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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

About This Game:

Systems: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release Date: 3/12/13
Developer: City Interactive
Publisher: City Interactive
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Length: 8 hours

When I first heard about Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, I was pretty excited. Sure I never played the first game, but I knew it had a cult following. I figured that if the developer was given a second chance they could make a game that would really reach its true potential. What we ended up getting, though, is a game bogged down by increasingly poor decisions that make it one of the worst ways to end a console generation.

Story

In SGW 2 you play as Cole Anderson. I actually had to look that up if that tells you anything about how forgettable the story is. The story is basically an excuse to go from set piece to set piece. If you can call a night mission a “set piece” mission. The game rarely tries to surprise and when it does it falls flat. Everything about the story in this game is forgettable, which would be OK in a game with good multiplayer or even good graphics, but…

Presentationj

That isn’t the case here. To my surprise, the opening credits for this game have the logo for Cry Engine 3. Only thing is, someone wouldn’t be able to guess that by just looking at the game. As beautiful as games made with the Cry Engine can be, it has been proven to be an idiot proof way to make a game look at least great. Well, it was until this team got a hold of it. To it’s credit, the game does look better than most, but this is just by default (a game running off this engine can’t look terrible). But it is nearly the only thing that separates this from the rest of the bargin bin crap.

Gameplay

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s gameplay could have been it’s saving grace. And at first, it seems like it is. The game takes realism to heart, you can tell because it displays things like windspeed and direction at the top of the screen when you zoom down the scope. You have to compensate for these things as well as the distance when you try to shoot a target. At its best, SGW 2 is a fun stealth game that let’s you solve each situation like a puzzle. This is the part of the game that I love. I’m a sucker for stealth games that let you clear an area without being detected. But as soon as you try to deviate from this stealth formula, whether it be intentional or accident, the game goes down a sharp slope. The enemy AI is stuck on an on-off switch, either they are completely oblivious of your position, or they are completely trained on you. In most stealth games of late, the trend has been to forgive the player for screwing up, giving them an exit strategy. We saw this in games like Deus Ex, where you could stealth if you wanted, but if things got hairy you could always blow your way out. This game takes a completely black and white approach. Either you’re stealth, or you don’t deserve to live. The game tries to create an illusion of open gameplay, but in reality I haven’t played a game this linear in years. At least linear games like Bioshock Infinite have the gameplay and story to pick up the slack. Admittedly, the sniping in this game is pretty good. It brings back the best memories of sniping people in Battlefield 3 or even Halo. But the sniping is the only thing you do in the game. Literally, the only thing. The novelty of sniping enemies and making nice shots wears off fast, and in the end just becomes boring.

SniperBAD2

Get used to seeing this, because the bulk of the game is played through the scope. For better or worse.

One thing that could’ve saved this game and kept its cult following alive is multiplayer. Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting. The game ships with two maps and one mode. That’s right, two maps and one mode. Since its release there has been a DLC that adds on, seriously, one more mode and two more maps. So as of writing this article, there are four maps, and two modes. Those modes don’t even stand out. They are just Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. That’s it. Sure feels like you’re getting your money’s worth huh? The worst offense is that the game isn’t even fun to play online. At the start of each game, the game lets you pick from around eight different sniper rifles, and then you start the game. As soon as the game starts though, everyone drops down exactly where they spawned and camps. If you have ever been frustrated by campers in games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, multiply that by about 7 and you will have the experience this game provides. Even people who usually camp in those game, they probably wouldn’t find any enjoyment here because everyone is camping. And if you think you can be the one who deviates from this strategy and tries to run around and kill all the campers. Good Luck. Most spawn points lead to choke points that you can be picked off at. After playing one game online, I wanted all my time back. I was done with this terrible, terrible game.

Overall

What upsets me the most about Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is the fact that there is no reason for it to exist. The sniping is cool, but games like Sniper Elite released last year did it way better, and had more varied combat and situations. The multiplayer  is pointless beyond one game, the game looks ugly, and the story is forgettable. The developers had a golden opportunity to prove that publishers can take chances with games that have a cult following. But they blew it. I wanted to give this game a higher score, and I know cult fans will still love this game and hate me, but even at $40 I can’t recommend this game to anyone.

Pros:
  • Sniping is... decent for a while.
  • Some of the early stealth missions are fun, if you don't screw up.
Cons:
  • Ugly graphics.
  • Linear gameplay.
  • Forgettable story/characters.
  • Terrible multiplayer.
  • Lightswitch AI.
  • Just get Sniper Elite.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
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About the Reviewer: Cooper

I'm a college student who's passionate about video games.


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