Rebellion is a studio that has been working on the Sniper Elite franchise for over a decade. The brand has seen enormous growth since its debut iteration, which landed on the original Xbox. Two other iterations have followed since then and they have helped evolve the series’ gameplay, mechanics and look.
It will have been just under three years since we last saw a new Sniper Elite game. This Tuesday will mark the day when gamers can get their hands on Sniper Elite 4. I’m happy to say that Sniper Elite 4 is a complete experience, that is dripping with compelling gameplay, rich and wide open landscapes and plenty of rewarding, brutal kills.
From a design standpoint, Sniper Elite 4 sort of takes a page out of the Metal Gear Solid V playbook. Prior to each mission, gamers select their loadout. You’ll choose your primary and secondary weapons as well as pick your handgun. As gamers play through the single player campaign, they’ll be able to unlock new weapons via in-game currency earned from completing challenges and missions.
Once you are happy with your loadout, you’ll head to a small narrative hub. Here gamers have the chance to speak with key characters in Sniper Elite 4‘s story. They provide context and meaning for the tasks you are about to carry out. Karl Fairburne is the protagonist in Sniper Elite 4. He receives plenty of help from allies, though they are only in these narrative areas. These locations also allow for players to acquire different guns if their desired loadout isn’t satisfactory.
When you are ready to begin each mission, the game tosses you into one of its beautiful, diverse sandbox environments. Sniper Elite 4 does a marvelous job of creating a massive, challenging playground and gives you full control to do what you wish. If you want to simply pursue the main objective, get a quick completion time and that’s it, you can. For perfectionists, there are plenty of side missions to complete as well.
Missions can range from calling in an air strike, killing Nazi generals, destroy anti-aircraft artillery and more. Levels are excellently designed with intricacy and the game’s AI is ruthless. Even when played on the moderate difficulty level, Sniper Elite 4‘s enemy AI will crush you if your cover is blown.
I really enjoy how intense the game’s AI is because it rewards tactical, stealthy gameplay. If you hope to not reveal yourself mid-mission, then you’ll need to find creative ways to kill enemies outside of a few snipes here and there. Sniping is an incredibly fun part of the experience, but Sniper Elite 4 is so much more than just sitting back and picking off enemies.
As players get further into the single player campaign, missions will become more difficult and so will AI. Both in quantity and in enemy archetype, AI will push you to be creative. Varying up your approach and gameplay tactics certainly helps master later levels more easily.
Gameplay is extremely satisfying and rewarding, no matter if you are performing a melee attack to stealthily take down an enemy or if you are landing a long-ranged headshot. The slow motion camera that takes over showcases the devastation of a kill quite brutally.
With how levels are built, completing challenges and missions make this experience extremely addicting and rewarding. Some of the game’s later levels pose bigger challenges outside of simple enemy AI. Level design tends to showcase greater verticality in some environments, while visibility and cover aren’t as abundant.
Completing missions and killing enemies all help you progress in Sniper Elite 4. Gamers will level up and as they do they’ll earn in-game currency that can be spent on weapons and gear. There are a slew of items for players to purchase, whether we are talking about sniper rifles or automatic weapons.
Progression carries over from the game’s single-player to its multiplayer experience. Gamers are able to enjoy a rewarding multiplayer world, one that contains plenty of mode variety. Maps are diverse with great verticality and variation for players to learn. Netting yourself a long-distance kill is all the more rewarding in multiplayer.
Gamers will find multiplayer adds a nice flavor to an already brilliant Sniper Elite 4 formula. That said, the majority of my time in this game will continue to be spent on its phenomenal single-player experience.
From my experience, I would recommend that players acquire a new secondary weapon before they acquire a new rifle. In the narrative hubs I mentioned earlier, you can pick up more powerful rifles there. The same can be said for your secondary weapon, which usually is an automatic or shotgun. I picked up a more deadly SMG with my in-game currency and it really helped when I was in open combat.
The game’s environments have great diversity. Levels consist of mountain or heavily wooded areas, small towns with tight corridors, heavily fortified enemy bases and more. The time of day is also a means for changing up your experience. Some missions take place during broad daylight, while others will ask you play at night. Every environment possesses so many interesting possibilities for the player.
Your creativity and approach play a major part in your experience in Sniper Elite 4. Now I know this isn’t everybody’s favorite word, but the replayability in this game is legitimate. Your first time through a mission will give you the layout and feel for how a level functions. By the time you finish a mission, you’ll know your mistakes and what to do differently next time.
Replayability can come from completing all of the side missions, if you don’t your first time around. It also comes from executing a flawless speed-run. Sniper Elite 4‘s environments beckon players to come back for more than just a playthrough or two. Switching up the difficulty is also another excellent way to enjoy levels beyond a few playthroughs.
Rebellion has outdone themselves with Sniper Elite 4. This shooter is one that excels on so many levels. Its environments are oozing with intrigue and possibilities, and they present a robust canvas for players to paint their bloody masterpieces on.
Everything I’ve seen from Sniper Elite 4‘s campaign, it’s an exceptionally addicting, entertaining and rewarding experience shooter fans will enjoy. Rebellion’s Sniper Elite 4 launches this coming Tuesday, Feb. 14 and will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Sniper Elite 4. Rebellion provided We Write Things with a PS4 code of Sniper Elite 4 for the purposes of this review.