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Rebellion Developments can be easily considered as a long-liver and a veteran of the gaming industry because their first game Eye of the Storm was released in 1993. Their gaming collection has an incredible number of projects for various platforms most of which became world-known hits like Alien vs. Predator, Rainbow Six, Delta Force: Urban Warfare and others. Several recent years, the British studio works hard on their own series named Sniper Elite and the fourth part was released in February 2017. That’s what I’m going to talk about.
My first impression about Sniper Elite 4 is that it’s much friendlier to newcomers to the series and doesn’t have a lot of content from the previous parts. In overall, the game looks beautiful and has a lot of ways to entertain you. Your protagonist is a sniper Karl Fairburne who travels the world, performs dangerous missions, seemingly impossible tasks and destroys enemies. But there is much more to know about him.
Anyone will be pleasantly surprised with the technical execution of the game. The graphics look incredibly good. An excellent design complements the graphics high quality of 1080p / 60fps. Everything on PC looks quite realistic, and Italy appears in all its glory: a rocky island with beautiful villas and vineyards, dark forests near the Apennine Mountains, picturesque sandy beaches, even occupied settlements look like their residents just left. So visuals of Sniper Elite 4 are pretty much enjoyable. However, when you see the pathetic faces of the characters, you’re getting slightly upset. Rebellion still needs to work on human appearance because for now they still look lifeless.
Another great thing about Sniper Elite 4 is its animation. All the good shots are shown in slow motion so you can follow the flight of the bullet and see in all the bloody details how it crushes your enemy’s bones and organs. Looks steeper than X-Ray in Mortal Kombat X, trust me.
The maps in the game are large and open for exploration. You will have to play in just one small training segment in the beginning, but other time it’s up to you how to move and which routes to use in the game. You can follow your enemies by hiding on a deserted coastline, wait until the right moment, kill them quietly and get out or spend more time on the island exploration searching for caches and accomplishing extra missions.
In Sniper Elite 4, you meet a British super agent and sniper Karl Fairburne again who is sent to Italy to disrupt the Nazis' plans of using a new superweapon - the first guided missile that can change the war significantly. Besides working on the primary goal, Karl helps the local opposition, makes friends with the mafia and destroys enemy infrastructure. But there is a problem in the game - a lack of the storyline. All you will see in the game is just some rough scenes with the dialogs before the mission begins. There are no stories about your hero or other game’s characters, no helpful clues or explanations. Therefore, the dev team obviously needs to improve the plot of the game. Otherwise, players won’t stay there for too long.
However, if we don’t pay attention to the storyline shortcoming, we will enjoy playing this game because of its excellent graphics and variety of tasks in the missions. Right from the beginning, you get four levels of difficulty: from the easiest one to extremely tough without an interface and any game conventions just as for the real masochists. But after playing for awhile, you will likely notice that the complexity in the game grows not gradually. So if the simplest level is too easy for you, the next one might be too hard to play. The reason is that the difficulty changes even without the mission restarting: the interface disappears right away, the enemies start instantly noticing any loss of soldiers and all the notes from the general map vanish, so you simply don’t know where to go. If you’re getting excited from all the in-game challenges, you will probably like the game.
Sniper Elite 4 has convenient and intuitive controls as well as customizable settings for complexity. You can set abilities of your enemy, adjust the shooting preferences, change slightly the interface, even such thing as your hero's endurance capacity can be customized. You can also turn off an automatic help that appears whenever you’re aiming, and then you will be able to control various cinematic effects like "x-rays" and track a bullet’s flight in a slow motion mode.
Sniper Elite 4 controls don’t limit you with the playing styles and even encourage to experiment. Before you start the game, you will be asked to choose not only the overall complexity of the game but also the shooting parameters. The aiming process depends on many factors like the rifle’s brand, your distance to the target, wind conditions and even the pulse of your hero. Yes, it’s almost impossible to aim if you just were running for a few minutes or climbing the sheer wall to get a better position. Learning and feeling the controls are obviously necessary things in this game but not less important to find a convenient place to aim and make your own strategy. So create your tactic and look for example for cars and barrels of fuel that you can use to distract the enemy.
Replay Value 4.5/5
In Sniper Elite 4 you have an option to play by yourself with a broad strategy to complete all the missions. However, such type of gameplay might get you bored pretty fast. Therefore, there is another in-game option to join a campaign for two people and play in any style together. It’s much interesting when one player distracts attention with "unexpected" explosions while the second one secretly steals documents. Also, there are more chances to survive in an open firefight if the two of you're dealing with Nazis at the same time. There is also multiplayer for 12 people in Sniper Elite 4 which has seven more modes, but I still prefer to play in the smaller campaign.
Sniper Elite 4 has some in-game purchases like a Season Pass, Skin Pack and a few more. All of them are also available in one Deluxe Edition for a bit lower price.
Sniper Elite 4 by Rebellion Developments is unconditionally a huge step forward for the whole series. It still has some details that need to be improved like the characters’ faces or the gradation of complexity. But even though this game isn’t perfect, it’s already enjoyable to play. Beautiful and highly realistic graphics, intuitive controls, adjustable settings, lots of modes variations will make you addictive to this game shortly and won’t get you bored for a long time.
Sniper Elite 4 is an exciting sequel to the well-known series developed by Rebellion Developments with the highly realistic graphics, customizable control system and complex gameplay.
Pros : incredibly realistic graphics;
slow motion mode for shooting;
a variety of missions;
multiple functions for controls;
Cons : lack of the storyline;
Replay Value 4.5