Sniper Elite 5 Review
In the upcoming Sniper Elite 5, The award-winning series returns as Karl Fairburne fights to uncover Project Kraken in 1944 France. With enhanced kill cam, the genre-defining authentic sniping has never looked or felt better as you battle across immersive maps to stop the Nazi war machine in its tracks.
Much like its predecessors Sniper Elite 5 brings the action in the most stylistic and brutal way it knows how. The series has been known for its kill cam, which has been tweaked with even more detail than ever before, showing you the true destructive power of each shot. Bones deflect bullets unpredictably, ripping a new path through enemy bodies. Virtually any weapon can cause these events, not just sniper rifles, but pistols, grenades, etc.
The game is a direct sequel to Sniper Elite 4, taking place in France in 1944. As part of a covert US Rangers operation to weaken the Atlantikwall fortifications along the coast of Brittany, elite marksman Karl Fairburne makes contact with the French Resistance after plans don’t go as well planned.
Soon they uncover a secret Nazi project that threatens to end the war quickly: Operation Kraken. Each mission drops you into a new environment with a couple of objectives in mind. It’s up to you how you want to tackle them, you can go as quietly and stealthy as possible, or if you are like me start that way and end up going guns blazing shortly thereafter.
The choice is yours, but the more noise you make, the more support and backup the Nazi army gets. Along each very large map are also collectibles, intel, and side objectives you can choose to do, or not. Personally, I loved the addition of the side objectives, they made me spend more time on each map and honestly gave me something that felt extra to do other than find and kill objective X.
Many of the real-world locations were scanned for authenticity to give each environment a living feel to it. Not just a cleverly designed map for a game to cause specific things to happen as part of the game mechanics. Each level will provide you with a kill list as well and you can unlock alternate starting points in the map for replayability down the line. You can take on the entire game solo, or if co-op is more your thing you can bring a friend and share weapons and ammo, heal each other and identify targets.
As you play through you can unlock more customization and weapon options that can be used at various workbenches to customize your loadout just the way you like. The weapon customization is very deep here ranging from scopes, stocks, and clips, and even down to ammo types from armor-piercing all the way to non-lethal (what’s the fun in that?). But with these options, you can customize your rifle, pistol, and your secondary weapons to your liking and suit the current mission at hand.
Another one of the new features is called invasion, where someone else can drop into your game as an Axis sniper who is strictly out to hunt you and stop you from succeeding in your mission.
This definitely adds a new layer of difficulty to your game, as this person is obviously much more dangerous than the enemies at hand. The only thing you can do is do what you need to survive, there are some phones scattered around where you can ask for intel on the sniper and they will identify the last known location so at least you have somewhat of an idea where they might be. If this proves to be too much for you to handle, of course, you have the option to turn it off as well. But I had quite a bit of fun I imagine ruining a few other reviews day here and there.
Overall, I think visually the game looks pretty good, nothing groundbreaking but considering the size and scale of the maps it’s understandable. But the moments in the kill cam are amazing and definitely a show-stopper.
It’s certainly not a bad-looking game by any means but I don’t think it’s pushing the next-gen capabilities quite yet, but that may have to do with it being playable on multiple generations as well. But honestly, it didn’t affect my enjoyment at all. Each level I thought was well designed with plenty to do and explore and SO MANY different ways to complete your objective. I even went back and replayed a few missions just to see how differently I could do it. Audio, the guns sound good and the voice acting is very good, considering the locale of the game you have French accents as well as other European throughout the game as well as German.
There are numerous cut scenes that are entirely done in other languages to add to the authenticity of it all. The writing in the game was ok, but honestly is a pretty straightforward tale, nothing really surprised me or drove me to play it more and more. This was all accomplished by the gameplay over the narrative. The gunplay, outside of sniper rifles, can feel a little chaotic and stiff, the best comparison I have to it would be like a less janky version of PUBG. But the sniping feels better than any other game I have ever played. Just so satisfying when you really nail a hit and that kill cam pops up and shows every last detail.
Overall I think it’s another solid entry in the series for sure, definitely providing some excellent tactical gameplay strategies with the best sniping in video games period. However, if you are looking for bullet storms and action-packed battles ala Call of Duty or like Wolfenstein, then maybe this one isn’t for you. But for me, I had a fantastic time hiding in the tall grass and picking my shots.