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Review

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Review

  • Game release: March 11, 2013
  • Reviewed: March 19, 2013
  • PC
Aaron Sampson on Google+

Satisfying stealth and shooting make Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 a notable improvement over its predecessor.

by

'

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is a superior shooter when compared to its predecessor. Granted, that isn't saying much. Said predecessor suffered from terrible artificial intelligence, absurd bullet physics, and an overall level of difficulty on par with solving a Rubik's Cube while navigating white-water rapids blindfolded. This time around, however, developer City Interactive has addressed virtually all of the sore points that made the earlier game miss as often as it hit. This is an accomplished stealthy shooter, with smarter enemy AI, more-realistic sniper physics, and scaled-down difficulty that provide a challenging, not maddening, sniping experience. Only miscues like the spread-out save checkpoints and throwaway multiplayer keep it from achieving greatness.

Most of your time with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be spent with the three-part campaign. You play as Cole, a special-ops sniper helping out assault teams in hot zones ranging from the Philippines to Sarajevo to Nepal. You come to care for Cole and his buddies through this seven- to eight-hour saga of betrayal and revenge that begins today, bounces back to 1993 for a look at the civil war that ravaged the former Yugoslavia, and then jumps to the present to wrap everything up along the border between Nepal and India.

A well-written, well-acted script give the game a great action-movie vibe, as do authentic-looking visuals and animations powered by the CryEngine 3. Excellent sound effects do a wonderful job of pulling you in. Weapon noises, the shouts of enemy voices, the far-off rattle of weapon fire in war-torn Sarajevo, and various atmospheric sounds like the background hum of the Philippine jungle are all handled extremely well and enhance the tension as you line up each careful shot.

The presentation isn't the only thing that excels in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. Almost every aspect of the first game has been refined for this sequel. Enemy AI is much more cunning now. Where bad guys tended to run around mindlessly and freeze in place before, now they smartly respond to fire by taking cover. Foes react like real soldiers. First they hunker down so they don't get their heads blown off. Then they peek out to look for who is shooting at them. And then they return fire appropriately or rush your position, which makes firefights feel natural rather than staged.

If you've got a good spot on high ground against a small number of enemies, the baddies generally grab cover and snipe back. But if you're in a more vulnerable position, or are taking on a large number of foes, you can expect to be rushed and shot down like a dog. Either way, you need to be patient. Enemies sit back and wait you out at times. If you get antsy and leave cover, they generally make you pay for it.

Shooting is also much more enjoyable, whether you're using a mouse-and-keyboard setup or a gamepad. In the earlier game, bullet drops were extreme, slight winds significantly affected shots, and your heart rate caused the scope to carom all over the place. Here, the physics here are just right. As a result, it's easier to gauge shots on your own without relying on the little red dot showing shot location that's offered in the lower two difficulty settings. Now you can play on the advanced setting and feel as though you are lining up shots like a real sniping pro. Before, shooting without the interface aid felt like guesswork.

Gamepad controls deserve a mention for being easy to use, too. Playing on the consoles is a little more challenging than on the PC, due to the superior accuracy of a mouse. But it isn't that much more difficult, because you have fine control over scope movement even with the right stick. It's only a little annoying when shooting right after running, since your speedy heart rate bounces the scope around so much that it seems like you're atop a mechanical bull.

Gameplay is now more focused on stealth than shooting. All of the pure action episodes of the last game have been ditched for a more intense sniping approach where you stay hidden as much as possible, only popping out for quick headshots and silent knife kills. Thankfully, stealth is rewardingly fleshed out, with more lifelike creeping through the shadows. It's clear when you're hidden and when you're visible now, unlike in the earlier game where it was just about impossible to figure out what was good cover and what left you exposed to enemy sentries. Successfully sneaking around cordons of guards is possible now, where before you wanted to give up right away and just try to kill everyone. The level design helps as well, with more options for cover. Ducking behind stone walls and crawling under trucks and trains are much better options than hiding in the last game's jungle foliage.

