City Interactive provide a much ignored ‘sniping experience’ which is both great and hampering for being all it offers. This is the best sniper game I have played, but only because I have only played one other series that completely focuses on sniping alone. The mechanics are solid but left me wanting, and the level design is varied and satisfying. I do have to note though, that this is not the best use of the CryEngine, and the visual quality is fine on the surface, but far from great. There is no visual flair and a general lack of anything dynamic when it comes to the visuals, making for a very basic visual experience, and therefore detracting from the overall experience.
Developer: City Interactive
Publisher: City Interactive
Distributor: Apex Interactive
For fans of: Sniping
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also available on: Playstation 3, PC
If we had to give it a numerical score: 7/10
What I loved
- Level design provides variety
- Solid mechanics albeit quite basic
- Mission designs
Not so much
- Lacks polish
- Lacks visual flair
- Mechanics could have been more challenging
- Some technical issues
- Short campaign
- Only two multiplayer maps
Gameplay and Features
The gameplay in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is for the most part satisfying and well designed, although I have seen more complex sniper physics in games that only focus on sniping in part of their games. The core mechanics work well, but I found some aspects lacking. I would have wanted deeper stealthe aspects with a ‘sniper’ game.
I would also have wanted deeper shooting mechanics. The problem for me here is that the need for major adjustment is streamlined in the design. I mean you look down your scope as normal, but adjusting for wind degregation is an absolute breeze with this one. It is actually done for you. You see there’s a small reticle (red dot) when you are looking down your sites which gives you the exact spot that you will hit. So the only real adjustment you make is lining up the reticle. You also need to squeeze the trigger gently for less kickback, hold your breath for more stability and kneeling or lying down from you prone position also equates to your gun wavering around less. Unfortunately that’s about the extent to how technical it gets. I would have loved to need to calculate a little more when it comes to the distance and wind factors. It seems as City Interactive deliberately chose to keep you firing away in abundance, as opposed to slowing the game down with more technical shooting.
Don’t get me wrong though, this is fun all night long though. The design choice is seemingly to give you quantity as opposed to a slower simulator experience, so you get do plenty of sniping which never gets old really. Lining up unsuspecting targets from a far while remaining completely out of sight, it’s all very intoxicating at the end of the day. City Interactive also did a stellar job with the missions’ design – well varied and provide the complete sniping experiences, from clearing a number of foes in one area to having to single out targets amongst many foes. Every other shot also goes into a slow-motion for a bit of visual flair, but the basic graphics detract for this aspect.
Sniping duels are definitely a breath of fresh air when it comes to the multiplayer. While I did needed to be patient to get into a multiplayer lobby, I cannot say whether this is a local infrastructure issue, or the matchmaking algorithms. Still, once in, it is pretty good fun and the only problem on release is that there are only two multiplayer maps to partake in. The multiplayer’s design is solid, but the campaign is where it’s at for me. If my affair with the game is to continue, it will be for more DLC missions. I will enjoy a round here and there online, but I am not exactly blown away enough to clear my Call of Duty or Gears of War multiplayer nights for this.
Sound and Visuals
At first glance, the neat presentation, the introductory mission, the visual and audio aspects seem impressive. Sadly after a few minutes into it, I noticed how lacking the visuals actually are. I mean the environments look impressive at first, but moving through the jungle, I noticed how lacking in texture, grainy and lacking in anything dynamic when it comes to the visuals. I mean walking through foliage for example, or hiding within it, I noticed that you are merely travelling past pixels. There is a lack of movement of the foliage when walking passed for example. You basically either in front of leaves (for example) or past them, basically just passing right through them. The leaves don’t move dynamically as you brush past and there is a lack of weather effects on the environments, blowing foliage around for example, making for anything but “alive” environments as is the case with many modern day titles.
Then when the odd shot goes into slow motion, the immediate visual and sound effects are very well done. Then the bullet hits the bland target, and then the view pans in on a very basic-looking body, completely detracting from the visual experience.
Besides the basic graphics, I did experience a few minor technical visual issues. One that I can remember was when moving through a river. I pulled the camera down to see what the rifle would look like underwater, and it just looked liked a pixelated mess. There is also quite a bit of slow loading textures, and a few issues with foe’s inconsistent movements.
All in all the voice-acting is of a fairly decent quality as is the over sound production, but the visuals were a little disappointing while not being game-breaking.
I doubt the reviews will have a major effect the sales numbers. You see, if you are reading this review, you are probably a ‘core’ gamer who reads game reviews before making purchasing decisions. I suspect the reviews for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will rob many ‘core’ gamers of a fairly enjoyable “sniping” experience. I mean all things aside that bring the technical score down with the game, it is a sniping game with solid sniping mechanics for the most part. It definitely could’ve and should’ve been much more, and I probably would have enjoyed it even more if I wasn’t looking at it through a core gamers’ goggles, seeking out anything that was not quite perfect.
The more casual gamer will see the title’s name, a seriously attractive combination or words, “Sniper – Ghost – Warrior,” and pick it up based on that alone. The funny thing is that these people will probably love it. These people probably have less of an eye for the impurities that the more avid gamer will notice. These people will probably miss the inferior production quality, most of the technical flaws and enjoy it purely for being… a sniper experience. While I enjoyed Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 for what it is, there were niggles that would remind me that I was not playing the most polished of titles.
Read about our ratings here.