Sniper Elite 4 Review – Death from a Distance

Our favorite WW2 Sniper has moved on from Africa and has been deployed to Italy in Sniper Elite 4. Is he as fun and deadly as always, or should he have hung up his boots?

Read our review to find out

The Sniper Elite series, developed by Rebellion Developments, first launched back in 2005 and is a third-person, tactical and stealth shooter. The series has always tried to give the player an alternative to direct combat and puts a heavy emphasis on being smart about engaging the enemy. You are always outnumbered, so just going in to a situation like Rambo usually doesn’t end well.

Sniper Elite 4 is set in Italy in 1943 as a direct sequel to Sniper Elite III. Players control Karl Fairburne, an Office of Strategic Services agent, who is tasked to assist the Italian resistance force to fight against the Fascists in World War II. As you progress through the game, different story elements are revealed to show that the Nazis aren’t working alone and it’s up to you to gather the much needed intel to figure out who they are in collaboration with.

The story for the game is kind of all over the place and hard to follow at times. It is well written, with decent character development for a few NPCs, but it could have been a little deeper. As you progress through a level, tagging an enemy and then focusing on that soldier will reveal little tidbits of information about them that actually gives them a touch of humanity, or in-humanity in some cases. Some of these Nazi soldiers are not bad people, they are just in a bad situation, while others are ruthless killers that could not possibly care less about who they kill or maim.

The graphics for the game are top notch, with environments that really feel alive. Sneaking through some weeds shows the level of detail that the developer achieved, and the grass and plant movement is exceptional. Level design is different than the rest of the games in the series, in that the game no longer plays in a linear fashion. You are given a set of objectives from the opening of a level and it is up to you with how you proceed to accomplish them. This open world style gives you a tactical advantage while using stealth as you can eliminate enemies in a methodical fashion.

Along with a great level design comes a nifty AI feature utilizing a command structure with Nazi officers and their minions. The minions, once alerted to your presence, work together to try to take you out, flanking you while others keep you busy with a frontal assault. Unless, of course, you take out an area’s given officer. If you eliminate that guy, the minions seem to lose a few IQ points and/or the balls to continue their attack on you. They may not run and hide, but they will spend more time in cover and give you ample opportunities to pick them off one by one.

The weapons for the game are classic WW2 rifles, machine guns, handguns, and shotguns. These can be unlocked with in-game earnings and as you progress through the ranks and complete different tasks with each weapon (i.e. accumulated kill distances, stealth kills, etc.) these weapons can be upgraded to work better for you. Depending on the difficulty you play at, ammo can be hard to come by and is separated into regular ammo and silenced ammo. Silenced ammo is hard to find regardless of your difficulty, so always keep that in mind. You can use ambient noise to cover the sound of your shots at times, so only use that silenced ammo when you have no other choice.

Returning to the series is the always gruesome, but yet disturbingly enjoyable, x-ray kill cam. Whether you are aiming for the brain, the heart, the liver, or even the testicles, these kill cam shots are incredibly anatomically accurate.

The main story can be played co-op with a friend, but that’s not the only multi-player aspect to the game. You can play a 4v4 match akin to zones where a radio is dropped and you and your teammates must capture the area it is in and hold it against another team of killers. Team work is key as you only need one player to stay in the area around the radio while the other three can sit back and pick the other team off. there’s also a horde mode like MP mode where you have to defend against twelve waves of enemies that get progressively harder to kill and attack in progressively higher numbers.

Developer Rebellion Developments was smart in that they didn’t try to re-invent the wheel with Sniper Elite 4 and stuck to the basics that made the other games in the series great. The killcam is awesome, the maps being open world was genius, and the graphics are top notch.

Well done Rebellion, well done.