I’ve been thinking about Hitman a lot lately. Of course, if you’re one of the half-dozen fans of my Youtube channel, you already know this. I’ve started a new series of videos on the most recent game, diving once again into a world of assassination and poor decision making. In an attempt to scratch the itch for stealth action whilst also making sure I’ve covered at least one more mobile game before the end of the year, I stumbled upon Hitman: Sniper.
What I found surprised me, as I was initially expecting something along the lines of the various free-to-play tie-in fodder that tends to accompany AAA console releases these days. Instead, I found a rather inventive take on the familiar Hitman tropes, all done through the lens of a rifle. Despite how far mobile development has come, I still think this sort of narrow focus is essential to the platform. Sure, you could play all of a Grand Theft Auto game on your phone, but why would you want to?
While I have no doubt that it would have been possible to make a less detailed approximation of a full Hitman game, with all of the disguises and what-not, someone likely realized that wouldn’t have been very fun. Sniper instead plays to the strengths of the platform, demanding no more than a few gestures on a touch screen to take out targets, but still manages to keep a lot of the series quirks, asking you to play with the environment; occasionally even make someone’s grisly demise via sniper bullet look like an accident.
I’m not sure how someone will come to the conclusion that Security Guard Bob’s gaping headwound originated from a tumble into the hot tub, but goddamn do I appreciate Hitman: Sniper for trying.