2010 Reviews

Sniper: Ghost Warrior

  • Review Date: 2014-04
  • Release Date: 2010-06
  • Developer: City Interactive
  • Rating: 7.0

City Interactive and "good game" are two things I never thought I'd be saying in the same sentence. CI are well known for their budget bin, straight-up first-person-shooters that are usually the worst looking games of the year. Despite using the Chrome engine, again, Sniper is every bit good looking enough to join the rest of 2010's action game releases. Most of the game takes place outdoors in jungle type scenarios, so it does lack some of the variety of COD and Battlefield. But it does jungle very well! In fact it's not that far off Crysis visuals. However, unlike Crysis, most of the levels are fairly linear with only a few open areas such as one where you plant explosives on three AA guns. A waypoint babysits you throughout the entire game. They're also obviously nowhere near as large as Crysis. But the post processing and texturing, the attention to detail are all great.

When it comes to gameplay, I feel like CI had a great idea, but didn't commit fully to it. While the game is named Sniper, probably only 50% of it features scoped sniper gameplay. The rest is mainly either stealth or standard run-and-gun combat, which is nowhere near as good because the non-scoped weapons are rubbish at hitting the target. But when you do get to snipe, it's great fun. It's surprising this is the first game to focus on this sort of shooting, because it is fun. There have been plenty of other games that didn't focus on this, but ended up with gameplay where the scoped weapons were the most effective anyway. Borderlands would be the last example of this, where I would have easily played half the game with the sniper rifles. Sniper's only drawback is the scoped weapons sway a lot, which can be annoying.

People have complained a lot about A.I., but I'm not really sure what they're on about. While enemy A.I. can be a bit useless when you're on stealth missions, for combat itself they're no worse than most games. While on the topic of stealth, it did make sense to have these sections in the game, but boy were they easy compared to other stealth games. Normal stealth game-tactics such as sticking to shadows, moving around enemy routes at special time intervals or even stealth takedowns don't really apply so much here. You can just stay behind them and move steadily through the jungle. Then at times when stealth isn't mandatory, it's almost easier to just pop up and take the enemies head on.

The health system is also a bit of a joke. Once you get to 30% health it'll regenerate. For anything higher you need to find health packs. But you'll end up playing most of the game no higher than 30%, it's a waste of time trying to stay above it. Firstly as soon as you find a pack it'll only take a few hits and your back down to 30%. Secondly a lot of the time you simply can't see the enemy until they start firing out you. You have to get hit to figure out where they are. So in that case this game really need regenerating health, but even if it is only 30% that regenerates, I found that adequate. Especially since the quickloads are the fastest loading times I've ever seen in a game.

Finally, there isn't much of a story. You go in to find a terrorists nuclear plans, a bit of a double-cross then kill him at the end. Same old shit we've seen before. But at least CI put the effort in, and included cutscenes.

I installed the non-Steam version, but apparently Sniper is MUCH better with the patch applied as this fixes many issues. I attempted to apply the patch but it said I don't have the game installed. But the entire patch was not in any sort of archive, so I just copied all the patch files overtop of the existing files. Only the exe may have been missing. While in-game it still reported it as being unpatched, I tend to think that crude method did actually work. The only bug I came across was not being able to remap the right-mouse button properly. I used it for "backwards", so everytime I tried to move backwards I'd also go into scoped mode. Even GlovePie couldn't fix it.

A lot of reviewers seem to criticise the difficulty of the game, ranging from easy one minute to too hard the next. Here's a tip, don't play on fucking hard!

Right so overall, Sniper: Ghost Warrior had me pretty entertained for 4-5 hours. Yes, it's short, but it's a short blast. I can't deny it's a fun game. Visually, it's by far CI's best release. The fact that they've removed all previous shooters from their website and advertise Sniper as their earliest action game release does suggest they know they've turned over a new leaf and finally released something that is actually worth paying for. I just hope they can maintain this level of dedication.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior