Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

One shot, one kill, one way.

By Daavpuke, Posted 03 Apr 2013

Sniper, Ghost Warrior 2, Review, FPS, Shooter

Every minor shooter needs a niche or at least a hook in order to compete in the modern game market, where every large franchise holds its giant budget over its smaller peers. In Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, this takes the form of a primarily long range shooter, often accompanied by a squad for spotting purposes. It even gets to ride on a previous release, which should give it momentum. However, stating that this first person shooter has any momentum whatsoever is bordering falsehoods. This is a dull and dated title, popped out to cut development losses as a best case scenario.

Visuals show the first sign of wasted potential in what will be a melancholic tale sewn throughout the rest of the game. Through the use Crytek’s powerful engine, some visuals in the game look top-notch, clear in detail. Eye-catching bushes dangle in front of the player, enticing the sniper to hide behind their luscious greenery. Then again, other textures look like cardboard surfaces of some budget title from a decade ago, which yield a strange mix when offset with better details. More often, these flat, grey walls and angled rock formations will pop out even harder, due to their contrast with more subtle, blended textures. It gives the term “polished turd” a new meaning. The worst offender in this is the character animation, with low resolution puppets emotionlessly flailing around, breaking any seriousness the mission statements would like to create. This is in no way helped by dry, uninspired voice acting with little difference between distraught or elated characters. A marine’s life certainly breeds emotional numbing deficiencies by the sound of it.

Therefore, it’s only expected that the story will follow the same humdrum nature by providing a partner at most turns in this already linear campaign. Players either follow a straight line or a partner that leads them exactly through the chosen path and then proceeds to tell them who to shoot, when to shoot, when to walk and so on. While this element does follow the realism of a sniper’s spotter partner, the result of it feels like a never-ending tutorial where the player isn’t ever let off the reins. While there are missions with more virtual freedom, these stages get filled with invisible walls at nearly every minor turn where the game would not like to see the player go. This is a shameful tactic that feels heart-breaking as any sense of freedom is turned into a bold lie, which subsequently kills any desire to play creatively. Again, the emotional numbing sets in and further missions will be spent falling in line, going forward and shooting when appropriate. No fun allowed.

As a redeeming factor, Sniper 2 does have a sound conception in its core shooting mechanism. Bullets are affected by physics and thus deviate from their linear path the further they need to reach. Luckily, lower difficulty levels offer helpful indicators as long as the crosshair stays on target. Additionally, breathing will affect the reticule’s bobbing rate and running will drive up the heart rate and add even more jitter to aiming. Managing a cool demeanor and a precise shot therefore has some kick to it, even if eventually most shots results in kills, no matter where they land. Still, at least a shred of creativity is possible here, even going as far as lining up enemies to kill 2 people with just one bullet. It’s the pinnacle of said inspiration, but necessity creates its own games.

Sniper, Ghost Warrior 2, Review, FPS, Shooter
Yes, there are also close captured bullet shots, of course.
 

Knowing these traits is sufficient to know what will follow in the missions gearing up to the end. It’s shoot, skulk, position, repeat until the last enemy draws their final gurgled breath. If at least ragdoll physics didn’t periodically blast corpses inside of textures, it could’ve been entertaining just to do that. Sadly, it won’t comply. Nearly every game element smells of haphazard development.

Here’s the kicker though: Sniper 2 has multiplayer. In all, 2 maps are available for 1 gameplay mode. That’s not a joke, but a sad reality. It serves as an example of tacked-on, needless content. Even so, the gameplay doesn’t set itself up for engaging matches in any sense. Since long range is king, each person in a match is advised to find a good hiding spot and make distance shots. Naturally, this means that after a few minutes every person is hunkered down and only the stray lambs still run out to get shot perpetually. What a truly pitiful state of existence this tedious, static multiplayer mode is. To think; this game was delayed for a year and managed to only scrape together this amount of content for it. Adding insult to injury, each match also needs to fill up entirely in order to start. It even makes the lobby dreadfully dull. It’s an omen in itself.

Sniper, Ghost Warrior 2, Review, FPS, Shooter
Also, short burts of these types are a nice change. Not enough, but let's not deny them altogether.
 

Shooter fans will not find enjoyment in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. At most, they’ll find a nifty game element in the shooting aspect, though how novel this will be after a dozen kills is a tough question to ask. Anything beyond that is dragged down to a boring, linear journey, void of any inspiration. In theory, this game sounds like a good plan, but so does an extensive marketing spreadsheet; that doesn’t make it any worthwhile to witness.


Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): City Interactive
Developer(s): City Interactive
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Tactical Shooter
Release Date: 2013-03-12

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