copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Sniper: Ghost Warrior



Rati ng:


Impact: Faint

Let's get to the point: Sniper Ghost Warrior is like a break one would want to take from real shooter games:

"So what did you do on your leave?"

"Ah, nothing special, just went to the tropics, relaxed a bit, shot some things. Glad to be back though, I was getting bored. I missed you guys. Let's get to the business."


Do you have a faint of respect for the real job of sniping? Do yourself a favour – get a powerful PC, buy the game Arma 2 and download the related sniper mods for that game. Don't look any further than that, because there are currently no other good sniping simulations, and that has become twice as true with the coming of Sniper Ghost Warrior.


GAMEPLAY AND STORY


Having said the above, Sniper is not a bad game. It is a very straight to the point shooter. Its main con is its shallow waters.


Sniper feels like a game that should contain a whole lot of other weaponry and play like a simple shooter game. Instead, the player has been stripped of all the usual rocket launches, machine guns and rifles and has been left with only a sniper rifle, a side arm and throwing knives (no, I'm not joking – you, the sniper, are actually given throwing knives). There are only about 4 sniper rifles in the game and the enemies are all armed with the same FN FAL rifle. Not much variety indeed.


The actual sniping mechanics are disappointing. There is wind effect, indicated by a little meter at the top of the player's hud, and there is a basic bullet drop ballistic. However, since the shooting is done from short distances - under 150 meters for most part - there is little use for those two systems. The sniper rifle appears to be zeroed (meaning the scope crosshairs have been set at a certain distance) at 100 meters, so for most shots the rifle does not have to be adjusted. As for longer shots, the only way to adjust the rifle is to raise it. You CANNOT adjust the windage and elevation settings on your rifle's scope! This is rather unacceptable. Lack of such options would be understandable in a game about the Second World War, but not in a game set in modern times with the word "Sniper" in its title.


Perhaps the most fun part of the game is the bullet cam. Every now and then, usually during headshots, the camera will show the bullet fly to the target and the enemy striking a fatal pose as a splatter of blood leaves the bullet wound and his helmet flying the opposite direction. One thing however is not enough to make a game, and unfortunately bullet cam is arguably the best part of the game.


The storyline is not worth mentioning. It merely exists to get the player from one point of the map to the other point of the map and is extremely simple and cliché.


As for moving, stealth is encouraged from the beginning of the game when the detection meter is introduced, but as you get familiarized with the way it works, you realize that the stealth mechanics are quite bad and unrewarding. What are the basics things you know about sneaking around - If the enemy looks in your direction, you have to either freeze or crawl very slowly, right? Not in Ghost Warrior, where slowing down or stopping does not help much, and the best way for the stealth/detection meter to go down, and thus to avoid being "seen", is in fact to stand up and run to the next cover. In this ridiculous way it is possible to run through many situations without much of a problem.


Sniper Ghost Warrior is one of the easiest games of all times. You can slow down the time to make an accurate shot ("bullet time" in gamer's terms); there is a little circle that shows where the bullet will hit the target; the game can be saved at any time; sneaking around is quite easy and on lower difficulties the enemies are lit up so you can spot them easily. The only way to get any challenge out of this game is to play it on the hardest difficulty, not that it changes much, but at least the enemies will not be walking light bulbs and the game no longer shows you the exact spot where your bullet will go.


In fact, considering how easy the game gets, how you are guided through each movement and the simplicity of game mechanics, I would suggest this game to the minors amongst us. You may think that the blood splatter upon the bullet hitting the enemy solder should make this game M-rated, but that that blood splatter is actually the most violent thing you will see in this game and there are no blown off limbs our generation has learned to love so much.


GRAPHICS AND PERFORMANCE


Shallow does not necessarily mean bad. Shallow often comes with less demanding system requirements, less chances for bugs and more attention to looks. This is what Sniper Ghost Warrior is all about: looks and simplicity.


The setting for the game is a lush tropical paradise, covered with the shiny lightbloom effect. The sparkly water, the previously mentioned bullet cam effect and the lighting all come to make a relatively pretty game that nonetheless goes easy on your PC. Perhaps due to the levels being relatively small, it is possible to turn the graphics up to the maximum settings even on some of the low end machines.


The bugs do exist, but when there is less material present it is harder to mess things up, and so the bugs are few, mostly set around the AI behavior. Occasionally, it is unclear whether you are experiencing a bug or bad gameplay, and likelihood leans towards the latter.


SOUND


The music responds to the alertness status of the enemy and the sounds of the jungle and the guns are properly done.


The dialogue however is quite bad. You may experience cheese pouring out of your eyes and ears during cut scenes - that's how cheesy it is. It is clearly not the actors' fault as the voices are done quite well, but the lines sounded like something we would have written when we were 8, having been inspired by a few Rambo movies.


CONCLUSION


The question remains whether the game Sniper Ghost Warrior is worth the money you will pay for it. It is a simple shallow shooter that can get you through the weekend if it doesn't bore you to death first. If you are a real fan of sniping, then you probably have a certain appreciation for the realism of a sniping game, which means you won't have much appreciation for Sniper Ghost Warrior.