Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 reviewed: Prettier than ever, but the same linear gameplay underneath

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

By on March 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

A game like Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 ought to be perfect for someone like me, focusing on the details of being a sniper. Some people’s power fantasy is wanton carnage, other people want to be masters of stealth, or to conquer nations. Me, I love being the silent, invisible angel of death, killing from afar.

What the game actually offers, though, is something like a collection of all the sniper missions from every Call of Duty game.

The bluster and bombast of the Big Military Shooters is clearly what City Interactive are going for here. The single-player campaign will take you from jungles to bombed-out cities to mountainous terrain, following a plot that ticks all the boxes on the military shooter narrative cliché checklist. There’s a betrayal, a rivalry, a superweapon, and hordes of unprincipled yet somehow fanatical terrorists, fighting for no cause that’s ever explained, so you can headshot them guilt-free. It is, unfortunately, all the same things you’ve seen before.

That said, it’s never looked so good. I wouldn’t presume the technical knowledge necessary to give all the credit to Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s use of CryENGINE 3, but the jungles are stunningly beautiful, and no Eastern European cityscape has ever looked so colourful. Unfortunately, the campaign is so hyper-linear you’ll never get to explore those landscapes beyond the narrow path that’s constantly shown in stark red lines on your mini-map, and half the time you’ll be sprinting through them anyway.

This is almost a metaphor for the constrained sniper experience the game presents. When it’s at its best, sniping in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 becomes like a Gordian knot of enemies to unravel and take down in the correct order so as never to alert their fellows. However, mostly you’ll just follow an AI companion to predefined vantage points, and often even follow their directions on the order in which you take down targets. Occasionally there’ll be a tightly-scripted opportunity to take down two enemies with a single shot, or shoot a fuel tank, ammo dump or exposed grenade that’ll explode or distract enemies, and each of the game’s three acts culminates in a cinematically-impressive but pre-scripted shot.

Even the much-vaunted bullet physics, accounting for wind and gravity, amounts to a red guide circle that’ll appear after focusing on a target for a few seconds — though it’s almost always just a little to the right and down from the centre of the crosshairs. Apparently, in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s world, the wind is always blowing the same direction, no matter where you are.

I did enjoy playing Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, for as long as it lasted, but while it’s a marked improvement over its predecessor, I couldn’t help feeling it could have been so much more. The campaign’s pacing is wildly off, and short at four hours — but if you want a scripted cinematic military shooter focused on sniping, that might just be the sweet spot.

Good:

  • Beautiful, amazingly lush landscapes
  • Occasional compelling sniping puzzles
  • Well-optimised, running smoothly at the highest settings, even on slightly-older hardware

Bad:

  • Cliched, extremely linear and short campaign
  • Vestigial multiplayer for the back-of-the-box features list: only two maps, and both needed more playtesting to eliminate exploitable positions
  • Occasional graphical and environmental oddities: you’ll get stuck off the beaten path, and character’s faces twist grotesquely whenever they open their mouths in cutscenes.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is available on Steam for $29.99

9 comments (Leave your own)

dx 9 console port GG node

 

kano69:
dx 9 console portGG node

Wut

 
charliebrownau

I enjoyed the first one but with hardly anyone at all playing the first one multiplayer . Shame the VIP LAN mode was fun but everyone raged and called me a hack when you can hide and get them at long range. I didnt bother to get the second game. Instead I bought Arma 3 for around the same price and I am sure tones more people will be playing it multiplayer.

 

kano69:
dx 9 console portGG node

If this is a DX9 console port, it’s the most amazing-looking DX9 console port I’ve ever seen.

Although I really can’t emphasise enough how linear the game is. Numerous times the AI companion who leads you through almost every mission got confused and froze up when I decided to take the lead or shoot enemies before he told me to.

And calling the AI companion your “spotter” is a gross misunderstanding of how sniper/spotter teams work.

 

There is going to be FREE DLC for Multiplayer to add more maps and a new game mode. There is Singleplayer DLC on the way too. And there will also be a DirectX11 update for the PC version.

link

 
NoobyMcNoobnoob

he looks extremely bored cutting the guys throat.

 

noobymcnoobnoob:
he looks extremely bored cutting the guys throat.

he’s half asleep lol

 

Free MP DLC maps to be released on the 20th of March according to their official Facebook

 

noobymcnoobnoob:
he looks extremely bored cutting the guys throat.

You know I have to confess I didn’t see the knife in that screen until you mentioned this. I just assumed he was highly melancholic and was closing his friend’s eyes after he had been tragically killed or something. You know, one of those emotional points in the old action films where the hero’s best friend is killed one day from retirement, so the hero goes out to get revenge.

The scenario looks even more creepy when you apply the above and then notice the knife. O_O

 
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