Click here to read my Sniper Elite 4 preview on GameWatcher.com.
As a PC user, you may not think about the impact a new console generation will have when it comes to the games you play. You can typically expect to see better graphics, but you may not consider how the gameplay will change in some games. In the case of Sniper Elite 4, the developers have been able to take advantage of the latest hardware by increasing the size of the maps. How does this affect the gameplay? Well, the smallest level in Sniper Elite 4 is actually three times bigger than the largest level in Sniper Elite 3. This has turned the game into a huge sandbox, giving the player so many options when it comes to killing Nazis. In the two-hour long preview of Sniper Elite 4 at Rebellion’s offices in Oxford, I got to play a section of the Campaign and try out two of the multiplayer modes.
The portion of the Campaign that I played was set during the summer of 1943 on San Celini Island in Italy – a fictional island. Considering this is the same series that lets you assassinate Hitler in almost every game, I am pretty sure you won’t mind if the developers make a few things up. My mission was to take down several major targets and escape the island. When playing a stealthy game like this, the first thing I try to do is exploit the AI of the guards. One thing that immediately became apparent during this preview was that Sniper Elite 4’s AI is actually very good. I couldn’t camp out in a tower and watch as the guards walk up to the traps I had laid. Unfortunately for me, the guards would wait behind cover until I showed my face before shooting me into oblivion. This gave me the opportunity to try out the new supressed ammunition in the game. Using this ammo in my sniper rifle, I was able to quietly take out targets which made my mission a lot more comfortable than before.
There were two multiplayer modes on show at this event: Control and Survival. Control is your standard capture point mode which sees two teams (consisting of six players each) battling against each other. The gameplay changed from being calculated and patient in the single-player campaign to being totally reckless in the Capture mode. In your teams, you could easily form a plan to take over the capture point, but it was a lot easier to run in while holding down the fire button on your assault rifle. Unless all of your friends happen to be really into sniper games, I can’t see Capture mode replacing evening sessions of Overwatch. That’s not to say the mode is bad, but I can’t see many people putting much time into it after the initial launch period.
Survival on the other hand may be the mode that sees players coming back to Sniper Elite 4 each week. This mode on paper is the typical wave-based shooter that many games include nowadays, however, it works significantly better in Sniper Elite than it does in most games. In groups of four, players will be tasked to take down as many enemies as they can. As you progress through Survival, your team will be forced to move around the map in order to take out new targets. Players will never feel truly comfortable as the game always introduces something different on each wave.
As someone that has only played Sniper Elite V2, I associated the series with being rather linear. Utilising the power of the latest consoles, Rebellion have been able to show just how good the series can be when the player has so much room to be creative. If you let five different people tackle the first mission in the campaign, each player would have a very different experience (and that is a good thing!). If you already enjoy the Sniper Elite series, then I’m sure you are going to enjoy this game. Those of you that are new to the series, I think Sniper Elite 4 is going to surprise you by how good it is. Be on the lookout for our review of the game next month.
Most Anticipated Feature: Trying out the co-operative campaign.
Sniper Elite 4 will be released on February 14th, 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and PC and is currently available for preorder at a number of retailers. To secure your copy of the game, head over to Rebellion’s website.