Hands-On With Hitman GO VR Edition

25 Apr 2016


For those fans of the original Hitman GO, the VR Edition will  delight.  This is not, however, what you have come to expect or anticipate from VR gaming.  Until now VR games have been primarily first person experiences – flying planes, driving cars, having zombies attack you while you are pushing down a hospital corridor, or even perhaps fighting titan – but this experience is fundamentally different.

For those who have not yet experienced Hitman GO, it is a turn-based strtegy game requiring the player to think ahead and plan out moves in advance to accomplish certain objectives and complete each level.  As you progress, the  optimal strategy becomes more difficult to see, with trapdoors, multiple levels, and Hitman-esq assasination abilities to remove opposing players from the board.  The simple to play game provides hours of fun as you progress through 91 levels.

With a Metacritic score of 81, the team at Square Enix Montreal properly left the gameplay untouched.  The boardgame style and atmosphere carries over into this implementation of the game.  Each brightly colored level sits in an endless plane of grey.  Looking around and spinning the board will reveal the level from different angles, the backs of fences that heretofore were unseen, the enemy pieces that you removed laying off to the side.  Leaning in will zoom and looking up or down will show various UI elements (hint, restart, etc.).  The experience is one of manuvering around a doll house –  albeit with stealth, briefcases, color coded keys and locked doors, and assasinations.

The VR implementation is understated, but surprisingly effective.  At a retail price of under $10, this is not going to cause anyone to go out and get a VR headset, but for those who have already taken that plunge, this is a great way to experience the bredth of what VR has to offer – and is certainly a good introduction to VR for those who are new to the experience.

Hitman GO VR Edition is launching on May 11, 2016 on Gear VR ($7.99) and Oculus Rift ($9.99).