Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Preview
There are plenty of shooters available and a sniper rifle is featured in just about all of them. But few – if any – are like Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, the anticipated follow-up that should be a stealth-oriented approach to the precision art of assassination. You will be placed in the challenging and intimidating setting of Sarajevo and as an elite American sniper, you will have multiple targets that must be retired. One thing to bear in mind— The first title didn’t fare well and rightfully so; it was mediocre. However, Ghost Warrior 2 is using Crytek’s CryEngine 3 and overall, it’s a big step up.
Well, that will prove true if everything goes according to plan. The game might boast impressive graphics but of course, nice graphics does not a great adventure make. Hence, sniper aficionados will have to hope that the combination of an effective environment and solid gameplay will result in a worthwhile military quest. The landscape will change, providing you with opportunities to snipe in the war-torn town of Bosnia, the Indonesian jungle, and even in the icy mountains of the Himalayas. The cool part is that we’ll receive a linear/sandbox mix that offers both a decent storyline and the open-ended option to scope out large areas.
Also, if you haven’t guessed already, running and gunning probably isn’t the best idea. In fact, it’ll likely get you killed very quickly, as this game’s focus is squarely on the challenge of sniping behind enemy lines. You’ll have to account for all sorts of variables, such as height, distance and wind speed; not to mention the AI of your opponents and the weapon in your capable hands. In order to emphasize the stealthy, more thoughtful aspect of combat, developer Digital Extremes will be limiting the amount of available ammunition, and you won’t be able to grab guns from fallen foes. These are sniping missions, not maniacal, over-the-top Call of Duty missions.
You’ll always have to be conscious of your position and your general state of mind. For instance, your heart rate and breathing will play a role, and moving while firing – obviously not Plan A – will greatly decrease accuracy. You’ll have an AI spotter with you to assist but for the most part, it’ll be up to you to get the job done. You select the position, locate your target, assess and analyze for timing, and execute with unwavering precision. There may be moments when all hell breaks loose and you’ll be forced to fend off attackers but for the most part, this is all about observation, patience, and a steady hand.
One new feature will add even more to the authenticity: It’s called “Trigger Feel,” and causes quickly pulled triggers to recoil more, while gently squeezing the trigger results in less recoil. So in other words, if you have that aforementioned steady hand on your first shot, you’ll get your second off a little faster. “Bullet Cam” returns, too, but there’s talk of scaling it back so it’s not such an unrealistic sensation. You’ll have to earn a Bullet Cam moment, which is a good thing and encourages proper play. Oh, and that CryEngine 3 should be able to produce an excellent setting for the sake of extra immersion; a requisite element in such atmospheric adventures.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be ready to go in March (we just learned of the delay that pushed it past its original January 15 date).
1/2/2013 Ben Dutka