Well, Sniper 5 Elite may seem a bit outdated and irritating, but still it’s a masterpiece. Once again, Rebellion Studio has really risen to the challenge.
The British developer has mastered creating games with a sniper calling the tune. Each subsequent installment offers the same kind of experience enhanced with something new – but it’s hard to complain. All in all, it’s a “deadeye simulator”, and a quite entertaining one, to be precise.
Sniper 5 Elite takes us to the battlefields of WWII, but this time it’s focus is on France. The whole story spins around the mysterious Kraken Operation, which is to be carried out in this part of Europe. Once again, you become Karl Fairburne who has to cook the Nazi’s goose. Like its predecessors, the fifth installment presents the war in a slightly humorous way. The Third Reich is painted in a rather funny manner, and the audio brings a smile to your face. This environment gives you positive vibrations. France, as reimagined by Rebellion is full of charm and beautiful landscapes.
On the surface, the gameplay of Sniper Elite 5 doesn’t seem to differ from the previous installments. However, the developers have introduced some major changes. In result, the gameplay reminds you of a hybrid with the Hitman series. Every stage is a kind of sandbox – you can solve it in various ways. You can either hide behind a rock, and start eliminating the guards, or sneak in, and assassinate them one by one… or you can just grab a machine gun and wipe out every one you come across – it’s up to you.
No matter what style you pick, Sniper 5 Elite isn’t a piece of cake to beat. The first missions may seem like an easy walkthrough, but the difficulty level significantly rises with each stage. Open combat and setting off the alarms usually ends up tragically, unless you got some guts and skilled hands.
You can finish Sniper Elite 5 in a straightforward way – moving from one task to another – but the game is too good to just play it the obvious way. The authors took care of a whole bunch of subtasks, including elimination of prominent Nazis, blowing up installations etc. I really enjoyed those mini tasks, which, apart from the enormous dose of entertainment, award you with bonus points and experience. The authors came up with spheres of development: combat, equipment and body. Each of those spheres contains 9 handy skills, allowing you to enhance lifting capacity, endurance etc. The same applies to weapons. It’s good idea to upgrade you rifles, which really enhances their efficiency.
The single player mode isn’t the only way of playing Sniper Elite 5. The cooperative mode is definitely a funnier method of exterminating Nazis. Here you fight shoulder to shoulder with another sniper (player). If you match up with a good buddy, you’re gonna have tons of fun. Moreover, there’s the Axis powers invasion mode, which allows you to join a campaign played by another player (or by two players). Slip on a German uniform, and try to hunt him (them) down. Of course, the hunter may become the prey – when another player decides to hunt for you, you’ll see a notification. You’ll have look for a telephone set, target the enemy, and take him down. What’s more, Sniper Elite 5 offers you other multiplayers modes – the survival mode and a regular deathmatches.
Sniper Elite 5 could have even been better, if Rebellion improved a few things. First things first, the gripe of the previous installments – the A.I. Oftentimes, the enemies act foolishly or give up searching, when it’s obvious that Karl Fairburne is still breathing. To my mind, the developers should bear that in mind, thinking about the sixth instalment. One of the most annoying things was the equipment wheel, which becomes unbearable in stressful situations – e.g. I regularly ended up using a grenade instead of bandage (less than ideal).
Moreover, Rebellion seriously needs to take care of its flagship series’ graphics. Sniper Elite 5 on PS5 looks decent thanks to high resolution and 60fps. However, judging by the technical standards, the game is stuck in the previous generation. The characters’ models look and move a bit artificially, and the environment all around you lack detail. They probably should also pay more attention to the lighting and shadowing. Sniper Elite 5 graphics appear quite flat, there isn’t much depth.
The sound deserves praise though. Sound effects are brilliant, Nazis speak German, the voice of Karl Fairburne is totally bearable (even in the long run), and the music is also pretty decent, as it contains certain tunes, which can be easily associated with France.
Sniper Elite 5 is one of those titles you recommend with a clear conscience to every fan of the Sniper or Hitman series. The developers have introduced more liberty and diversity, which allows you to beat the game your way, doing things that satisfy you the most. If it wasn’t for the poor A.I., outdated graphics and a few minor drawbacks, I would be delighted. Nevertheless, Rebellion gets it right once again.
The game is available for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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