
The VR aspect is quite subtle in this game, the camera is static as if you were sat in a chair, and you’re able to spin the board by pressing and holding the navigation button and looking left or right. Moving the character is as easy as looking at where you want him to go and tapping the navigation button. I didn’t experience any quesiness in this game at all.