The Sniper Elite brand is returning to the scene with a full-fledged fifth installment after five years. Developers from the British studio Rebellion but in the meantime they did not lag behind, and even before the release of the fifth part they brought a continuation of the sister brand Zombie Army, which was supplemented by the title Sniper Elite VR. But now fans of the sniper craft are finally getting a main course called Sniper Elite 5.
- Platform: PS5 (peer-reviewed version), PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S
- Date of publication: 26. 5. 2022
- Producer: Rebellion (Anglie)
- Genre: action
- Czech location: ne
- Multiplayer: yes (online cooperation, invasion and PvP multiplayer)
- Data to download: 85 GB
- Game time: 15 hours
- Accessibility: 18+
- Sales version: physical and digital
In the skin of the elite sniper Karl Fairburn, this time you set out for France in 1944, which is occupied by Nazi Germany and hopes for an impending Allied invasion. The skeleton of the story follows in the footsteps of older parts and again brings a plot about a miraculous Nazi weapon that could reverse the course of the war in favor of the Axis. This time, the relatively safe mainland and cities of the United States could even be in jeopardy. The imaginary line across the budget in the secret plans of the Nazis should be made by you. As part of short storytelling, which always precedes the missions themselves, representatives of the French resistance and later, after landing in Normandy, Allied soldiers will also enter the scene.
However, these are just story sequences and associated animations, in which the game definitely does not excel. The developers cannot be denied the effort to introduce a few supporting characters, which in the first place should give the impression that you are not completely alone in everything. In reality, however, the story sequences and individual protagonists are given so little space that there can be no question of any connections or acquaintance with the supporting characters. A few technically unsuccessful animations simply do not hide the fact that Sniper Elite 5, like its predecessors, is definitely not a story game. Paradoxically, the main antagonist in the form of German officer Abelard Möller will get a little more space. It is the gradual discovery of various information and secret plans of the Nazis that results in the standard component of storytelling for the series, which, thanks to a combination of a fictional story and real period realities, still has something in it.
Most locations are dominated by a rugged environment with a number of buildings and other objects.
The story campaign offers a total of eight missions in various locations, which is complemented by the final epilogue and a typical bonus mission for owners of pre-orders or more expensive editions, in which Adolf Hitler himself gets into your crosshairs. Personally, I spent an hour and a half on average in each level. It should normally take at least 12 hours to go through the entire campaign without fulfilling most of the side events. However, in addition to the chosen difficulty and style of play, the total playing time also depends on how much you want to deal with side tasks. In addition to the main goal of the mission, the game will gradually uncover and serve you side tasks and other possible activities. These most often consist of finding and killing a specific German officer, destroying or disposing of various objects or obtaining specific information or documents. After all, a similar set of activities often consists of the main tasks, so the performance of additional activities certainly does not seem like an unnecessary or uninteresting activity.
In addition to longer playing time, experience points and newly unlocked equipment will be rewarded for performing optional tasks. You will use experience points in the skill tree, with which you can increase the level of health, endurance or the size of the inventory. The newly unlocked equipment and its individual parts in the form of various sights, silencers, stocks or magazines will then help you to adapt your coveted weapons arsenal as much as possible to your preferences and style of play. The basis consists of a long-range sniper rifle, a pistol with a silencer for the silent elimination of enemies at shorter distances and, last but not least, a submachine gun, which will be useful if the situation collapses and there is a more intense firefight with more enemies. An indispensable part of the equipment is also a telescope, with which you mark individual enemies and monitor the overall events in the area.
It is the variability of gameplay that adorns the Sniper Elite 5. However, I can’t shake the impression that the developers preferred stealth and short-distance combat even more than the older parts, which can unpleasantly surprise many players given the name of the game. Most locations are dominated by a rugged environment with a number of buildings and other objects. In addition, the goals of primary and secondary tasks are often placed in interiors. It is the stealthy procedure, the silent infiltration of individual objects and the elimination of enemies at short distances that therefore play a key role, especially in the described objects in the form of houses, bunkers, factories or military bases. Personally, I far more often reached for a pistol with a silencer or eliminated enemies with classic melee attacks using various shelters.
With the invasion of another player, the hunter suddenly becomes a game.
The sniper rifle is effective and accurate, but it makes so much noise that if you do not time your shot at the same time as the plane passes, you will quickly attract the attention of many enemies in the area, who at best will receive some suspicion and start combing the area. In the worst case, they will sound the alarm and start looking for you intensely. And that’s the last thing you want during an infiltration of a large enemy base. Therefore, I most often pulled out a sniper rifle against lone enemies in more remote parts of the map or against other snipers that are otherwise difficult to get rid of. You can set various items from the physics of the fired missile, which can work with its trajectory and wind, through the acumen of artificial intelligence to the difficulty itself, in various combinations according to your own preferences before each mission. While lower difficulty opens the door to a more action-packed approach, more realistic settings, on the other hand, do not forgive too many mistakes and ill-considered steps.
