Sniper Elite (2005)

Video Game  -  Action  -  18 October 2005 (USA)
7.5
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Karl Fairburne ...
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Additional Voices (voice) (as Martin T. Sherman)
Yuri Klimov ...
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Stephan Grothgar ...
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OSS Briefings (voice) (as Bill Roberts)
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Make every projectile count
27 October 2013 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

You are the son of a US diplomat stationed there, you spent most of your youth in Berlin, so with the second World War drawing to a close, you're sent in there by the OSS. Wearing a Nazi uniform(albeit it won't fool everyone), you work alone(full IMF protocol), aiding the German Resistance(!) in trying to prevent Stalin's secret police, the NKVD, from obtaining the nuke(yes, your ultimate goal is literally to slightly post-pone the Cold War. Crack open the champagne.).

Did you follow all of that? Well, forget it again, because this is largely plot-less. Oh, there's a little continuity, still, you spend the majority of this doing the typical objectives action title set in this period and general area - go from here to there, save/assassinate someone important, perform sabotage. For as original as this can be, it too often sacrifices its personality in favor of a wider appeal. With an inexplicably and unnecessarily awkward third person perspective, this allows you to use a pistol(the only silenced weapon in this), a SMG(several types, you can only carry one at a time), a bazooka, set up tripmines(you can choose the exact angle/direction, just make sure you have enough time, as it leaves you exposed) and use throwables(rocks for distraction, grenades, and finally TNT, which can also be planted) with an arc prediction.

The only area this is FPS is when you engage in the scope(or binoculars

  • those are more useful for recon). Zooming leads to a brief blurring,


one of the many authentic and realistic details. Let's talk about the main contribution here: the bullet physics - gravity, wind strength, posture and breathing. The first two are ones you have to adjust for, the third one to keep in mind, and the fourth - you can empty your lungs of air, for steadier grip, for 10-25 seconds(make sure you don't wait past that). There are four difficulty settings that show which of these are set to on/off, along with how high the AI is, and a custom setup, that allows you full control over these - and you can choose these before any mission(note that each can be made up of several levels in a row - so save the ammo and items!), and I urge you to toy around with these settings until you've gotten used to this... it starts out tough, and until you're used to it, it can be frustrating. Once you get past that, you'll find it's tense, fun and fair.

Timing these shots can be really tremendously satisfying - also because of the camera(possibly rotating in 360 degrees, if it's far enough) that follows the most earned ones in slow-motion, showing you the blood and non-specific matter fly from the wound. It has a real impact, even if it has nothing on later gore. The bonus ones are worth going for - get 2, 3, even 4 with one pull of the trigger, by lining it up so that it flies through one to the others, down a moving target, get long range headshots, combinations of these, etc. Hide the sound in a background artillery blast, blow up a truck or even some tanks(!) by targeting the fuel compartment cap, take out a group via the grenade in one's belt, even perform the US' earliest double-taps by wounding someone. While you can move bodies and it's possible to silently eliminate using the sidearm, this doesn't always allow for avoiding detection. There will be no Agent 47 slickly walking away in his Italian suit. This is a warzone. And the Soviets outnumber you massively.

The ruins of the once-great city will be somewhere between eerily quiet and seemingly abandoned, and in the middle of a battle between the two forces, and regardless, you are an interloper - at least to one side. You will have to test the waters to find out if you should rush or wait, if you will have to fight, or you need to hide. Adapting to the right one is vital, and while this inclusion of being on either side of an MG mowing someone down does make it more mainstream than it should be, it also increases the unpredictability nearly omnipresent here. The atmosphere is solid, other than how overly bright a lot of places are - particularly during nighttime. It can also be sunny day, rainy, and the wind will carry the fall leaves - and with the brown uniforms of the Soviet forces, those often trick you! Seeing a tank always scares you - as quickly as possible, you determine if it's a wreck or not. They usually are - but just because it isn't moving, doesn't mean it's not deadly. Do you have resources to take it out? I had to sneak past some. Even typing that out, the fact that you may have to make that choice, that it's possible to deal with it in that regard, is laudable.

While this is scripted, it is not linear. You choose the path, keeping in mind that the direct one might also be the least safe. The watch, with accurate second and minute hands, is used for the timed explosives(allowing you to plan ahead - they can be set anywhere between 1 and 30 minutes), and, too rarely, the AI movements that are set to certain times - meaning you have to stay somewhere, or move from one place to another, intently watching precious seconds tick away as you do. The nature of the location does lead to repetitive buildings and such, with the monotony broken every so often with a trip to the top of a French cathedral(to provide cover), the Reichstag, a train station or the like. You can't open doors and the like, so it's stay close to walls and crawling. Multiplayer support has been discontinued, sadly.

There is a bit of disturbing, if not much violent, content in this. I recommend this to any fan of stealth. 7/10


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