Published on June 21st, 2022 | by Daniel
PS5 Review: Sniper Elite 5 – A One Man Army!
Summary: Sniper Elite 5 does everything the previous installations did, except it does them better, in new and updated graphics. What are you waiting for? Get sniping!
Sneaky, Snipey, Sabotagey!
Ace Sniper Karl Fairburne is called upon once more, this time attached to an Army Rangers battalion in the advance of Operation Overlord, to assist with securing a beach head for American landing operation in France. Karl must sneak, snipe and sabotage his way to assist the Rangers and discover the truth about Operation Kraken and stop the Germans before it’s too late!
Sniper Elite 5 takes place a year before the events of Sniper Elite V2 and continues the story directly following the events of Sniper Elite 4. Karl Fairburne, elite American sniper, is tasked with establishing a foothold for and American landing operation and to liberate the village Colline-Sur-Mer. After landing on the beach and taking out a few sentries, his infiltration method is discovered. Long range coastal anti-ship guns destroy the sub that delivered him to the beach and he is left to complete his mission mostly alone. His first objective is to rendezvous with informant Charlie Barton, who informs him that their group has either killed or captured. Karl then takes out several key German installations and liberates the village, he is then informed by resistance members about Operation Kraken, a German superweapon that could turn the tide of the whole war.
Karl later discovers that Operation Kraken, is actually advanced stealth equipped German U-Boats equipped with state of the art V2 rockets that have been enhanced to have a much farther range. And they intent to load these boats and send them out to attack key Allied locations and even launch attacks on American soil! Karl must uncover details of this operation, assist the resistance and also his American Ranger battalion as they try to push the German invasion back!
Sniper Elite 5 plays very much like the previous games, the objective is relatively simple. Infiltrate behind enemy lines, take out key German installations and fortifications, Nazi officers and high value targets. Uncovering information about secret operations that the Nazis plan to utilise to potentially change the course of the entire WWII. Each level of the game features up to three major objectives, up to three secondary objectives and usually one or two HVTs, or High Value Targets, to eliminate. Most maps are incredibly large, giving the player multiple means and methods to achieve any or all objectives. You can go loud, sniping everyone you see. You can sneak and knock soldiers out, killing only as you need to, or you can sneak and avoid everyone and only take out the main objectives. You can literally do as little or as much as you want to do.
The game retains it’s x-ray vision for sniping shots, if you shoot key areas on an enemy, lungs, liver, heart, head etc. From a far enough distance, the camera will automatically go into x-ray mode, following the the bullet on it’s trail and showing the specific areas the bullet impacts. Showing how the bullets penetrate armor helmets, shatter bones and puncture the brain, heart, lungs and other vital organs. I found that, personally, the x-ray cameras are really cool the first few times. But after a while, when you’ve seen every camera angle possible, they begin to get annoying. They end up feeling like filler, or ways to pad out the length of the game. It’s an unnecessary padding, as the game itself is quite long. For a completionist like myself who likes to take their time in each mission and explore as much as possible to find collectables and complete as many objectives as possible. Levels are easily at least and hour or two long, the base version of the game, without DLC features 9 missions, easily reaching 9-18 hours worth of gameplay depending on your style of play.
Thankfully Sniper Elite 5 has a huge variety of options you can customise, from how perceptive the enemy is, to how aggressively they search for you, how much distance affects bullet drop, how often the x-ray camera is used. Truly giving you the ability to customise your experience down to the smallest detail. Gun customise options return, by finding hidden workbenches throughout the campaign you can unlock new weapons, attachments and equipment for you to try out, further enhancing what ever style you choose to play. The game can be played co-operatively, but also introduces a new mode; Invasion. This mode allows a third player, to invade your campaign as an enemy sniper! Adding an extra element of fun and challenge to the campaign. The game also features a survival mode, similar to other games horde mode, or zombies modes. Where the aim is to simply survive against waves of enemies.
The game is thoroughly enjoyable in it’s first playthrough, but features a relative lack of replay-ability. Aside from future DLC, the game’s other modes like invasion and survival, whilst entertaining for short burts. Don’t accomplish enough, to encourage me to come back consistently. This is an issue for many of the previous iterations that I have played also. I did find several glitches during my time playing the game also. In the very first mission I found sections of the map that were either incomplete or poorly designed, my character at times, standing on ground that didn’t exist. Layers that were separate from each other, or legitimate holes in the ground.
At times, when sneaking around corners or obstacles, the character would get caught on the edge of something and be unable to move unless you backtracked and tried a second or third time. This led to a few instances where I was seen and had to reload my save. Sometimes, enemy bodies would glitch through the floor after death, other times, they would glitch in and out of searching mode and this would only be fixed by reloading a save. Nothing overly game breaking, no crashes or bugs per se. But these little rough edges, can sometimes make or break a game.
