Sniper Elite 4 (PS4) Review
Title: Sniper Elite 4
Genre: Stealth Action Adventure
Players: 1-12 (online multiplayer), 1-2 (online co-op)
Rating: M for Mature
Sniper Elite 4 is a game I really shouldn’t like. I’m not that big of a stealth guy and I’m especially not a big sniper guy, so it has two things I’m not fond of. I did enjoy Sniper Elite 3 some, mainly for the bullet cam stuff, so I gave this game a shot. It’s generally more of the same game, with some general improvements but with only one item dragging it down, slightly.
In Sniper Elite 4 you’re back in the boots of Karl Fairburne quickly after he shut some of the Nazis down in the African campaign (Sniper Elite 3). You’re tasked now with supporting rebels in Italy as they are trying to stop a Nazi super weapon (anti-ship missiles) from being developed. You go through a series of missions as you try to stop the designers from completing their goal, as well as helping the Partisan (rebel) group, with generally destroying Germany equipment or killing high ranking Nazis.
So, how does it play? Well, honestly, about 90% (if I’m being conservative) of the same as Sniper Elite 3. Your main weapon is (of course) you’re sniper rifle, which you can use to take shots at soldiers with over long distances. You have a “hold your breath” mechanic to help you line up shots and get a better aim on your enemies, but it is tied to your heart rate, so over-using it, or trying to use it after you’ve done a strenuous activity is harder. When trying to snipe enemies, you have to be aware of distance, wind, bullet drop (gravity), sound, and their own movement, to actually be successful, although some of these options can be altered in the difficulty mode. You do have different ammo, normal and silenced, which I don’t think was in Sniper Elite 3, but I could be mistaken.
Your other weapons include a submachine gun and a silenced bolt pistol. You can unlock other weapons as you play by buying them between missions, but I honestly stuck with the default load-out throughout my time with the game since there are upgrades that unlock with repeated use.
You also have a whole side arsenal of gear to help you out, including trip mines, grenades, TNT boxes, and a few other items. The thing is that almost none of these items are necessary. They can be fun, sure, and a few very specific instances they are handy, but none of them are explicitly useful in the game. Primarily because you should be away from your enemies as you kill them, so setting a mined dead enemy body isn’t something that came up a lot for me.
You also have to be cognizant of your location in the level, if you’re on a high ground or not, or if you can be seen. In the mini-map you can see how visible you are to your enemies, so crouching or getting prone can reduce your visibility, but it can also mess up any potential shots you might have.
Really, there isn’t too much else to say on the gameplay. That’s not a bad thing really, as the gameplay from Sniper Elite 3 was much of the same, if a little more tightly constrained. This game is more open with how you can approach combat scenarios, even if I did just use the same type of tactics for most of it.
I would venture really that there are only two negatives with the game, one practical, and one conceptual. The practical complaint is that the levels are massive and the mission can be long. Each mission took me about an hour to get through, especially since every mission has side objectives to accomplish, or a plethora of collectibles to uncover. This isn’t strictly a bad thing, per se, as it will give you plenty of time to enjoy the game, but it’s not something you can just play for 15 minutes and blow through. This is a game you really need to commit to if you want to make progress.
The conceptual negative is that, if you not into being stealthy or sniping at all, then you likely won’t have a great time in this game, but that almost goes without saying. It would be like someone trying to play Street Fighter 2 when they hate fighting games. If you’re looking for a “run and gun” type of shooter, or something that is action packed, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Aside from these two warning though, Sniper Elite 4 is still a fun game to enjoy, if a bit daunting. The missions are long and involved, but rewarding once you accomplish your tasks. Elite 4 has both a co-op mode and competitive multiplayer for you to enjoy with your friends. And the kill-cam returns and is as gruesome and violent as ever. If you want a pure sniping experience in a game, this is about the best you could ask for.