I honestly hadn’t hoped for any progress since the fifth Sniper Elite. I think this series is a safety net for the British studio Rebellion - it is their best-selling series, and with each subsequent sequel they can fund different experiments, for example, Evil Genious or Strange Brigade. Simply put, Sniper Elite is here to fill the coffers. I’m convinced of that even after playing Sniper Elite 5, but I’m also convinced that this is the most fun part of the series.
I was surprised at how much the structure of the gameplay has progressed in Sniper Elite 5. Of course, the format is familiar: you have missions in which your task is to gather information and eliminate the target. We have already done all this in previous games. However, Sniper Elite 5 borrowed a few ideas from Hitman and thus refreshed its formula.
The game now better rewards the player for exploring the environment. So you can look for hidden weapon upgrade parts at any location. Or you can unlock alternate starting locations to replay missions. Sometimes you’ll have to find a key or explosive to open some doors sometimes you’ll look for a hidden passage to a room, etc. Nothing complicated, and it benefits gameplay that isn’t just reduced to shooting down enemies.
In fact, in a good portion of the missions, you don’t have to kill anyone at
all, but unlike the previous game, you always have optional eliminations. Each
of them requires the creative elimination of one opponent. For example, you
have to fix it by knocking down a large chandelier on it or throwing it in
fresh plaster. If you complete these assassination tasks, you unlock
additional weapons at the beginning of the mission.
I think it’s a cleverly designed system, though it should be emphasized that you’re not unlocking better weapons, but different ones. Let the rifle be faster in fire, but it is loud. Let it be quiet but harder to manage. Let there be more levels of targeting, but less charge. There is always some compromise that you adjust to the extra parts. And you unlock those extra parts by searching desktops by maps.
You can smoothly finish the game without unlocking any weapons or accessories,
but it's fun to develop weapons to be as quiet and precise as possible or as
loud and destructive as possible. The great thing is that the game
occasionally gives better weapons that are pre-arranged, for example, you find
a great rifle in the middle of the mission, and you can take it with you. But
your weapon is still a priority because you have to get rid of weapons from
the field as soon as they run out of bullets.
It may sound weird that Karl doesn’t want to collect other people’s snipers for his collection, i.e. take them with him when the mission is over, but in the context of gameplay I think that’s a good balance. From time to time you get a chance to handle something more powerful and yet you are not superior to the whole mission or game.
One of the most interesting additions to Sniper Elite 5 is the invasions of
other players. Artificial intelligence is as stupid as ever - that hasn't
changed. But now you have the option to have another player on the other side
of the mission aiming to thwart your plans. Nothing out of the ordinary, last
year’s Deathloop had a similar thing, but I think the concept of invasion in
Sniper Elite 5 works well.
It is better for me than the classic 1v1 multiplayer in Sniper Elite, because there are computer opponents on the map, so the calculation is not exclusively sniper. And the maps are huge, so it's not like you're going to pick up a bullet as soon as you emerge from the shelter, like in classic multiplayer.
The best thing about invasions is that they are not separate from single-player missions. You can classically play the mission and wait for someone to invade you. If it kills you, you don't have to repeat the mission from the beginning but from the last recorded position before the invasion started. Of course, while the invasion is ongoing, there is no recording, reloading, or pausing the game.
If you play Sniper Elite 5 cooperatively in pairs, then with this option you
have a somewhat unique 2Pv1PvE format - two players against one player
assisted by a bunch of AI soldiers. If you’re invading another player
yourself, it’s not that interesting because all your skills are unlocked and
the main interaction with computer comrades is that you can tell them to be
vigilant to spot an opposing player as early as possible. Still, some
promotion system exists so if you manage to prevent enough players from
carrying out missions, you get new costumes for Nazi soldiers, some of whom
even have sniper camouflage.
All in all, the invasions are a complete hit for Sniper Elite 5. They bring an extra dose of tension to the mission without acting as a competitive multiplayer. Of course, you are not forced to use them, but they are left to you - if you do not want them, you can simply turn them off. Other multiplayer modes are more or less a classic with no major surprises for fans of the series.
Other things that surprised me are the locations/maps in Sniper Elite 5. This
is potentially the best map layout in the entire series, with an emphasis on
the map of the third mission which is cumbersome even in Hitman's terms. I was
slightly shocked at how many levels there are on that map where you climb to
the top of the cathedral. The locations are finely diverse thanks to a
combination of urban environments and natural environments.