Sniper Elite 5 presents a stealth, sniping game with multiple options and creativity to weapon load-outs and tactics. Creating the perfect customisable experience.
The graphics of Sniper Elite 5 aren’t ground breaking. They’re not going to win massive awards for best graphic design. But the game is very solid, most animations play smoothly, except when the game glitches. The character sprites move and talk pretty realistically. Bullet drop is a real thing, taking in distance to target and things like wind speed and direction. Mimicking these phenomena with precise realism. Apart from the aforementioned glitches and map issues I found in the first map, the game is actually stunning.
Smoke effects are a help and a hindrance, both obscuring you and the enemy from each other. Light reflects off the surface of the water, which in turn flows like real water, lush grass and foliage litters the fields, giving you plenty of places to hide. Many buildings stand out too, brick and stone, immensely detailed. Footsteps in the ground leave lasting impressions, enemies can find and trace them to you if you’re not careful. The x-ray mode has been enhance greatly, showing in even greater, more gory detail, just how visciously you can kill enemy soldiers. And yes, you can still shoot someone in the nuts and it shows up in the x-ray cam.
The layouts of each map are done pretty well too, offering a wide array of infiltration options. The map screens however could probably benefit from enhanced ability to mark things on the map. Maybe an extra zoom or two to further enhance and assist the player. You can’t mark soldiers on the map, however you an place individual markers that you can use to point out something significant.
Sniper Elite 5, doesn’t feature a particularly large score. The game likes to stay mostly quiet. And for a game like this, where most of it is spent crawling through bushes or sneaking around enemy combatants. This is actually a good thing. The classical score is a good touch and very era relatable. When you’re seen, soft eerie music will play as the enemy hunts around for you. When you’re discovered and combat begins, the score picks up in intensity with some percussion. When you’re quiet and sneaking, little to no music plays at all. This is a good thing, believe me. There’s nothing worse than trying to listen to the footsteps of an enemy to hear where they might be coming from, only to be discovered because you couldn’t hear over the music score. The way sound dims when you focus your “hearing” to “see through walls” is a nice touch also. It really makes it sound like you’re not a super hero with x-ray vision who can see through walls. You’re a soldier, trained to tune out background noise to locate enemies as best they can, to quietly and covertly eliminate their threats.
The game’s other audio however, earns some top marks. Guns sound amazing, from the pop of an unsilenced rifle, the muffled “psh” of a silenced side-arm. Weapons sound great, most of them have unique sounds to closely represent their real world counterparts. The cacophonous booms of cannons, the loud whir of war planes, the powerful explosions of a tank barrel, satchel charge or grenade. All combine to give the player an excellent, realistic experience.
The voice cast make for a compelling story-telling, as all of the supporting cast are only really around to talk in cutscenes, they really needed to work harder than usual to make the characters feel alive. For the most part, it’s pretty well received. Karl’s voice is calm and controlled, exactly what you’d expect from an elite sniper. Though when he gets heated, it’s these moments where he shines. The supporting cast too, all manage to use their voice talents to bring real life to the game. From the arrogant American Ranger captain, to the sly British Spy, to the strong independent French resistance leader. The standout for me however, were the one or two voices used as your generic Nazi soldier or officer. These voice, speaking authentic German, really stole the show. It was sometime really interesting to stop and listen to a conversation to hear what was being said.
Sniper Elite 5, like many of the previous games in the franchise that I have played. Are very good at what they are, 10+ hours of theatrical sneaking, WWII sniping in a fantasy setting. I call it fantasy as many of the games’ objectives are to crush research projects for things that simply don’t exist. The action set pieces can be hot and frantic, the sneaking is often the best and most fun way to go. Trying to do a run where you don’t kill anyone and just knock everyone out and hide the bodies is half the fun. Learning the enemy’s patrol routes and behavioural patterns is the other half of the fun. The actual sniping and things like x-ray cams, often take a back seat. That might sound bad for a game that advertises itself as a third person shooter, but people often forget the stealth aspects of games like these. And it’s the stealth in this series that I find most enjoyable. The game is a little rough around the edges, but those moments, while annoying in the moment. Are not what I remember when I stop playing.
Is the game worth $100 bucks? I have a strong feeling that there aren’t very many games out there anymore that deserve to charge that much. With big companies releasing the same games, year in, year out with minimal changes to their core layout. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of quality, time, effort and love put into games these days. But, is the game fun? Yes. Is the game worth your time? Absolutely. It’s long campaign, varied customisation, wide open maps give players like me, an experience I can tailor just for myself. If you get the chance, I’d recommend picking it up on sale. It’s definitely a fun 10 hours of snipey goodness.
Game Genre – Third Person Shooter, Stealth
Developers – Rebellion Games
Publisher – Rebellion Games
Rating – Unrated
Year of Release – 2022
Platforms – PS4, PS5, PC, XB1, XB Series X
Mode(s) of Play – Single, Co-Op, Multiplayer
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