Release Date: 3/12/2013
Publisher: City Interactive
Developer: City Interactive
Platform: PC (reviewed), Xbox 360, PS3
In Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, you assume the role of Cole Anderson, the deadliest sniper in an elite ghost warrior unit. You’re in deep enemy territory and the story is a strong part of the game. However, the rest of the game just doesn’t quite hold up.
Although Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 uses CryENGINE 3, the graphics don’t show it. For the most part, environments look mediocre; there’s nothing to create any awe. There are actually some moments where you look at the screen and think, “how did they miss that?” An example of this is when you’re trudging through water and tall grass; the grass almost folds down instead of naturally brushing aside--it’s hard to look at it. Most notably bad is the foliage, which looks like something taken out of a late PlayStation 2 game. Unfortunately, City Interactive also included fantastic looking CGI cut-scenes within the campaign, which makes the actual gameplay graphics problem seem that much more prevalent.
While the game starts off as a thrilling sniping session mixed with a beginner’s tutorial, you’ll quickly find out that the gameplay doesn’t vary at all; the tutorial becomes the entire campaign. You’ll constantly find yourself picking off the enemies one by one from above while the rest of your unit moves forward. I get that it’s a sniping game, so you’re limited to sniping, but there is a LOT more creative things you could do with the style of gameplay that City Interactive just failed to do. Sure, you’ll shoot a sniper out of a tower, sneak around through the bushes for a silent melee kill, and shoot out some light bulbs, but that’s just about as exciting as it gets.
Your journey as Anderson is a linear one. City Interactive would have a much better game on their hands if the game were open world and players got to find the best vantage point for sniping. However, this isn’t the case. The campaign leads you to certain spots and you don’t have much variation as to where you can shoot from. You’ll be lead to one spot to shoot un-expecting enemies, then lead through a corridor only to be lead to another spot to shoot un-expecting enemies. It’s highly repetitive, and if I wanted someone to hold my hand I would have brought the crossing guard into my living room. In many cases, you can’t even scope out of your sniper to get a full birds-eye view of the situation; you’re stuck looking through the scope.
The game is also ridiculously short, coming in at around 5 hours, even on the hardest difficulty setting, Expert Mode. Even on Expert Mode, the game is pretty easy, and City Interactive really underestimated the well-trained video game snipers that would be purchasing this game. If you’ve sniped in any of the Battlefield games, you can breeze through Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 on the hardest difficulty.
Remember when the developers of the game said that each sniper rifle would have its own feeling? That’s not quite the case. Each sniper rifle feels like the rest of the rifles; there isn’t much difference between them, if any. And, to make them feel even more general, there are a couple of moments when you pick up a new sniper rifle to use, but instead of saying “Hit X to Pick Up the .50 Calibur Rifle” the game displays a simple “Hit X to pick Up”, so we don’t really know what type of gun we are using.
Sound design in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 isn’t very unique, either. The soundtrack is heart-pumping and tense, although it’s nothing we haven’t heard in similar games. Bullet sounds are surprisingly soft, and don’t really have much characteristic, which is noticeable when you move on to different snipers.
Multiplayer. Oh, Multiplayer. How incredibly boring. One game mode. Two Maps. No, thank you.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 isn’t all bad, though. You will enjoy some of your shots thoroughly. There was one instance where I actually shot a cell phone out of the enemy’s hand (by mistake, of course) and it was worth a chuckle. The slow motion bullet cam provides for some cool-looking kills, but they all start looking the same after awhile.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 from City Interactive failed to hold my interest with its lack of variety and short campaign. There’s really no point to the game’s existence, and it is one of those “take it or leave it” titles that doesn’t have much effect on the gaming community. It’s not an awful game, by any means, but even at $29.99, you should wait for it to hit the bargain bin before you pick it up.
Graphics – 6/10
Gameplay – 6/10
Sound – 7/10
Multiplayer – 5/10
Replayability – 3/10