That said, there are some shortcomings. The biggest is the checkpoint system, which saves your progress too infrequently. The game generally saves only after you clear big sections of a level, like a building. You often sneak past a dozen sentries, silent kill a few more, and crawl on your belly for a few minutes without reaching a save checkpoint. The joys of stealth are also occasionally dampened by level linearity. Sneaking through levels can be accomplished only by sticking to a set course of action, like crawling under a line of trucks; in one case, you can even sprint past enemies to reach your mission goal. Luckily, getting spotted doesn't result in instant failure; you always have a chance at shooting your way out of mistakes, which gives the campaign a pleasant amount of freedom.

Bear in mind that some locales have been designed like puzzles so intricately plotted out that you can't beat them without learning how they play. You occasionally need to play through particularly tricky parts of levels once or twice before learning enemy patrol patterns, for instance. Such puzzle levels are satisfying to figure out, but can also make the scant checkpoints additionally frustrating. Fortunately, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is never so hard at the standard difficulty setting that you have to endure a replay more than two or three times.

It's a good thing that the campaign provides you with so much tense action, along with a shooting range where you can sharpen your skills by killing all comers. This feature can be useful, especially if you want to take on the advanced difficulty setting with all of its sniper-simulation attributes. Sadly, multiplayer is an afterthought. All you get is team deathmatch and a pair of maps. Support is provided for up to 12 players on the fairly small maps, leading to some intense firefights, but there are far better options on the market if you're looking for a competitive fix.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2's story and stealth make for a satisfying and entertaining single-player campaign. The frustratingly few-and-far-between checkpoints and MIA multiplayer are disappointments, but this is a worthy sniping experience, especially given the game's budget price. This thoughtfully designed sequel makes good on the promise of its highly flawed predecessor.

'
The Good
Great enemy AI presents a real challenge
Mostly realistic stealth mechanics
Well-balanced difficulty settings
Atmospheric presentation ramps up the intensity
The Bad
Checkpoints are too spread out
Some level design quirks
Multiplayer is an afterthought
7
Good
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Discussion

109 comments
Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

Oh and as for this review, far spread checkpoints is NOT a bad thing about the game. It makes it even more challenging and makes player be more cautious. 

Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

An awesome game. It might be not appealing to people who are used games with big guns and bombs (COD, Battlefield and 100s of other game out there) but this one bring sniper simulator to a whole new level. The environment is attractive and fun to go around, AI gives a good challenge, slow-mo bullet scenes are fun to watch, overall the game is simply great and gives a unique experience.

I give 8.5/10

Warmuro
Warmuro

Boring. Another let down.

brxricano
brxricano

wow lots of you taking this game stick up the ass level serious. im having fun with this game becuae i installed it with the mind set of, idc i just want to empty a few melons out at long range. and its fun. i dont know about terrific voice acting, but FAR from phoning it in. AI isnt too much of a shooting gallery; some will wait and\or look for you. some have night vision and WILL use it. you can hide in the bushes if you dont move a muscle and go prone and they will walk riiiight past you. and yes, i feel badass at times, although getting the fuck out of Sarajevo is taking way too long for for a badass sniper imo lol. it is what it is, go for it if youre not in an 'epic GOTY' mood. 7.0-7.5

TERMINATOR-SSD
TERMINATOR-SSD

i picked this game up for £10 after using some points on my card from game. £15 on PC normally. Its NOT a AAA title, its not supposed to be and because of that this game is pretty good for that price. 

CoolBreeze541
CoolBreeze541

I really have enjoyed this game people seem to think its meant to be a AAA title its a budget title guys take it as it is the game costs £24 in the UK its a bargain

stev69
stev69

"Multiplayer is an afterthought."

That's not a bad thing, sick of games relying too much on multiplayer, I buy a game so that it will entertain me, I don't buy a game to make my own entertainment.

Johny_47
Johny_47

Sniper Elite is better. Even though I really don't like the slow mo of the umm... male nether regions being you know, I think the shooting is just... better in that and I prefer a good WWII setting over a tropical jungle.

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

is it just me? or do they speak Arabic with an american accent? (the timing of the words isn't right, and they don't speak "naturally", the words don't flow like they should)

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

How much is this game?   I'd buy it for $30,00.   Looks like a decent sniping game.

