The Sniper Elite series is famous for a few things, but prominently among them are relatively vast levels with plenty of enemies and objectives to chase. Your primary weapons are a variety of marksman rifles, though the most important weapon available to you is choice; how you engage enemies, in what manner you complete certain objectives. All of these things matter, and they can make multiple playthroughs vastly different.
The Sniper Elite games have focused on various covert operations set during World War 2; the previous game was set in Africa, and our old friend Karl is back once again but this time in Italy. We’re tasked with chasing down a new weapon that gives the Nazis a significant advantage in the form of guided missiles. This primary mission takes you across 8 or so campaign missions in a wide variety of maps and locations. Time of day and weather conditions are all different for these places, and the map variety is pretty great.
For those that are unfamiliar with the series, it’s known for the challenge of it’s marksmanship system and clever use of environmental objects to get through the level. Practically everything is destructable, from explosive barrels and containers of fuel, to vehicles and ordinance that are laying about. You can use the objects as a distraction (simply disabling a truck rather than destroying it outright), or you can use them to draw in enemies and dispatch them all with a single shot.
It’s this variety of choice and weight of risk versus reward that makes Sniper Elite something very special, and dear to me personally. I enjoy the challenge presented in each level, and I also enjoy how drastically the difficulty can change a mission or make you consider new avenues you would previously have overlooked. Missions are fairly easy to manage on normal difficulty, but crank it up a notch and you’ll soon find yourself being more careful and considering new options.
War on Many Fronts
As is normal with Sniper Elite, there are both online competitive modes and cooperative mission modes, each with a variety of types and objectives. These are pretty fun, and while I haven’t yet tried Sniper Elite 4’s cooperative mode, a friend of mine and I had a great time playing in Sniper Elite 3’s cooperative mode and I’m sure that hasn’t diminished at all. Working with someone else is pretty awesome, especially considering that you both pay for the mistakes of one.
This adds a very interesting twist to a tried and true staple of gaming, and more variety in ways to play is always a welcome thing.
The campaign also gives you a lot of collectibles and achievements to chase, such as earning ribbons and medals for completing a certain number of kills or objectives. There is also a weapon mastery system in place that upgrades your skill with a rifle by completing certain tasks. The advantage you gain is pretty distinct, such as increased zoom or decreased shot recoil, so they are certainly worth pursuing. The game also offers a wide variety of weapons to purchase and unlock, each with their own handling and capabilities.
I definitely recommend this game to fans of shooters or military action titles in general, but they’re just good games overall.