Call to Victory doesn't really satisfy the urge to snipe...

User Rating: 6 | World War II Sniper: Call to Victory PC
I tend to make a beeline for any games that claim to satiate my inner sniper. I don’t really care if the game is a major release or some barely-competent bargain bin flotsam, as long as I get to tag several dozen bad guys like a bolt from the blue. I’m not even particular about the level of realism that goes into a game’s aiming model; whether the reticle remains supernaturally rock-steady or deteriorates into shakiness (as long as the latter isn’t absurdly pronounced, creating the effect of trying to aim down a target during a grand mal seizure while on the bow of a boat during a nor’easter – I’m looking at you, Hitman 2), it’s a lot of fun to peg that sweet spot just behind the mark’s ear and watch as nearby witnesses scatter in a panic. Some titles attempt to augment their long-range exchanges with time-based objectives, like the “defend the technician” sequence in Unreal 2. Other games simply include a hunting rifle as an option and don’t necessarily build the play mechanics around the use of distance and concealment.

I can tell that the creators of WWII Sniper tried hard to include several situations in which nothing but a scoped weapon would do, and some of those sequences work fairly well, at least in terms of providing the player with something to shoot at from afar. Otherwise, the game is a technical mess, with odd quirks in its event scripting and two annoyingly difficult on-rails segments. The “Sabotage” mission that takes place in the snowy forests around Bastogne was moderately enjoyable as long as I managed to get the drop on my enemies, many of whom had a tendency to magically appear behind me. Also, the very last level included a brief bit of point coverage (similar to the Unreal 2 objective I mentioned previously) and some good old-fashioned house-to-house close combat along the length of a shattered city block.

WWII Sniper’s damage model is steep and unforgiving, especially on higher levels of difficulty and even more certainly when riding, completely unshielded from return fire, in an automobile. Enduring the game’s technical problems – I sometimes found myself stuck in the ground after a reload – is a lot to ask of someone who just wants some long-range target practice. The notion of quickly hammering out a few fun, if not necessarily dazzling, skirmishes on an established game engine at an affordable price is an admirable endeavor, so I’m not here to thumb my nose at budget games in general. However, WWII Sniper needed a bit more development work and MUCH more actual sniping.