Next year has a throng of exciting games that will release during the first quarter. Among the many titles is the upcoming shooter from Rebellion Developments known as Sniper Elite 4. The new game will take players to a never-before-seen part of the world, and wrap it around the thrilling arms of Sniper Elite 4‘s gameplay.

Italy will play host to next February’s release, and it will be featuring some of the biggest spaces the series has ever seen. Rebellion will grant players with more tools to create memorable gameplay moments. With its open design, deadly weapons and a gamer’s creativity, who knows what you’ll find in Sniper Elite 4?

In an exclusive interview with We Write Things, Paul Wright, who is a lead designer at Rebellion Developments, spoke about the inspiration behind the new Hitler-assassination missions, its Mediterranean setting, improved stealth tactics and so much more. We thank Paul again for his time and hope you enjoy reading our interview for Sniper Elite 4.

We Write Things: Why is the team deciding to give away the game’s first DLC for free to those who pre-order?

The Hitler assassination missions were such a big hit on V2 and Sniper Elite 3 we felt the community would be disappointed not to see it return! They work nicely because we can offer players something bespoke, a little different, without spoiling the main game’s narrative. You get the mission free on any platform – boxed or digital – if you pre-order, as our way of saying “thank you” for supporting independent game dev. It’ll be available separately as well if players want to wait.

We Write Things: How have the Hitler-assassinating bonus missions evolved or improved?

Without giving too much away, we’ve focused this installment giving the player a lot more fun with how the mission plays out. More emphasis has been placed on experimentation and replay so you can keep coming back to the mission and try out new strategies.

Stealth tactics will grant gamers a new level of agency (Courtesy of Rebellion Developments).
Stealth tactics will grant gamers a new level of agency (Courtesy of Rebellion Developments).

We Write Things: How are stealth tactics being encouraged and how have they changed?

Well, we do design the entire experience around how you want to play, so we don’t force any particular playstyle. That being said, you tend to live longer when playing stealthy, and we offer a wide range of new and improved tools and incentives for the stealth player to make them live a long and fruitful life, such as remote explosives and suppressed ammo for rifles and pistols, and a new AI visibility system which promotes natural stealth play through the use of light and shadow and bush cover. We allow more freedom of traversal, which has extended the melee takedown system further, allowing the player to negotiate scenarios without being spotted.

Soundmasking is back with even more sources of sounds to hide shots behind and we’ve even increased the breadth of tools available so that every item on our weapon wheel has dual abilities. For example, in previous games you could pick a trusty rock throw as a distraction, but now you can decide to whistle instead, bringing a player to you, rather than away from you.

There are lots more gameplay mechanics to discover, and we also include achievements and challenges, the latter used to encourage replay and experimentation. A lot of this is new to the Sniper Elite series, and some of it has evolved from previous games, so we think there’s a good balance of both for seasoned veterans and new players alike.

We Write Things: How does the studio feel about PS4 Pro? Is it a benefit or a burden?

We always see ourselves as a multi-platform developer, and our PC dev heritage means we always think choice is a good thing. If the PS4 Pro can offer this for the PlayStation community who are asking for it, then we’re all for it.

We Write Things: Will Sniper Elite 4 support the upgraded tech of PS4 Pro?

We’re still investigating exactly what we’re going to be doing with the extra grunt, but the current consoles and PC are our priority. We’ve been developing on this hardware for several years or more, so players will notice a huge leap from Sniper Elite 3, whatever they play on.

We Write Things: From a level design standpoint, what did the team want to focus on with the game’s Mediterranean setting?

Italy is a beautiful country with a diverse range of landscapes and architecture going back thousands of years. By setting the game before the invasion, we get to play with environments that haven’t been ravaged by war. This had a huge impact on the scenarios the Designers wanted to explore and how the themes flowed as the story progressed. We also wanted to make the mission more open ended – like a sandbox environment.

This philosophy of large, open environments, coupled with the variety of Italy’s aforementioned landscapes and architecture, allowed the Level Design team to created diverse environments which offer the tactical variation Sniper Elite 4 demands. The improved traversal system allows player interactivity with the architecture, so multilayered buildings and high vantage points were factored in early to the design. Verticality in a sniper game is pretty essential and Italy is a great showcase for that.

Some of the open settings gamers will find in Sniper Elite 4 (Courtesy of Rebellion Developments).
Some of the open settings gamers will find in Sniper Elite 4 (Courtesy of Rebellion Developments).

We Write Things: What has been your most memorable moment from developing Sniper Elite 4?

So far it has probably been the reaction we got from E3 when it was played by people outside the studio for the first time! It’s always a nervous time to put your game out there, especially when you have put some much time into it and yet you are still months away from release, hoping that people ‘get’ what you are making. I think it’s safe to say we were quietly confident, but the reactions have been fantastic. In terms of actual day-to- day development, the day I managed to ‘acquire’ a herniated disc during a motion capture session is something that I won’t forgot for all the wrong reasons!

We Write Things: What in Sniper Elite 4 do you think will surprise fans of the series the most?

Tough question as we have put a lot into this game that the fans have been asking for. If they haven’t already seen videos online, then the scale of the environments will come as a surprise. We’ve also doubled down on delivering huge replay value in Sniper Elite 4 – more even than fans are probably expecting.

Sniper Elite 4 will release on Feb. 14 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Sniper Elite.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.