Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 Hands On!!
Nothing beats the feeling of a successful snipe, that moment where you lead your target perfectly, looking down the sights to land that perfect shot right between the eyes. Nobody pays much attention to the fact that on the real battlefield, the Sniper is one of the key components to any missions success. This is Sniper Ghost Warrior 2, where you will learn that fact.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is a product of POlish developers City Interactive, who brought out the original, fun, but somewhat flawed Sniper: Ghost Warrior, this time around things have been changed up a hell of a lot, with a shiny new HD engine, an overhauled control system, and narrative, to make something that looks and plays truly badass.
In SGW2, you play as Cole Anderson, accompanied by his partner Carl Maddox, a pair of EX-US Ranger Scout-Snipers, turned spec ops, on an adventure taking you across several different locales, from Bosnia to Tibet and beyond, all amazingly rendered with the CryEngine 3. Straight away throughout your first mission you will learn that this game is very atmospheric, the engine rendering everything from foliage to water effects with stunning quality, with everything you see approachable, that island you see off in the distance? If you got the patience to swim there, you can go to it.
Gameplay consits of first person shooting but of a different sort then what you are used to, this is not call of duty, where you are hated for sniping and it is every other plays dream to come across your prone form staring down form sights ready for a knife up the ass. In this game, you HAVE to snipe, as all you are equipped with for most of the time is your trusty sniper rifle and a silence pistol, not exactly armed to teeth, you have your brain to get by, taking out targets strategically in order to not raise suspicion and be presented with a new shiny bullet necktie for your troubles. This works surprisingly well, with a mechanic for slowing down time by taking a deep breath, allowing you to line up your shot at the perfect moment. Doing this right grants you an old school bullet following killcam, with enemies being blasted away by the force of your awesomeness, and as Fallout 3 and Max Payne have shown us, slow motion NEVER gets old.
To prevent abuse of this mechanic and to further encourage you to behave and use your head, there is a heart rate monitor in game, if you sprint around too much this will sky-rocket, making it harder to aim and shoot, this will also raise if you hold your breath too often during shots, causing the sights to shake as your body demands more oxygen.
Gameplay is quite solid, the guns feel strong, each of them having the right feel, look and kickback to them. There is a large variety of them on offer as well, with more unlockable through DLC soon to come. The majority of this is stealth based, taking out enemies without being spooted, sometimes from a distance with your sniper rifle, and sometimes through creeping through waves of enemies undetected with your silenced pistol. Alongside this there are also different gadgets you have on hand like an infared visor to see enemies more clearly, gameplay is further deepened by the ability to do things like shooting a grenade on an enemys belt for some evil chuckles or even multilkills, threading a perfect shot through two heads as they cross at that perfect moment. Alongside this there is an entire additional level of difficult in the game, with it’s harder difficulties adding in the mechanics of wind and bullet dropping.
Unfortunately the build we played was not Multiplayer ready, however City interactive promise a whole new kind of Sniper oriented multiplayer goodness, they were rough on the details, but promise that if the gameplay is going to focus on the role of a sniper, then the multiplayer will too.
In terms of sound, guns feel powerful, the musical cues build atmosphere and tension at just the right moments, and the voice acting is done well, City Interactive were aiming to emulate 80’s action films dialogue, and it does show, with sarky one liners at certain times, arguing with superiors over the moves to make, a real gung ho feeling at times.
The only negative we could see from our end so far is the penetration of the guns, if an enemy is hiding behind a wooden wall, then as a rule of thumb, any sniper rifle worth it’s salt should be able to make its way through an inch or two of wood.
In closing, Sniper; Ghost Warrior 2 is shaping up to be one hell of a game. With beautiful graphics, immersive gameplay and a hell of a lot of polish and love, this is a game to properly show the importance of the sniper, the most integral part of any mission. We’ll be observing this one closely…from several miles away, through a high powered rifle. Now check out the video and screenshots below.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be available to buy on Xbox 360, PS3 & PC early 2013, for further information visit www.sniperghostwarrior.com