So lets set the scene: It’s a warm day at around 2 pm, the sun is blaring down on my face shining through the leaves of the bush I’m concealed in; I’m waiting for my target to be in the perfect position but they just won’t settle, I know I’m going to have to take my time but at the same time I can’t leave it too long or my target will spot me. A few seconds pass that feel like an eternity when suddenly my target senses my presence, immediately they come rushing towards me, I panic a little and lose my footing, the next think I know I’m on my back with my target towering over me – she then proceeded to lick my face.
Okay, hiding in a bush spying on my dog so I can squirt her with a water pistol is probably the closest I’m going to get to real sniper experience and from video games I’ve played in the past that have featured sniping missions just hasn’t cut it for me, they feel rushed, and you can easily escape or storm through with a weapon you’ve picked up from a downed enemy. Sniper Ghost Warror 2 is different from anything I’ve ever played before – the focus is on sniping and it’s executed perfectly. Argos also sell some other great games, click here for more Xbox 360 games from Argos.
The game begins in a dense forest surrounded by luscious greenery with a small river running through the center, as you look around to find your footing you really see how beautiful the environment is; you then realise that it’s running CryEngine 3 and it all makes sense. As soon as the game begins you’re thrown into the action, you’re required to take out two guards but it has to be perfectly timed, too soon and the other guard notices, too late and you’ll be spotted. Once you’ve eliminated the first you’re required to take out the second located inside a hut, this is where your Thermovision comes into play, once you’ve whacked that on it’s time to party as you see the targets heat signature just relaxing – not really guarding anything.
Throughout the game you’re backed up by a spotter, something which translate to real life sniper teams. At the beginning your spotter is your team mate, but later on in the game you’re guided by radio communication too. The spotter helps you pick out the right target as well as issuing other pieces of critical information which will help you silently take-out your intended victim. The first think I noticed about this game is that you need patience. You can’t go in all guns blazing believe me, I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. You’re required to line up your target perfectly as well as take into account any movement as well as the distance from you and your target. It’s not as simple as just lining up the crosshairs to your target’s head either, both distance and windspeed is taken into account. In Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 you’re provided with a much smaller circle reticle which takes both of those factors into account, it also changes when the environment does so you always have to be on your toes when aiming a shot.
Line of sight is also an important factor in this game, if you make a single mistake and the enemy is made aware of your presence you’ll be required to clear the area, something which you’ll find much more difficult than taking out those that are blocking your path. A decent line of sight is important so you can pop everyone off without being spotted because if you’re are you’re basically screwed. You are provided with a sidearm if you don’t feel that sniping is necessary but it’s almost impossible to use when under attack. Silence is the key – something that you’ll need to drill into your head when playing this game.
In your HUD you’re provided with a sensor which lets you know how close you are to being spotted; like a progress bar it fills up the more in sight you are, if it fills completely, you’re screwed. This sensor is something you need to pay attention to, more often than not sneaking around a team of guards is much easier than trying to shoot your way through them; this sensor will be your life saver, especially if you don’t want to have to do it all over again, and again, and again.
Your HUD also contains your current ammo, your health as well as a heart rate monitor. Something else, just like the motion detector you really need to keep an eye on. It’s all well and good that you’ve sprinted to your destination, but if you’re heart is going ten to the dozen and you’re huffing and puffing, someone is going to notice you, especially if you’re trying to execute a silent kill using your knife. Health is also an important factor too, unlike other first person shooters, your health doesn’t regenerate, you’re required to use medikits in order to restore your health and you can only carry two at a time.
I mentioned before that Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 uses the CryEngine 3. I can’s stress enough how beautiful the surroundings are because of this. Even at night when you’re provided with little light you can almost feel the muggy air on your skin. So far in the game I’ve experienced dense forests with shallow rivers, open grassy areas with huge lakes, destroyed city-scapes complete with gorgeous garden terraces – everything about the graphic’s in this game doesn’t cease to amaze me.
Everything I’ve experienced in this game so far has been some sort of sniper mission, I haven’t yet had the chance to use any other form of fire-arm other than my silenced pistol, so if you’re into running and gunning and don’t have the patience to await orders whilst your team is on the ground entering an enemy compound I recommend you find something else to play. If you’re buying a game called “Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2” expecting a fast paced run-and-gun experience you probably should stay off the Monster energy drinks..
The gameplay itself is something I can only describe as satisfying. There’s nothing better than lying silently in the bushes whilst your target comes into perfect vision so you can line up the sight and execute the perfect silent kill. The same goes for the over watch missions where you’re leading your team silently into an enemy compound. Using your .50 calibre rifle you pick off each highlighted target one by one. Another great feature to this game is the bullet scenes. Sometimes when you take the shot on the final target the camera follows the bullet in slow motion as it takes the enemy unit down – like I said, satisfying indeed.
Like with most games today there is a multiplayer mode. Now, my first thought about this game having a multiplayer mode was more of a joke than a real thought. I thought that it would be a map full of snipers shooting at each other, much like most games of Black Ops 2, but on second thought, that would be silly – right? Well no, the multiplayer is a sniper vs sniper scenario. It’s a Team Deathmatch mode for up to 12 players each with sniper rifles. It sounds daft, it really really does, but it’s probably the most fun and satisfying experience I’ve had in a multiplayer game for a while. Sadly communication is the key with each player acting as a spotter if they get shot by the opposition, but as I frequently found out, it’s the quietest multiplayer game I’ve ever experienced.
Overall if you’re looking for a heart racing and tense sniper focused experience I can’t recommend Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 enough. It’s full of the most amazing environments, the gameplay is intense, and the story is full of twists and turns. You will need patience to play this game, something which I realised after playing the same scenario over and over around 10 times, but patience certainly pays off. CI Games did a fantastic job with this game, and I’m sure I’ll be playing it for a long time to come.