Format: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC
Get Ready – Rebellion’s latest entry in its Sniper takes players into a unique setting of World War II, approaching the totally unexplored Normandy landings. Slight sarcasm aside, while Sniper Elite 5 won’t win any awards for frame originality, it’s a significant improvement over its predecessors, continuing the series’ evolution of a shooter. fun but forgettable specialty to one of the best stealth tactics games on the market.
The single-player campaign finds the series’ supernaturally gifted sniper, Karl Fairburne, with a veritable arsenal of long-range and close-range weaponry, tasked with stopping (another) secret Nazi project before it can. turn the tide of the conflict. Over the course of eight long missions, Fairburne is drawn into a surprisingly engaging story that sees him cross paths with scrappy members of the French Resistance and take down cruelly evil Nazis, all while trying to dismantle the infamous “Project Kraken”.
Despite its broad and continuing similarity to its predecessors, Elite Sniper 5 is a perfect evolution of what came before. It’s bigger, without feeling bloated, with mission maps that aren’t quite open-world, but are much more traversable than what’s been seen in the series before. This gives the player the freedom to reach and solve objectives, or fight their way past – or through – enemy troops. The ladder also allows for more exploration, either to set off and complete marked side missions or to uncover additional objectives hidden around the maps. These often add significant depth to the story and game world, although there could be better placement of these – for example, in the first mission you’ll probably already have destroyed a series of cannons anti-aircraft before finding the secret plans that hint at their existence.
It also significantly improves the stealth gameplay of its predecessors. Fairburne is now almost a World War II Solid Snake, but without hiding in boxes so much. Bottles can be thrown to distract enemies, decoys used to attract attention, and even a humble whistle can steer infantry away from their patrols, where you can dispatch them with sneaky melee attacks. You are also incentivized to hide downed enemies, to prevent detection and alarms. Some of these tips have featured in the Sniper series before, but they’re perfected here, providing more and better tactical options to progress through missions.
The pinnacle of the series to date.
Away from physical stealth, there are also more tools at your disposal to silence weapons – almost every weapon can be fitted with a suppressor to minimize noise, but this in turn translates into improved tactics, as “removed” is not the same as “silent”, and adding one can mean a trade-off in power. A pistol equipped with a suppressor can only emit a “PTT!” strangely satisfying and effectively silent, but will require you to be closer to a target to kill, at the risk of being spotted by other enemies.
Sure, SniperThe signature shot remains his X-ray slow-motion gunfire, showing the horrific damage a single bullet can inflict on a human body as it rips through flesh, bones and organs. Those gory moments return, with anatomical detail sharper and more grisly than ever, but – at the default frequency setting – doesn’t feel gratuitous. This is no doubt helped by the game rewarding you with more experience points at the end of a level for knocking out enemies, rather than slaughtering everyone you encounter. When an X-ray hit goes off, it’s almost like a twisted, sadistic treat – after all, it’s Nazis you’re killing.
The biggest improvement though is the invade feature. Play online and you can invade – or be invaded by – another player, with the invader appearing as a ‘Jager’, a rival sniper hunting down the host version of Fairburne. These are thrilling encounters, kill-or-kill chases that help show just how masterful the design is. Elite Sniper 5The cards are, inviting you to set traps to eliminate your opponent while paying even closer to each potential hiding place, each flicker of a moving pixel in a window in the distance. Player invasions are nothing new on their own – they were perhaps best used recently in Death Loop – but they are particularly well done here.
One of them leaves Elite Sniper 5 Some overlapping context checks make key functionality trickier than it should be. For example, clicking the right thumbstick brings up the binoculars, allowing Fairburne to spot enemy movement in the distance, but long-pressing the same thumbstick activates and cancels his “radar” skill, a Daredevil-esque ability to “see” at nearby enemies from the sound of their movements. It’s all too easy to activate one when you want the other, or pop up binoculars when you want to get out of radar view. Removed from enemies, it is an annoyance; up close, trying to sneak around a Nazi bunker, it’s an active issue.
Luckily, that’s not enough to completely ruin the experience. Taken as a whole, Elite Sniper 5 is the series’ pinnacle to date, remixing familiar concepts, settings, and mechanics in a fresh, innovative, and exciting way.