Sniper Elite 4 – Easy Allies Review
Despite the industry shifting towards futuristic warfare, the demand to kill Nazis during World War II still exists as evidenced by the continued success of the Sniper Elite franchise. Favoring a slow, deliberate pace, Sniper Elite 4 asks you to be patient, but is hitting your marks enough of a reward? The sun soaked deserts of North Africa from Sniper Elite 3 have been left behind as Karl Fairburne now heads to Italy in 1943. In search of a deadly new weapon created by the Nazis, Fairburne must find the man behind its creation and put an end to the sinister development. While the paper-thin plot adds a few interesting elements like an uneasy alliance with the Mafia, it merely exists to set up each mission scenario. Awkward conversations with ancillary characters and a lack of memorable villains diminish the stakes of each objective. The heart of Sniper Elite 4 lies in long-distance sniping. Navigating past numerous soldiers to line up the perfect shot is an exhilarating sensation that demands patience from the player.
Crawling through bushes, memorizing enemy troop movements, and scouting ahead with binoculars are basic techniques necessary for survival. If timed correctly, starting up generators can mask the sound of your rifle, adding an additional layer of strategy and sensory awareness. The rifles are undoubtedly the most engaging weapons to use as each kill feels personal and earned. Each shot is a thunderous explosion followed by swift death to whoever is on the receiving end of the barrel. The other weapons don’t favor as well. Pistols and sub-machine guns should feel less powerful, of course, but there’s an unshakable sense of emptiness to them.
It feels awkward for Fairburne to use them, like a mark of shame for a failed sniping attempt. While playing on the easiest difficulties, it’s simple to manipulate the enemy AI and even go guns blazing through stages. However, getting spotted on harder difficulties quickly results in defeat, making each kill a high-stakes challenge. Custom difficulty settings can be fine-tuned, putting an emphasis on playing how you want, and the ability to play cooperatively through the entire campaign further bolsters Sniper Elite 4’s variety. The series’ trademark X-ray kill-cam returns in all its brutal glory. Bone and sinew splatter mercilessly as eyeballs and organs burst like balloons. The effect never gets redundant and is triggered slightly less than in previous games. New additions like explosive shrapnel tear through Nazis like paper, and Fairburne’s melee attacks also get the brutal treatment. XP is constantly awarded for completing various tasks and scoring kills. While it helps to add a connective progression through each game mode, the rewards and upgrades feel inconsequential aside from a few perks like increased lung capacity. We became so attached to the starting equipment that we’ve never felt compelled to swap them with something else.
The game encourages such familiarity with weapons, and while there are some minor stat differences with different gear, most items feel interchangeable. The size of each of the game’s ten stages has been noticeably increased since 2014’s Sniper Elite 3. Italian villas, dense forests, and Nazi facilities set the backdrop for tactical infiltrations. Fairburne now has the ability to climb and shimmy across certain structures, adding additional ways to sneak around the environment. Each stage has multiple side objectives, ranging from sabotaging weapons caches to obtaining important documents. Completing these optional activities rewards a substantial amount of XP but they can be tedious to complete. Many require taking longer routes to the core objective and since XP doesn’t amount to much, they rarely feel worth the effort. There are multiple ways to enjoy cooperative play. The campaign can be engaged solo or with a friend, and there’s a survival mode for up to four players. The strongest mode is Overwatch where one person acts as the sniper in an elevated position, while the other player is an operative on the ground with the ability to tag targets.
Planning coordinated attacks or dispatching an encroaching soldier about to spot the operative makes for some dramatic and tense moments. Unfortunately, there are only two Overwatch maps at launch, each of which can be finished briskly. In addition to co-op there are a suite of competitive options ranging from standard deathmatch to long-distance scoring. Stealth remains the favored approach as simply running to and from cover generates enough noise to reveal your position. Competitive play is a nice change of pace from the plethora of fast paced shooters on the market, and a place where camping isn’t frowned upon but encouraged. Sniper Elite 4 is a game for stealth enthusiasts.
Setting up the perfect kill from a huge distance after sneaking past a base full of Nazi soldiers feels rewarding and earned. However, the scenarios fall flat, and the scope of the game is fairly limited. Attempts to offer more options and extend its lifespan don’t really pay off, but it’s still satisfying to shoot someone’s eye out. Easy Allies Reviews are made possible by generous viewers just like you. If you like what you see, check out patreon.com/easyallies to see our other videos and consider becoming a patron to help us make more..
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