Voice_of_Wisdom
Voice_of_Wisdom

strange... Gamespot's reviews are usually 10 points below metacritic score. Seems like paid review. I've played this game and can confirm it's a POS.

Cheapjokekiller
Cheapjokekiller

I just love the fact(sarcasm) that the reviewer calls the AI for smart when you can clearly see in the video that they are dum as f*ck. 

effendi360
effendi360

Paid Review - how clear is that. Or reviewer is a moron. Played this game - it's complete crap.

Supabul
Supabul

I thought GS was getting tough with there reviews but when this gets a 7 here and has a metacritic socre of 56, I was thinking a 5 or something for this game since it's a major flop everywhere


Caldrin
Caldrin

Heh wait how can lack of check point be a bad thing.. so the game is hard and you cant save every 2 seconds.. I think that would actually knock it up a ponit for me..


Not played the game so cant really comment on anything else but it just seemed pretty odd that it got marked down for this..

aetius_
aetius_

Great review! I agree with the score. Game is not as bad as some COD lovers show it to be

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

Why are less checkpoints bad? It means you actually have to you know, try...

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

It seams like all the recent video reviews are people standing in for someone else, nothing wrong with that, just made me smile.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

I don't see this game as superior to the first one, somehow it's even worse. I'm not questioning Brett's overall analysis, but there are some strange acclaims. Terrific voice acting badge, although he barely mentiones any voice talents? The voices are decent at best, the characters as flat and non-interesting as a post-it note. I'm glad you cared for the people you mention, Brett, don't get me wrong. The environments look awesome, I'll give them that, they used CryEngine 3 this time around, although at close all textures are awful. Animations are stiff and awkward, even in the cutscenes (what they call cutscenes). For what I've played, I don't think there is much of a story and the story is by far not well-written or well-acted. I'm starting to question if I even played the same game as Brett. Yeah, the shooting is okay, sniping is always fun and the AI is thoroughly improved over the first game, but that's all the praise it gets from me. I'm sorry I can't be in your band of jolly good people, people, but the guys at CI are just plain talentless.

netnerd85
netnerd85

Great to see Brett Todd giving some praise to an awesome game, plenty of DLC/patches for S:GW2 on the way, first up is free MP maps/mode then it's DirectX11 support apparently

AirDog80
AirDog80 moderator

@stev69 I like the multiplayer because it's slow and methodical. It's a very nice change of pace. Including only two maps and one mode however, is sloppy at best. To be fair, Sniper Elite didn't' patch in competitive multiplayer until six months after launch. 

dark_sith_
dark_sith_

@ShadowRun02  I don't know about Arabic, but guys speaking Bosnian during Sarajevo missions clearly have no idea what they are speaking about (i.e. they seem to be American voice actors reading from a piece of paper without actually understanding a word of it). Accent and inflection are wrong too. 

While it is clear that they have researched Sarajevo architecture, buildings are placed wrong. Few examples: fountain in front of the railway station never existed (reminds me of the Leningrad crocodile fountain), also a skyscraper building you can see in the distance on the same level - Bosmal City Center - is placed  in the wrong position. It should be behind the player as they enter that part of the level. What players could have seen is Avaz Twist Tower, but there is a snag; neither of these buildings existed in 1993.

There is another thing wrong with the story: Croatian air force over Sarajevo! In 1993, no less! They were never anywhere near that part of Bosnia, and in 1993-1994. there was a three way conflict between Bosnian Government armed forces, Serbian paramilitaries, and Croatian Army. One last thing, parts of the city where the game takes place were actually free territory, so our sniper team wouldn't actually need to fight anyone in that particular part of the city. 

netnerd85
netnerd85

@Cheapjokekiller you don't see much except him shooting them?

Kickable
Kickable

@effendi360 yea let's trust the guy who gave Metal Gear 4 a 1.0 and F.e.a.r. 3 a 10.0

netnerd85
netnerd85

@Supabul you need to look around, a lot more places are giving it a higher score, not just GS - metacritic don't show every review

mamalol123
mamalol123

@Supabul there are some major differences between GS's review and IGN's , for example : IGN says the AI is stupid and the difficulty settings are waaay too easy  

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

@SpazldNinjaDude    Brett Todd, (the written review) has been a Ganespot freelancer for a long time.  Freelancers don't do the video reviews.  They have Gamespot staff do them for them.

