One of the great joys to be found in a shooter is getting the element of surprise on an enemy.
Whether you ambush them from around a corner or you fire a far-reaching killer bullet which they never see coming. Moments like that are truly glorious, and more often than not caused by a sniper rifle. Whether you’re laying prone in some dense foliage or situated on top of a high-rise tower with a perfect line of sight, you’re both a team mates’ greatest asset and opponent’s worst nightmare.
The Sniper Elite games have always sought to bottle that satisfaction, providing a package which lets you put together a highlight reel of execution. Sniper Elite 4 is no exception with its gorgeous visuals and varied gun-set.
Set in 1943 Italy during World War 2, players control Karl Fairburne who works alongside the Italian insurgents to fight back the German invasion. It follows on from the events of Sniper Elite 3 and throughout the game you’ll be tasked with taking down outposts, armoured tanks, and rescuing resistance members.
Sniper Elite 4 boasts some absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful environments from coastal towns to forestry landscapes, offering huge expansive spaces for you to roam around in. The game rewards you in the ways you kill your enemies, measuring the metres a bullet has travelled, whether you’ve used a scope, or taken the time to hold your breath for accuracy. The huge sandbox environments allow you to really experiment with vantage points and dispatch enemies in lots of ways.
The issue I faced on Xbox One is that the game regularly stutters and slows down when the action gets a bit frantic and you’re running from place to place. The frame rate issues are, sadly, quite noticeable and it does occasionally detract from the gameplay when you’re trying to escape enemies in hot pursuit.
Players can use automatic rifles and pistols, as well as some CQC to blast their way through each objective, but sniping is – unsurprisingly – the core business of the game and that’s where it really shines. With the kill-cam, you can watch your bullet satisfactorily pierce and fracture Nazi faculties with frightening precision. Jaw lines can shatter, brains get pierced, even lungs punctured. Rebellion is unafraid to get graphic but offer the player a morbid sense of satisfaction along with it.
Prior to each mission, you can have a series of conversation that set up optional and primary objectives which you can play at your own pace and order. In doing so, you can earn collectables, additional mission experience, and context for the wider story through notes sent to family and friends.
It’s a fantastic, open-world campaign, that plays well, looks great, and mixes dynamics up enough to keep the gameplay refreshing. Which brings us to the game’s co-operative missions and multiplayer which adds hours upon hours of replayability. Through typical Team Deathmatch, Control, Capture the Flag and other modes, the third-person perspective, bonuses and general aesthetic help the game stand out from the usual crowd of shooters, keeping it consistently fresh and interesting. There’s also plenty of content to come throughout 2017, so it’s something that’ll get supported in the months and maybe even years to come.
Rebellion has provided a solid, hardcore shooter with plenty of replayability and challenge. The mechanics are tight, the shooting is satisfying, and blasting Nazis in the face never gets old. Frame rate issues and sluggishness aside, Sniper Elite 4 is an entertaining blast from the time you boot it up to the moment you decide to uninstall. A fantastic franchise which just keeps getting better.
+ Satisfying shooting
+ Good challenge and variety
+ Beautifully recreated scenery
+ Solid multiplayer and co-operative options
– Some really bad frame rate issues and graphical distortion
– Sluggishness in action
Sniper Elite 4
8.5 out of 10
Platform review on: – Xbox One