About as stealthy as a slap to the face
1,231SRP: £39.99There’s a massive problem with a game based on the situations and events that unfold during a sniper's career, which is a sniper doesn’t really see much action or do anything exciting. In reality, they sit and wait (sometimes for full days) without rest until their target materialises before skulking off to a safe retreat. So whilst this is something that can be quite entertaining to break up a full-on first person shooter, much like the ghillies in the mist level in COD 4, an entire game on this subject is a hard sell.
So what can you do to make an offering like this more appealing? Well having it contain controversial subject matter is one way and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 definitely has that. The game contains references and playable sequences with regards to the tragedy that happened in Bosnia and Sniper Alley. With a big reference like that, there’s one thing for certain and that is you best put out an excellent game that makes tasteful and effective use of it.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 eventually releases, after being delayed several months, in a marketplace that is pretty much empty in terms of competition bar the Sniper Elite games. Developed by City Interactive this is the sequel to what was an absolutely shocking first title that was full of bugs, shonky AI and dodgy mechanics. You’d expect a sequel to make up for all these shortcomings and rectify any wrongdoings seen in the first game, so how does this stack up in comparison?
Well if you go by the blurb on the back of the box, you’d imagine that this was a massive improvement over the original as there’s a glowing reference on there stating how it’s the best sniper game out there. In fairness, this might be the case but just look at how much competition the game has and this praise is like saying ‘Well done at being first…out of two competitors’.
But in the interest of fairness and giving benefit of the doubt, Ghost Warrior has a clean slate to change the opinions formed based on the first game. The formula is pretty much the same this time around as well; offering up plenty of first person action with solid shooting and effective stealth sections to make the sniping worthwhile.
It’s expected of games these days to have some sort of storyline woven into them to make the singleplayer sections enjoyable and most importantly create some sort of connection between it and the end user. It seems that City Interactive weren’t present when all other games decided this and have decided to negate any sort of decent or well thought out story. Instead they’ve gone for the predictable and lazy betrayal routine that is quite frankly boring and leaves you skipping through cutscenes and narrative sequences.
It’s a shame really as the script and dialogue are actually quite well done, bar the typical military phrases and references, the story doesn’t do them any justice whatsoever. You know what as well? The script is probably the best thing about the entire game full stop. Yep, that’s right; Ghost Warrior 2 is pretty much as bad as the first title. We could leave it at that, but let’s have an in-depth look at why GW2 is so bad.
One of the main problems with the first game was how dodgy the enemy AI was. Their movements were stilted, unpredictable and glitchy whilst they had eagle vision which enabled them to spot a fly dropping a turd on a rock from a mile away. All of which meant your best efforts to stay hidden were rendered useless and meant completing sections was down to trial and error after many painful deaths. Unfortunately the same can be said here with the AI going all over the place and spotting you from said mile away even when you’re head deep in foliage.
The game sees you go through differing environments and geographical locations too, including the aforementioned Sniper Alley. From mortar-ridden streets, to generic forestry and Chinese mountains you’ll pretty much see it all with all requiring different tactics to be successful. But with the AI being as poor as it is, there’s little other tactic than try it unsuccessfully, load it back up and try again. This is a chore in itself however as the checkpoint system is so useless it might as well not be there at all as it can leave you replaying extensive sections just to get back to where you were before.
Then we come to how the game looks. The previous game didn’t look particularly pretty and being brutally honest, the second game isn’t really any better either. Some of the textures are so flat and low quality you’d expect them to be from an original Xbox game or something from the PS2 days. The game seems to get worse as you go on as well with the second act looking terrible in places, especially the non-playable characters.
So, as expected, your goal is to sneak your way through given scenarios taking down tangos as you go and remain undetected. The actual shooting sections of the game are quite well implemented and the guns are suitably powered, including your trusty sidearm. That’s when your target is close enough for your bullets to be unaffected by the elements given how long it takes for the red dot to appear in your scope. It takes an absolute age, meaning your guy misses his shot or can’t hold his breath any longer. His heart rate is all over the show as well with walking causing it to rise to 80BPM and shooting back down again in less than a second. His heart rate influences your shot as well naturally, but it drops that quickly after running it is negatable more often than not.
The main campaign of Ghost Warrior can be completed in less than 6 hours if you have the desire and patience. If you do then good luck to you; it will be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll have in a long time. The multiplayer isn’t that exciting either as it can be laggy and very few players frequent the servers, but it can (on rare occasions) be more exciting than the single player.
Then we come to the crux of the matter; the Bosnia level. You see I don’t mind controversy in games or taboos being challenged, in fact I feel it makes games more enjoyable in some instances. But developers need to know when they are warranted and have a rightful place and most importantly, know when they’re downright unnecessary. City Interactive don’t have any concept of the latter as the influence of true events here is completely unneeded and because the game is so poor it is just all kinds of wrong. In all honesty setting the little bit of story involved away from Sarajevo would have made more sense than actually setting it there.
- Doesn't last long
- Rewarding on rare occasions
Dead and Gone
- Awful graphics
- Poor mechanics
- Just as bad as the first game
- Some poor sods will pay full whack for it
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 PS3 Review
The sad thing about this game is that it has a place in the market and has the potential to sell by the bucket load but sadly it fails to deliver on the quality required in order to do so. Rather than learn from the first outing (which was appalling) City Interactive have pretty much produced an identical steaming pile of the proverbial which has equally bad graphics, AI and mechanics. If you have to play it then please rent it as no matter what you pay for it it isn't nearly good enough to justify the price tag, save your money for bigger and better games out there.
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