|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: City Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: City Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 29, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Despite the hype, Sniper: Ghost Warrior is not the best, nor is it the most accurate, sniper game to date. Its not even the most fun. Its been compared to Ghost Recon, Call of Duty, and Splinter Cell, and while it does assimilate elements from these blockbusters, Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a generic, no-name game with a few bugs. The ingredients may be the same, but the flavor is often bland and at times bitter.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior puts you in the midst of a deadly conflict in South America. Its your duty as an American soldier to assist the rebels in overthrowing the dictator of this fictional country. Combat locations are varied, from urban streets to the sweltering humid jungles. Theres no shortage of action, and like the locations, the gameplay is varied. Although the title suggests sniping as your main discipline, its not the only task youll be saddled with. There is plenty of running-and-gunning to satisfy the trigger-happy FPS fanatic, and of course there is the methodical, stealthy countenance of the sniper to contend with. Its a good mix of twitch and micromanagement, along with the varied missions, but overall the difficulty is almost non-negotiable in some parts.
Theres nothing terrible about this game, and there's also nothing terribly original either. There are some technical issues which keep it from ever being considered a classic. Some of the glitches you'll encounter include clipping graphics and control command errors. In some instances you can see through walls and other structures. Unfortunately it also appears the A.I. has this ability as they can pinpoint your location with uncanny accuracy once youve fired off a shot.
The biggest problem in the game comes with the control system. As a sniper, stealth plays a huge role, requiring you to crouch and crawl your way through the environments. Being spotted usually means certain death. Get used to that; there are lots of incidents of unfair A.I. behavior. Unfortunately the commands for moving forward and standing up get crossed. Most times youll get exactly what you press, but other times youll get a different action, one that you really dont want. I tried these moves many times to determine if the problem is human error, and I honestly can say I dont believe its me. Even if it is, the commands shouldnt be so touchy that such mistakes would occur. Imagine sneaking and crawling for what seems like an eternity only to accidentally jump to a standing position where the enemy can see you like a circus act in the spotlight.
A snipers life isnt all sunshine and lollipops, so expect the unexpected, along with some frustrating elements you will have little control over. As I mentioned, this game isnt entirely about sniping, which Ill get into more detail in the next paragraph. At the outset you will be part of the ground troops. Always working closely with the snipers, they will provide cover for your exploits. You will also take part in some front line action using a variety of assault weapons such as rifles, handguns, knives, and mines to execute a series of missions ranging from eliminating all enemies in a town to the destruction of oil rigs. With 16 missions in all, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the gameplay. Despite the clipping, the graphics are well done, creating spacious environments such as the villages and jungle areas. There isnt much story to concern you, just follow orders and keep yourself alive. Switching to the role of the sniper is like playing an entirely different game, and thats exactly how it should feel. There is a huge difference in mechanics, but at least youll have some experience with the environments and the A.I., for better and for worse.
Expect plenty of micromanagement as a sniper. Theres a HUD with plenty of elements to take into consideration. Overall its somewhat streamlined, but that doesn't mean it's easy. It can be a satisfying and frustrating experience because there are lots of variables that can make aiming the scope an absolute nightmare. Imagine trying to take a shot while bouncing around in a dinghy in heavy winds.