They are so big and wide that I wondered how they managed to design them for the hardware of old consoles, and I think the answer can be seen in the number of opponents. Sometimes the locations seem empty - for example, you have a huge underground complex with super-secret weapons, and there are barely 20 soldiers walking there. I guess I came across it while it was some holiday or something.
It is disputable to me that there are only eight main missions. It’s not that the game doesn’t last long enough - each mission can stretch for an hour or two if you solve all the tasks. On average, it takes about 12 hours to complete the campaign, which is mediocre durability, but keep in mind that missions can be repeated several times if you want to win all the weapons. Anyway, I can't shake the opinion that the optimal amount of missions/locations would be 10 pieces. Especially since you see the DLC / bonus mission from the main menu, and it's not the last one the game will get.
If nothing else, we can be happy that the story is concluded in these eight
missions + epilogue. Although probably no one here will care about the story.
Sniper Elite 5 has characters as well as some artificial dramaturgy, but it’s
all closer to the level of some kind of parody than anything serious.
Karl Fairburne is a pretty flat character, he has been like that in four games so far, and he has stayed like that in the fifth. It’s not a problem to accept how ridiculous it is already how the game presents it as the only solution to every situation. There’s nothing Karl can’t do alone! Partisans and rebels exist only to give him a task and wait for him to do it.
For example, the mission starts with Karl joining an American unit, and I think to myself - finally a little team fight! When the whole unit remains disabled when the plane crashes, and it is not at all strange - Karl is the only one ready for battle. Should I even tell you that he was the only one not wearing any helmet when the plane crashed, and the only one who passed without a scratch?
I mean, the guy in the sweater is dismantling Nazi plans because camouflage is for cowards. I get it - the guy is a sniper, and snipers aren't exactly team players (although they work in pairs, I guess you understand what I'm aiming for)… However, these situations are a bit comical in the game, just like the whole story. in sniper films.
Sniper Elite 5 achieves its fun with a cleverly arranged gameplay structure
and well-designed locations. Unfortunately, the play is limited in expression
just like its protagonist Karl, next to whom B.J. Blazkowicz is a top
charisma. There are 5 vehicles in Sniper Elite - which you can't drive. There
are 5 walls in Sniper Elite that you can jump over - and there are a bunch of
walls that you should be able to jump over, but you can't. Hell, you can't
even crawl under a vehicle. It's great to think that you need to eliminate
enemies in creative ways, but it can happen that the enemy just doesn't want
to get where you need him. You wait five minutes for it to come under the
chandelier that needs to be covered, and it just stands at the other end of
The game looks solid - it's not ugly, but you can see from the vegetation and character models that it's obsolete technology. The worst part is that it sometimes seems unrealistic. For example, enemies do not die when you hit them while in the vehicle, but receive a bullet, get out of the vehicle and then crash. I'm not kidding - it is. Kill-cam is now used for all weapons, and this reveals the obsolescence of X-Ray mechanics or X-rays. For example, throw a grenade that explodes under the enemy's feet, and he makes a double somersault out of the explosion instead of seeing the explosion tear his limbs. The physical model is simply not up to par and the X-Ray forum is no longer as interesting as it was ten years ago.
Sniper Elite 5 has other small novelties, such as targeting all weapons or
active reloading at the right time, but I have no comments on most of these
things because they do not affect the gameplay too much. So to cut a long
story short… Sniper Elite 5 is a fun game that I enjoyed more than I would
have liked. She surprised me with her maps, tasks, and well-composed
invasions. Here the improvements are felt, and it can be said that the fifth
part sets a new standard for its series. However, other parts of the game
remained undeveloped. The story is on the verge of a parody, the behavior of
the enemy (either living or dead) is comical, and you can't always perform
what you should be able to do in the game.
I believe this is not the end for Sniper Elite. The series has gone in a good direction in terms of structure, and Hitman is a great role model for him, but this is the last time I can look through his fingers as a product that fills the coffers. Next time, I expect a fundamental change in the physical system and an expansion of gameplay capabilities.
- PvP invasions in missions are a complete hit
- Rewards map research, a good weapon unlocking system
- Has some of the best and biggest locations in the entire series
- You can climb this wall, but not that wall of the same height
- The outdated system of physics shatters the realism of gameplay
- The story is very close to becoming a joke