Well it had been a while since we last reviewed a computer/console game for Sniper Central and we figured we should give one of the new generation console games a shot to see how they were, or compared to, the older generation PC games. The Sniper Elite series always seemed like it could be entertaining as it takes place during World War 2 and the series of games itself have won several awards. So we picked up the latest version (4) for the XBox One and then fired it up to see how it was.
We were playing the game on a projector with 8 foot screen so we got the full HD experience and we do have to admit the visuals are pretty stunning. Of course, we are professional snipers running a sniper web page, so we made sure to set the difficulty on the highest realism (Hard Core) with claimed full ballistics and launched the single player campaign. Of course, we are far from even adept gamers so of course we died many of times and over the course of several weeks of playing the game casually (and dying gruesomely) we got a feel for what the game was and just how realistic it is, or tries to be.
The game, yes, it is a game and not a simulator, does have a shooting range where you can fine tune your shooting skills with various different accurately modeled (visually at least) WWII sniper rifles. The different stats on the different rifles were not how we would rank or order the various rifles, but that was not important to gameplay. Trying to get a feel for the rifles and controls is what you will be doing at the shooting range. Now, remember, we had the realism level on Hard Core, so there is essentially strong winds everywhere and the scope view had a little arrow at the top giving you a rough idea of how the wind would effect your bullet. So it takes some time to get an idea of how to compensate for wind at various distances.
You also have a pair of binoculars that can pretty much act like a laser range finder by viewing a target and then “marking it”, it then tells you the distance. If you didn’t have that, you would only be eyeballing it, which never seems to work well on computer games. The scopes have a BDC type of adjustment on them (see the bottom of the picture above) so you can set the scope to various ranges to compensate for ballistics, which gives you some idea scope adjustments. Though it only goes up to 400 meters.
The game is fun, no doubt, but in it really just turns into a fanciful first person shooter with the ability to use a sniper rifle. But then again, that is all we expected since it has to appeal to a mass market, not sniper realists. We seldom, if ever, made shots beyond 200 meters and many levels we would have more than 50 kills. There is a stealth element to it and if you elected to play it as a true sniper and snuck around everywhere just taking out priority targets, it would be better, but also nearly impossible to do…at least on Hard Core mode. The game has attention getting features like the vital shot cam and other things, but you can read about those on the info page and they don’t really add to what we want to see in a sniper sim.
All in all, its fun to play if you like FPS games and it can at least provide some minor insight into sniping, so its not bad. Just go in knowing what to expect and you will have a good time. The suppressed pistol is fun, then the tommy gun for running and gunning, and the sniper rifle for those long 100 yard shots (said with tongue in cheek)