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

@xsonicchaos I disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion  and it is very valid, all I care about in this game is that the AI is better, and the shooting is better, the rest does not matter to me, all I want to do is snipe. So I thank you for making 100% sense, and not just saying "YOUR WRONG YOU SUCK!" (I put your on purpose cause people grammar it up wrong (and that was on purpose too)). So again thank you for being a good human-internet-being. I like your comment because you really explain what you said...I think I said that 5 times already.....CI are alright, they a new and need time to work out what they are doing fully, their games at least work out the box, unlike the mega publishers ones. Ok the MP is a bit laggy, but not as bad as say CoD, or (even if I love it) Halo 4 was at launch, it got fixed in like 2 days, but still. Anyway, thanks...and all that stuff I said 100 times, and keep being a good human-internet-being.

ACWH
ACWH

@netnerd85 Are you paid by the publisher or something? It's accepted across the net that the game is bad and here you are fooling people into thinking it's brilliant thus parting them with their hard earned cash? Shame on you.

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

@youngzen69 @ShadowRun02 it just sounds wierd, and somehow GS gave this game the "terrific voice acting" medal.

just pointing out some other flaws in the game :P

UpInSmoke0803
UpInSmoke0803

@dark_sith_ @ShadowRun02 Eee-gads, incorrect building placement in real locales, fictional environments loosely based on actual places, and hypothetical situations generated from non-existent realities?  May God have mercy on us all.

Cheapjokekiller
Cheapjokekiller

@netnerd85 You see them peak up from cover in a very stupid way. You see AI's getting shot while their companions just stare at it doing nothing.  

Caldrin
Caldrin

@Bexorcist @Caldrin haha.. but making games too easy jsut makes them boring as you can run through them without thinking.. now if you ahve to stop and think before running and shooting at everything thats a good thing :)

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

@ChiefFreeman @SpazldNinjaDude Yer I know, it's just weird how all the recent video reviews I have watched have been people standing in, it was Cam (for GSUK) standing in for Mark they both are full time, and both have done video reviews, ok this on is different, but not all of them are Freelancers being stepped in for. I know Freelancers don't do the videos, but...oh don't worry you get my point, right?

netnerd85
netnerd85

@ACWH @netnerd85 go read the steam forums you, read the comments here, read the review, go search the internet, god you're full of it. Shame on you for being so pathetically immature. Grow up.

stev69
stev69

@Cheapjokekiller @netnerd85  The AI did look poor, (01:43)  in one instance you can clearly see soldiers under fire, with half their body exposed "peeking" over the top of cover, for an extended period of time. No soldier (or human) would ever do that, ridiculous. 

More challenging to hit the pins in bowling.

da2g
da2g

@Caldrin @Bexorcist you are right Caldrin - I was so bored while playing Crysis 2 and 3... a good game but way to easy 

SpazldNinjaDude
SpazldNinjaDude

@netnerd85 @ACWH 2 things, 1 just because lots of people say something doesn't mean it's true for everyone, 2 we are allowed to say something is good, even if we are the only one, why? Because we can. The AI is ok, much better than in the first, the game looks decent, doesn't need to be redefining standards, the shooting is epic! The rest, yer, story crap, VA meh, characters meh. But the game in terms of gameplay is good. Which is all I want, and I'm sure ACWH does (or did) too. Ok, now for the part I say, if you don't like it, ok not gunna say you're wrong, cause you're not.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 More Info

First Release on Mar 11, 2013
  • Xbox 360
  • PlayStation 3
  • + 4 more
  • PC
  • Wii U
  • Macintosh
  • PlayStation Vita
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, the sequel to City Interactive's Sniper: Ghost Warrior, is a military style first person shooter that features sniping action set in three different terrain types: urban, jungle, and mountain.
6.7
Average User RatingOut of 449 User Ratings
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Developed by:
City Interactive
Published by:
City Interactive, CyberFront
Genres:
Action, First-Person, Shooter, Tactical
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language