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Review: Sniper Ghost Warrior 2

March 27, 2013 • Reviews

Developer City Interactive recently released a follow-up to their Sniper Ghost Warrior 2, which is a great improvement from 2010 but still some way from being a brilliant title.

A screenshot of Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 (image: City Interactive)

True sniper titles are hard to come by, and, at best, gamers can expect a sniping level in their favourite FPS, so City Interactive’s efforts should actually be lauded – but there is definitely room for improvement.

In terms of plot, players take on the role of Captain Cole Anderson and must guide him through a number of missions. While some missions will have overarching plot lines to the grand story, the main tale of the game is that of international terrorists and the threat of a bio-chemical attack.

As with most military-themed shooters, there is always a Middle Eastern antagonist who is close to destroying the modern world if he/she is not stopped by the intrepid hero – and Sniper 2 is no different.

Following the trail of a notorious buyer of WMDs, players will have to wage a sniper war in Sarajevo during the civil war of Bosnia, evade detection in the jungles in Burma and ultimately confront and arch enemy over the mountains of Tibet.

What we like about it

The title is not short on exotic locations, and just to make it is bit more believable, City Interactive did a pretty good job at adding small details such as murals and ancient statues within the various scenarios. The setting for the title also jumps between a few years back and the present day, which helps the player understand the background story despite not having played the first title.

Which brings us to the graphics… Sniper 2 makes use of the CryEngine 3 system and it is nowehere near as terrible as initial reports made it out to be. The graphics employed are almost identical to Crysis 3, and that in itself is not a bad thing.

CryEngine 3 allows for fluid motion and fairly detailed scenery, which is very important in a fast-paced shooter. If gamers can imagine a sniper title with the same graphics as Crysis, they will have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

In terms of controls, the basics are pretty well explained and there is even a shooting range where players can experiment with different weapons and refine their skills. During the shooting range, gamers need to clear different areas from a static positions, but it is good training to become accustomed with the wind factor and real-time bullet drops.

What we do not like about it

The engine is not without its own faults and on the odd occasion the graphics will not come into focus when looking at a target through a scope or binoculars. It does not happen often, but it does become a bit annoying, especially when players need to tag an enemy in order for them to be tracked.

And something that most games suffer from, is that characters often get stuck behind low objects such as a small ridge or mattress laying on the floor. The game’s character will not be able to move fluidly over it, so they will need some encouraging to do so.

Speaking of arms, players will go through the entire game with only two weapons – a main rifle and a side arm. Rifles cannot be picked up from fallen enemies and type of main rifle used will be pre-determined by the level.

And gamer should prepare themselves for the occasional cheap death, as Sniper 2 is not immune to that either. Some of the sections might seem impossible to get through – which could be ascribed to mad level design – but perseverance is key here.

But one of the major drawbacks of Sniper 2, is its multiplayer. To say that it actually has multiplayer is a bit of a gross overstatement, as it only has one mode, Team Deathmatch, and only two maps to play through.

It is incredibly bland and boring, and if users can imagine 16 players camping at various positions for ten minutes at a time, then they will have pretty accurate idea of what its like. The two maps are divided with a central road and two large buildings on either side. Player pick a position in one of the skyscrapers and take pot-shots at each other.

There is still a degree of skill (or luck) involved, but it is absolutely no challenge. There is no XP system, no weapons to upgrade and no additional tasks to complete. It is literally a cat-and-mouse game of snipers where the sharpest eye wins.

Conclusion

With that said, the game is not nearly as terrible as some publications have made it out to be. Other than the multiplayer that is a complete non-event, the graphics are good, the control scheme is easy to understand and is fully explained, and the story has a number of twists and turns. Granted, players will not always know exactly what their role is in the grand scheme of things, but when bullets start flying, it really does not matter.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is a definite step up from the first title in almost all regards. So if players enjoyed the debut title, they will definitely find pleasure in this one. It is a pity that City Interactive did not employ the same X-ray kill cam that made for an exciting feature in Sniper Elite V2, but at least they had the decency to include a slo-mo kill cam for the long range shots and last enemy in a particular section.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor



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