Ask a few married couples what it’s like being married and waking up to the same person everyday and the answer will vary. If you were asking a happily married couple they would say that it’s the best thing that ever happened to them. Ask another couple and your answer could sound something like, “it’s boring as hell”. Depending on your outlook of marriage and monogamy, you would either say Hitman Sniper is another home run for Square-Enix Montreal or a critical misstep?
Hitman Sniper follows the same formula of Hitman Go, take one aspect of the Hitman experience and create a mobile game around it. Your job as Agent 47 is to eliminate targets at a ski resort in the mountains. Armed with an old wooden sniper rifle you must eliminate your targets while completing various objectives. You might have to kill a target while making it look like an accident or kill multiple targets without setting off an alarm. To make matters worse, there are also innocent bystanders who will alert security if they witness you eliminating a target. For each successful contract you are awarded various items including money for upgrades, weapon parts for better weapons and rank bonuses, like access to new sniper rifles.
How Does It Play?
Hitman Sniper delivers a quality experience when it comes to the act of sniping. Having to manage breath control, hit moving targets…hell, even reloading your weapon, is always entertaining. The controls are tight, however the one thing that took some getting used to were the swipe gestures. There are no options to inverse controls so up is up and down is down. Which is cool for most people, but makes things a little difficult when it comes to moving around the screen. Agent 47 can also employ a ‘bullet time’ effect when he holds his breath. Time and movement slows but the trade off early in the game is that you only get one shot while holding your breath so you have to make it count. Hitman Sniper makes me feel like a capable sniper and for that I enjoy it. It’s the choice in level design that leaves me wanting more.
One Level to Rule Them All
So here is where things get tricky. Hitman Sniper costs $5 and with that you get a polished experience, but you also only get one level. That’s right, all your contracts take place at the ski resort. The game tries to add some variety with the objectives and contracts, but it gets old pretty quickly. How many times can you kill the same people on the same level before you just call it a day? Especially when you think about Hitman Go, a game that had different levels with two levels coming from previous games. Playing the same level repeatedly feels like a gip. I understand that contracts and objectives attempt to make it so each time you revisit the level it feels fresh, but that freshness gets old when you’re playing missions back to back.
From a technical aspect Hitman Sniper is a good game. It has the same level of polish as Hitman Go, but with only one level the experience gets old quickly. There are varieties in the missions but you’ll soon get tired seeing the same level and faces every time you start a contract. At $5 I can’t recommend this game. If Square-Enix ever has a flash sale and you can get this game for $1- 2 then go ahead, but five bucks is too much for familiar scenery.