CI Games sequel to the original best-selling sniper game of all time – Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is already available now in retail stores worldwide and places you in the shoes of the deadliest sniper in the Ghost Warrior Unit. Using stealth and some of the most powerful arsenal of sniper weaponry at your disposal, you set off on various missions around the world visiting urban cities such as Sarajevo, the tropical jungles in Burma and the mountains of Tibet.
Powered by the CryEngine3, the level of visual detail and graphical display is as you would expect highly impressive. The waterfalls, jungle scenery, urban landscapes are rendered strikingly good to give you a really vivid and detailed impression of the world within Sniper Ghost Warrior 2. Once you’ve been wowed and won over by the scenery which portrays a really promising first impression of the game – it then becomes impossible not to compare the very first mission that forms the basis of your tutorial to the in-famous sniper mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4; you are taught how to use your weapons, how to stealthily creep around the buildings and foliage before taking down the enemy in a sharp and quick procession with just a single bullet. Not only will you swim under water, risk life and limb, but you will learn to cope with the one primary weapon in this game – a sniper rifle – where precision and accuracy from long range is vitally important.
You role within the Ghost Warrior Unit is to take instructions and react to communicated orders so that infiltration for the units are not as deadly or dangerous. In fact a heavy part of the game involves listening to orders, using binoculars to scout out enemy locations and sniping when is most appropriate. You will have to risk being spotted to move between varied locations, but equipped with a Ghillie Suit and surrounded by the shadows of buildings, long grass, other environmental hiding spots within waterfalls, mountains, jungle scenery – you can often sit and wait it out or go prone to clear the enemies, picking them off one by one as they stand there almost excited for their own deaths. The enemy AI is unfortunately embarrassing, more so because the stealth required from you as a gamer in hiding your position is at times pointless when the AI spot you and then stand there without even so much as running in your direction or even defending themselves. Other times it is very much the opposite, although whilst completely out of enemy view you are always safe from being spotted, the problem seems to be that there is no consistency with the AI. You are either spotted and then freely able to kill them whilst they gawp at your actions, or at other times you cannot move more than a few steps whilst being shot to your death – it’s very random, but there should ideally be a middle ground between the two. If the sole intention was for CI Games to include enemies who are so frightened of death that they are clearly unable to move or defend, then perhaps I have misread the games’ level of realism with enemy fear?
What Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 does do really well is the realism with bullet physics that factors distance, wind, and bullet drop when sniping your targets. This level of realism depending how good you are as a player can be changed by the games difficulty settings, but for the ultimate gameplay experience I would recommend the most realistic and most difficult to gain some kind of satisfaction from the experience that is otherwise hindered by bad enemy AI. On the easier difficulty options there appears to be a helping red reticule to guide you with your shots, but it’s not 100% reliable and depending upon your aim can still be somewhat off target. However, as mainly a sniping game where a lot of missions require you to set up your rifle from a considerable distance from enemy camps, control your breathing and take the shot – it does additionally feature (albeit occasional) some up-close combat action where you can use a pistol at close range. It’s a real mixed bag of stealth, action, exploration and taking orders to assist other units. It’s quite linear, but lacks a lot of action or excitement in that once you have played through the first mission there’s nothing really new or exiting to follow – just more of the same. To get the most from Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 you have to have enjoyed the first game to realise the noticeable improvements with the sequel, or really like titles that require a heavy amount of stealth with very little action or involvement with enemies. When playing the game it feels as if you’re involved in some intense covert mission, but a little vague as to what the purpose is – the story and plot is somewhat just marred by the fact that you’re just there to sit and snipe regardless of anything else that might have some importance.
The campaign within Sniper Ghost warrior 2 is an average game that should appeal to fans of the original, it looks great visually and for the most of it plays out just ok – but because of the linear path’s, the lack of action or any real form of excitement and story it just doesn’t feel like there’s a point to anything and that you are playing a game for the sake of playing it. Multiplayer is also included but with just one Team Deathmatch mode and two maps to snipe enemies on – that too feels rather much a let-down and multiplayer not even worth bothering with. Both of the available maps on disc, Sarajevo Downtown and Resort feature two main sides with obvious hiding points to look out with your sniper rifle for other snipers in the distance. It’s an absolute despicable multiplayer experience that should have been scrapped.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 has an average campaign and nothing much in the way of multiplayer. Thanks to the CryEngine 3 it looks really impressive, but actual gameplay doesn’t make you feel very much involved in the games story, you’ve turned up to work to snipe today which pretty much covers the beginning to the end of it.
Only worth buying if you enjoyed the original.