Duel of snipers
On the other hand, you can’t do without a sniper rifle if invasions are activated. Like last year’s hit Deathloop, a second player with a single goal – to kill you – can enter the level you played in the campaign. As soon as the indicator appears, which indicates the entry of the enemy sniper into the game, you know that hard times are starting for you. With the invasion of another player, the hunter suddenly becomes a game. At the same time, the imaginary duel of snipers rather records the intruder, who is assisted by a number of computer-controlled enemies. Only phones with different locations on the map can help you in this direction, with which it can reveal the exact location of the other player. Taken together, the invasions represent one of the most significant and successful innovations of the fifth Sniper Elite. Playing for both sides has something in it and brings a completely new variable to the otherwise proven gameplay. On the other hand, the possibility of playing individual levels in cooperation between two players can be considered a standard and popular component of the campaign.
The above-mentioned variability of gameplay, of course, allows you to choose a more action-packed approach instead of a stealthy slow procedure, in which you use the sniper rifle, submachine gun and other equipment in the form of mines, explosives or grenades more often. Personally, during playing, except for some locations, I could not get rid of the impression that the individual levels are built and adapted primarily for stealth and the gradual elimination of enemies at short distances. This trend was already evident in the older parts of the series, but in the case of the fifth part, the developers put even more pressure on the saw in this direction and further reduced the usability of the sniper rifle.
From the audiovisual point of view, no revolution is taking place.
The otherwise pleasant impression of sophisticated locations and well-functioning stealth mechanics, in addition to the occasional weaker moments of artificial intelligence, breaks down illogical barriers in some locations. Quite often it happened to me that, to my surprise, I could gracefully jump over a wall or use a nearby ledge, gutter or ventilation shaft. The game gives you a welcome freedom at certain moments, but only a few minutes later it significantly limits you. It is not possible to suddenly skip a similarly high and only slightly different wall, it is suddenly impossible to climb to a similar gutter, you can only get out of the trench in a place precisely determined by the game, and it is not possible to climb a suitably built railway wagon for unknown reasons. If something in the game really bothered me from the point of view of playability, it is often an illogical distinction between an active and a passive object. It is all the more strange that some locations suffer from this problem more than others.
A sure bet
Although the game is mainly based on the campaign and the associated two-member cooperation and invasions, the developers have not forgotten about multiplayer PvP battles for up to 16 players, in which participants can be divided into two or four teams. There are also battles for everyone, or a mode in which individual teams meet only at a distance of several hundred meters. There is also a well-known survival regime from previous episodes. In it, you will occupy individual points in up to four players and face an influx of numerous enemy waves. In terms of content, the fifth Sniper Elite offers a fairly long campaign with good replayability and the possibility of cooperation and invasion. Modes in the form of PvP multiplayer and survival then represent a rather secondary content, in which, however, especially in a group of friends, it is not a problem to spend countless more hours.
From the audiovisual point of view, no revolution is taking place. At some points, the game is quite similar to a five-year-old fourth part, which is not a completely good business card for the new addition. In addition to outdated animations, for example, I was disappointed by the quality of more distant objects. Due to the fact that the game is also based on the last generation of consoles, on the other hand, not very significant progress in graphics could be expected. Only light modifications have been made to the famous X-Ray camera, which even after years still belongs to the main visual and technical attractions of the series. Yes, a detailed look at the destruction of the entrails still has something in it, but it is no longer as impressive as it was years ago. The tested PS5 version from the point of view of fluency ran completely smoothly at 60 fps in combination with 4K resolution. I encountered technical problems rather rarely. For example, I have experienced several outages or stuck enemies several times. But it was nothing that would significantly spoil the impression of playing.
There is also a well-known survival regime from previous episodes.
Sniper Elite 5 does not deviate in any way from the established order of the series. It will captivate with its fun gameplay with a high degree of variability and elaborate levels, in which you must not lose sight of even a moment. It will also please the presence of cooperation and news in the form of invasions. On the contrary, the game is hampered by problematic interactions with some objects, which create unnecessary barriers in an otherwise imaginative environment. Due to too little space and awkward animations, the effort to involve other characters in a completely traditional and already slightly outlined story and the way it is told did not succeed either. After some, one may not even feel the tendency to proceed quietly and fight for a short distance, and the backwardness of the blasting itself. Despite the aforementioned ailments, the new Sniper Elite is a successful and in many ways imaginative tactical stealth action, of which there are not many on the market.
Sniper Elite 5
- Fun gameplay with proven mechanics
- Extensive, lively and diverse locations
- The game is open to different techniques and styles
- Possibility of two-member cooperation in the campaign
- The main goal of the mission is always supplemented by several side tasks and activities
- New in the form of invasions in the campaign
- Solid game time and replayability
It bothers us
- Primitive story and characters
- Often incomprehensible barriers in the game world
- Quality of animations and in some areas contradictory technical side
- Sometimes strange behavior of artificial intelligence
- The limited use of snipers can unpleasantly surprise newcomers in particular