Over a year has passed since the critically-acclaimed Hitman: GO surprised us all as a smartphone game. With a franchise that apparently can outlast anything,Square Enix Montreal has brought the infamous gun for hire, Agent 47, back onto the mobile screen. This time, there is a lot more action and brutality involved as 47 heads out into the frosty mountains to engage in a seriously fun human shooting gallery adventure. Completing missions take both strategyand patience or you can buy your way to the top with IAP’s, which would be shame because you’d only be buying yourself out of this awesome experience.
Fairground Duck Shoot: The Movie
From the moment the game launches, you embark on a cinematic adventure doused with elegant violins and aggressive orchestral drums giving weight to your presence as the legendary Agent 47, a highly skilled, cunning and invisible assassin for hire. Veterans who have followed his unstoppable force will feel right at home through the assignments they have shared. Newcomers will equally fit in without the knowledge of past endeavors, although the extensive task that lies ahead may spark their interest to “Dig up the past”.
Hitman Sniper has already surpassed my expectations since witnessing earlier previews in the year and it has emerged with the same strokes of genius that made Hitman: GOthe fantastic game it is. This is not a simple shoot-em-up affair, but rather a puzzling, tactical experience where learning the tools of the trade and a keen eye for opportunity will enable you to chase the bigger scores and richer rewards such as that nice big automatic rifle you have your eye on.
Competitive gameplay is something players are yearning for on mobile platforms akin to the heavyweights on consoles and PC more frequently in recent times. Hitman Sniper caters to this in the simplest and most effective way of displaying this information constantly before every mission is undertaken. In fact, everything in the game is easily accessible and looks console quality gorgeous as you browse through the armory for new weapons or surveying targets of past and present.
This system gets a massive thumbs up already because it keeps you locked into the game’s atmosphere. The calm and calculating music softly tinkles away as you prepare yourself to head out into the cold once more and you can imagine yourself there in the moment on a tablet setting up the next hit. It’s an incredibly exciting and immersive sequence based on an established franchise plus, due to the game moving from the proposed freemium model and opting for a fully paid release, there is always an abundance of money after each mission leaving more time for shopping and less time watching the bank account.
Inhale, Hold, Aquire, Fire
Everything is in place when it comes to starting a game, the targets and main objective sit on the right hand side of the screen. Your current “Sniper level” and money are displayed at the top and the all-important leaderboard scores sit in the left. Everything you need and want to know is on one screen without being cramped, plastered in adverts or crudely labelled buttons. Similar to Hitman GO, everything is unified, elegant and conveys the theme and persona of 47 extremely well, these delicate UI designs on top of the main game solidifythe recommendation to experience this game on a larger screen for a truly immersive ride.
Upon entering the game world, you are met with a site many would deem luxurious witnessed through a first person perspective, the glimmering light bounces off your weapon and the unsuspecting human ducks wander around unaware below however, there is no time for sightseeingbecause you have only ten minutes to dispatch your targets and meet the contract objectives.
The methods in which you choose to dispatch your marksis completely up to you, standard kills will net you some points while the creative options are the key to rocketing up the leaderboard and can range from anything such as shooting someone clean off a balcony or striking when the lights are out, anything goes with everything to risk it’s a neat tension device that can generate some authentic panic when guards may become aware of your presence by the sound of the squelchy, slow motion impact sequences.
The main shooting mechanics are a blast, tracking your targets and moving your line of sight withinthe environment is clean and has a sense of weight behind it like you are actually holding the rifle. A host of special abilities such as hold breath will slow down time for a few seconds to line up the perfect shot but be careful, predicting where your bullet is going to hit is crucial or this will end up a wasted shot. Carelessness like thiswill alert everyone in earshot so it’s best to use this on stationary targets or, you could opt for the increased damage ability which augmentsrounds into instant kills on torso shots and is most likely a good idea if you aren’t confident pulling off a”no hold breath” headshot.
ArguablyA Looker,DefinitelyA Killer
Everything in this game including the reloading segments are on alevel so high it’s difficult for me to measure. It has everything from an in depth options menu for the type who like to tinker, to a secondary control method that issues a “Shoot” button onscreen instead of tapping in the center to fire, something i opted into instantly for maximum accuracy and to avoid any interruptions when stalking my prey.
It pains me to bring this up even in light of the generous customization, upgrades and other treats the game has to offer, it just looks a little bit like it came out of Hitman: Blood Money. I absolutely adore this game there is no doubt about it the engagement and immersion are all there the sound design also joins these factors at the top but graphically the game tends to rear a few ugly modelling and texturing instances.
I can also appreciate the size and scale of the environment, the fact it has been built upon the fantastic Unity 5, and the amount of activity that is happening onscreen this may have been a small sacrifice to enable better performance. In no way am i saying the game doesn’t look good because the moment you zoom out and look down with the human eye it’s a beautiful canvas for death and there’s something comfortably warming about playing a game where you shoot people in the snowy arctic from the comfort of your warm chair, hammock or other seating fixtures.
Should you buy this game? Yes a thousand times yes, Square Enix Montreal are doing something i have never witnessed on mobile before. Starting with Deus Ex: The Fall they took a console and PC optimized title and completely rewrote the rulebook on first person action gaming forthe smaller screens. Hitman, another unconditionally loved franchise re-written and completely thrown around the minds of some truly creative individuals to bring us two unique experiences.
The only outstanding criticism that I have personally noted from the community is the absence of further stages. So let’s take a moment to appreciate the craft that has gone into the piece of art before us, it’s like taking every single Hitman: GO board and cramming it all into one existence onscreen to unravel, explore and defeat. The team delivered extra boards for the gameso i feel confident that we may see something of similar character surface for Hitman Sniper, patience makes a great sniper, and hopefully that will be rewarded.
On top of all this, with E3 in full swing and the announcement of Lara Croft: GO, theMontréalstudio has displayed an incredible amount of talent and the passion to bring these dearly loved franchises to players on the devicesthey frequently keep in arms reach., the only was is up, and i’m watching as they fly off into the distance.
Download Hitman Sniper in the App Store and Google Play for $4.99.