I was given a review key to play Rebellion’s Sniper Elite 4 and to share my thoughts on the third-person shooter and its overall state. And I do have to say, although there are some problems, the game is very fun when played careful and precise.
I don’t know if you know this but I’m a WW1 and WW2 nut, and when it comes to games that are challenging I’m more than welcome to take up that challenge — if not taking it a step further. This means, coming from games like Brothers In Arms and Red Orchestra, I always have to play any title without Aim Assist or any other feature that holds your hand, and after beating Sniper Elite 4 with all odds against me the whole experience felt very rewarding.
I should note that the game does stand to have its problems coupled with a straight forward story, but I’ll cover that later seeing that Rebellion added some new stuff for the stealthy sniper at heart.
Still holding on to the X-Ray kill cam after hitting a designated part in the body, the devs expanded on it, with it no longer restricted to sniper kills. The X-Ray kill cam can now triggered by melee kills and explosive kills, and players will also find that there are more slow-mo environmental kills — like support beams enemies are standing on, barrels from above, and other dangerous objects lying around.
A feature that I always like to use in more realistic games is scope zeroing, which is a feature that you will find in Sniper Elite 4. This allows you to compensate bullet drop in a more predictable way, which works well with guns that don’t pack enough punch.
Folks will also notice more things like climbing and crossing ledges to stay out of the enemy line of sight. Additionally, ledges and pipe climbing also doubles over into melee take downs if an enemy approaches near your location.
Another feature that is found in this game is marking enemies through binoculars and seeing their biography. This feature is most effective for spotting VIP targets, Officers, Spotters, and Radio men. The spotting feature highlights enemies through walls and the environment to help with your next move.
Looking over to the story (without spoiling it too much) the game sees Karl Fairburne back at it again, but in Italy, trying to stop the Axis grip on Europe and from expanding further. The game focuses on trying to prevent a certain weapon from seeing completion, while meeting and encountering others factions along the way. I should note that if you are looking for anything groundbreaking or immersive you won’t find it in Sniper Elite 4‘s story, but we all know that Sniper Elite games are best known for their slow-mo kills and long range sniping.
Looking over to the problems that Sniper Elite 4 holds… some of the issues center around its graphics, animations and CQC gunplay, which aren’t anything to write home about. This also includes a fidgety jump action that does not allow you to jump over the most smallest objects/environmental structures to get around to an objective or a better sniping position. Often times I had to take a detour to get around because I couldn’t just jump or climb over a rock.
Looking past the problems and to the multiplayer modes, folks will have the option to play with up to 12 players in seven modes across six original maps. Speaking of playing with others, there is a co-op mode that allows you and another friend to jump into the main story together, or you can play with four other players in dedicated co-operative game modes. It’s worth noting that depending on who you’re playing with depends on how the multiplayer modes and stages will play out, meaning that the game can be as tactical or clunky as you and your friends want it to be.
Personally, I enjoyed playing through the single player mode. Yes, the cut scenes and dialogue are very cheesy, but Sniper Elite 4 brings a nice rhythm to it that makes you forget about its shortcomings when played stealthy. Upon marking each enemy, taking out officers and searching their bodies so that you can find all the surrounding soldiers’ location makes the game very fun. Especially taking out spotters and using their flare gun to knock out a designated targets without anyone knowing is even funner.
I’d also like to point out that there is a lot of play on words for WW1 and WW2 goers, one of which I caught. One of my favorite weapons in games is the Mannlicher 1895 “Ruck-Zuck-Gewehr” (in no time-rifle), and in Sniper Elite 4 I went as far to unlock its special skin that calls for you to get 20 testicle shots with the gun (which Mannlicher is pronounced man-licker)… impressive, very nice Rebellion.
Anyways, Sniper Elite 4 isn’t all that bad and stands to be a fun game if you are into sneaking, sniping and playing tactically. I’d say if you are a fan of the older Sniper Elite titles or if you are looking to get into a game that’s set in 1943 with long range encounters, and that rewards you based on skill (especially on the harder difficulty settings), I’d say give Sniper Elite 4 a try.