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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Review

by Diogo Miguel April 6, 2013

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 has seen many delays since last year. City Interactive has probably faced a few hurdles, but it has finally managed to release it after months of delays. But was it worth the extra effort?

As expected, the most impressive aspect of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is the shooting. It’s clear that a lot of work went behind ensuring that the shooting physics were as realistic as possible. It’s not just about aiming at a target and pressing the trigger.

There are various factors to take into consideration, such as wind and also what stand between the character and target. It’s obvious that not everyone will have the patience to put up with this realistic approach. Fortunately, playing on easy will enable support features, such as a target that predicts where the bullet will strike.

But there is also a feature that slows down the character’s breathing when the left stick is pressed down. This makes it possible to improve accuracy when aiming, and is a fantastic way to make it easier to shoot far away targets. There are other abilities that will make shooting easier too – like changing the character’s stance.

The cover system cleverly takes into account various factors, such as if the character is hiding in the shadows. Enemies will respond appropriately to the slightest disturbance. It’s certainly not easy to sneak up on them. Which makes sense since this is an attempt at continuing to make the game as realistic as possible.

Those that enjoy their gadgets in video-games are in for a treat. There are plenty of these to play with in each level. One of the best gadgets is the thermal vision as it makes it easier to spot enemies in the dark. Perhaps what is most important is that each of the gadgets works as intended.

Obviously, this is a video-game about snipers, but there are times when it’s impossible to kill an enemy from far away. Sniper weapons don’t work so well in close range. That’s where the short range silent guns come in. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to use these, as levels tend to take place in areas that are better suited for the use of sniper weapons.

Another solution to this minor problem is to engage enemies with a knife. Pressing the right stick near an enemy will result in a gory(but silent) attack. It’s not easy to sneak up on enemies, but it’s much more efficient than making use of a short range weapon.

Most of the level objectives are about moving to the next objective without being spotted. There are some exceptions to this. The objectives where the Sniper covers allies from high ground are the best. It’s exciting to take out various enemies by working in conjunction with allies.

There are times when the character is vulnerable, such as after being captured in one of the missions. This gives the player a different way to play, since it is more about survival, rather than just shooting. Exceptions like these are few, but a welcome break from the typical objectives found in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2.

It makes sense that the game is designed to give players a challenge. However, it doesn’t seem to give players a break on the easiest difficulty. Players not used to this type of video-game will more than likely die many times. The smallest of mistakes will alert enemies of the character’s presence. They are relentless and it will take some effort to stop them looking for the character. The problem isn’t entirely to do with dying. Progress lost when starting again from a checkpoint is the main issue.

There are a couple of occasions where checkpoints occur way before some of the tougher sections that players will face. This means that anyone who isn’t so good at Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, will more than likely lose a lot of progress. There are even times where going back to the last checkpoint feels like restarting half of the current objective. The fact that the game feels just as tough on the easiest difficulty, means that most players will eventually feel too frustrated after attempting to complete some of the missions.

There are only three acts to get through and each act has at a few missions to play. Fortunately each mission takes a while to complete. It almost feels like each of these missions is a combination of smaller missions with different objectives. Each of the acts also takes place in a completely different location. This makes it more interesting to get through the acts, since it means being able to see the different environments.

The downside is that it’s not even possible to fully explore these environments. Level objectives are done so that players must follow a strict path. Even the way that objectives are completed is limited. It would have been so much better if players were given the freedom to come up with different ways to complete objectives. Instead, they are more than often penalised for attempting to do so. It’s this desire to keep players on a short leash that makes for a not so enjoyable experience.

The various environments that players get to see are really good in terms of visuals. However, there are a couple of minor graphical issues spotted throughout each of the missions. It’s odd to see such issues appear, since this title was delayed a couple of times.

There is also a multi-player mode for anyone that feels like taking a break from the story mode. Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of modes to pick from. In fact, the only mode currently available is Team Death-Match. The map selection that players can choose from is also lacking to say the least.

Team Death-Match in a video-game about sniping is perhaps not the most effective multi-player idea. Each match tends to revolve around lots of waiting or becoming inpatient and actively searching for other players camping out. Looking for other players tends to result in being killed.

It’s a really bizarre waiting game seeing as the best course of action is finding a spot and waiting for anyone foolish enough to look for other players. It’s the very reason that companies such as Activision have tried to stop this sort of behaviour from happening in video-games like Call of Duty. .

The sniper mechanics in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 are impressive and it’s easily one of the best sniper experiences out there. Unfortunately it is also plagued with many other issues that will make it a frustrating experience. The fact it enjoys restricting the player so much also doesn’t help.

At least it has improved tremendously since a demonstration last year. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is a decent effort from City Interactive, but feels more like a technology demonstration at times.

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