Review by HarlequinK
"Unplayable as a stealth based game"
I was hyped when I heard about this game. Sneaking around in a ghillie suit sniping bad guys sounded like a load of fun. Unfortunately, "sneak" is a term rarely usable in this game. I'm not sure if it's the stealth mechanic itself that's broken, or it's rendered useless by the inhuman senses of the enemy AI, but broken it is. You should be practically invisible laying in tall grasses, but the AI has no problem seeing you from the farthest distances at any elevation or hitting you with incredible accuracy. This makes levels where stealth is required extremely difficult even on the easiest setting, as it's impossible to hide from the AI. Once detected, they enemy is on you the instant you pop out to take a shot regardless of the level or length of your concealment. After that, it's a run and gun game for the rest of that level.
The realistic shooting mechanic was another selling point. You certainly have to adjust for distance and windage, however you only have to do this on the hardest setting. There is an aim assist on the easier settings that makes this mechanic a null issue. Of course, playing on the hardest setting with the X-ray vision and sniper-like accuracy of the AI makes the game an exercise in frustration. I'm not sure why the aim assist wasn't given as an option on any setting rather than a requirement on the easier ones but it wasn't. The tutorial gives very little advice on how to adjust your aim, so if you start playing immediately on the hardest setting expect to miss a lot at first.
The graphics, sound, etc are as good as you'd expect from most other games. The vegetation is lush (although invisible as far as concealment goes), the water realistic, and the jungle sounds like a jungle. The AI speech is repetitive but considering their life expectancy this really isn't an issue.
Multiplayer is ho-hum and no different than dozens of other shooters. It's classed based, so pick one and start shooting. It certainly won't have any effect on the longevity of the game.
If you take the stealth mechanic away, the game is okay. It doesn't do anything that any other shooter hasn't already done. The only thing it had going for it was stealth, which it doesn't have. Play it like a CoD game and it's not bad as far as shooters go. Try and play it like Splinter Cell and you'll throw your controller.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/06/10
Game Release: Sniper: Ghost Warrior (US, 06/29/10)
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