There is no denying Sniper Elite is one of Rebellion Developments’ most important franchises, with the studio shifting their entire focus on the series ever since Sniper Elite V2 in 2012. The studio released a couple of mobile games here and there but continued to focus on providing the best sniping experience a player can get from their title.
I am an avid fan of the Sniper Elite franchise, since I always tend to use snipers in shooting games, Rebellion Developments’ series was the perfect fit for me. First of all, I have to give a big round of applause for everyone in Sniper Elite 4’s development team, because they managed to almost improve the game on every aspect from the previous instalment.
Sniper Elite 4 starts off right from where the third instalment left off, with the game being set in Italy in 1943. You take the role of Karl Fairburne, helping the Italian resistance in their war against the Fascists. Storytelling is always an issue in shooter franchises, but in Sniper Elite 4, I never felt that I am doing mission without a purpose or just shooting objects and killing people because I can. The storytelling in this game is done much better than previous instalments, with noticeably more cutscenes and documents that are quite clear to interpret and helps the player understand the overall plot.
With the game being set in 1943 in Italy, I expected to see some beautiful scenery, and the game didn’t fail to deliver just that. Although this isn’t an open-world video game where you can just stop anywhere and admire the scenery for as long as you want, but the few times I managed to get out of enemies’ line of sight and stand on top of a relatively high platform, I came to appreciate how lovely this game looks. The team over at Rebellion Developments did a wonderful job of capturing the soul and essence of Italy in every place you look. The visuals are definitely a great step-up from Sniper Elite 3, which to me didn’t deliver on the graphical side.
One very noticeable change in gameplay from previous instalments in the franchise is how the secondary weapons feel and respond, since that was an issue to a lot of players. In some situations where you are obligated to use your secondary firearm, or even your pistol in fact, you will feel the improvement the development team managed to pull off when it comes to close-quarter combat. Secondary weapons in Sniper Elite 3 for example felt clunky and sluggish, and sometimes hits didn’t even register correctly.
Now, for the most important aspect of the game, sniping. Sniping didn’t experience a massive overhaul, or even any big changes in fact, since it was already in good condition. Sniping has improved slightly when it comes to responsiveness and the overall physics behind it, other than that, you won’t feel any difference compared to previous games. The most satisfying moments in Sniper Elite 4, and previous instalments as well, are its graphical slow-mo killcams. This instalment seems to do it better than all the ones before it, making it look more realistic than ever.
All in all, Sniper Elite 4 is definitely a game worth picking up if you are a fan of the franchise or want to try out your skills at getting headshots hundreds of meters away from your target while sitting behind a bush. It is a considerable step up from its predecessor, and sets the tone for upcoming instalments.
Disclosure: A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review