Sniper Elite 4 | reviews, news & interviews
Sniper Elite 4
Sniper Elite 4
Life through a long-range lens
A sniper is a thinking man’s soldier. The aloof assassin is always outnumbered but never outgunned, a patient predator and considered killer. It sounds quite glam, doesn’t it? But it’s a soup-for-one profession and ranks high on the dullness detector. There’s all that hanging around to contend with. Checking your kit, waiting for the right conditions. Waiting, waiting, always with the waiting. A bit like fishing, without the desire to boast about the one that got away.
Fortunately, Sniper Elite 4 knows that shooter fans have a low patience threshold and has tools in place to counterbalance the inevitable loitering and lingering. And those tools are big bang weapons and gadgets galore. In this WWII outing set in 1943 Italy you’re primarily a long-shot loner but you’re also a one-man war machine, capable of playing all the leading roles on centre stage in beautifully realised theatre of war.
This fourth instalment is testament to the art of shooting straight
Thes range from a medic’s healing capability to heavy weapon machine gun support, via an engineer’s explosive experience and finally doing the titular sniping thing. All weaponry options are available via an inventory radial, which means that once you’re done with stealthy sneaking and your cover has been blown, you can unleash heavy weaponry, various anti personnel mines, grenades and even TNT in the direction of the bad guys.
The series is best known for the trademark x-ray killcams where a successful hit will often be rewarded with a gruesomely detailed kill shot, ranging from spines and skulls being shattered to organs punctured and even testicles mulched by unforgiving rounds, all in glorious hi-resolution slow motion x-ray detail. It’s graphic, gory and hugely gratifying. Especially after you’ve been hunched in a bush, waiting for a low-flying aircraft to mask the sound of your shot. The single player campaign plays out across eight sprawling sandbox levels where you’re given mission objectives and then left to your own devices as to how you actually achieve them. From sun-drenched Mediterranean coastal towns to colossal Nazi megastructures, eerie forests and Alpine mountain monasteries, no two levels are alike and the open-ended approach to completing mission objectives reduces any monotony.
Over on multiplayer, the game delivers further depth. You can play through the entire campaign in co-op, which adds a decent strategic dimension as through a co-ordinated effort with a partner you can confuse the enemy with distractions and diversions. There’s also a player vs player mode that misfires, because it feels at odds with the ethos of a patient sniping game.
Viewed as a whole, Sniper Elite 4 is a classy shooter. The huge levels are only matched by the plethora of different ways to go about your deadly business. Headshots never get dull, and this fourth instalment of the long running series is testament to the art of shooting straight.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?