Sniper Elite is a series most won’t be too familiar with. But Rebellion’s flagship is about to gain a whole lot more fans, we suspect. Our Sniper Elite 4 review is here to assure you, that Rebellion is not only a developer to watch, but Sniper Elite is a series to fall in love with. Set in the final years of World War II, you take control of series hero Karl Fairburne – a covert agent and elite sniper (go figure), hunting down officers and scientists of the Third Reich in Italy. The gist? The Nazis have a radio-controlled missile that could alter the course of the war, and you’ve got to put an end to it.
It ain’t just about sniping…
If you’ve never played a Sniper Elite game before, you’re in for a treat. This one’s bound to get rave reviews, and hopefully that means lots of you will play it. Because while the name spells out a game of patiently waiting in crow’s nests and firing down on nazis, Sniper Elite 4 is far more open-ended than that. Each mission, for a first time in the series, is set on a sprawling map with hills, nooks, crannies, different terrain heights, hiding places, and more. Basically, while there are goals to each mission, the way in which you approach them and carry our your tactics is entirely up to you.
You’ll use tripwire mines, toss stick grenades, wield shotguns, shoot loads of cargo off their pullies onto unsuspecting soldiers, and more. But don’t let that fool you into thinking Sniper Elite 4 doesn’t have great long-distance shooting. It’s got some of the industry’s best, and long-range shooting is the most fun part of SE4. Rebellion once again employs the X-Ray kill cam that lets you see your enemies perish in the goriest of detail. It’d be sickening, if it wasn’t so morbidly satisfying, given these bad guys are Nazis.
You get a backstory, you get a backstory, everyone gets a backstory!
While the enemy may indeed be Nazis, Rebellion does a marvelous job with something few other developers have ever done in the WWII era. They make sure you know Nazi soldiers have lives, loves, and hearts.
You’ll see that some are just soldiers, fighting for their country because they believe they should, while others still re wife abusers or racist drunks. Those latter ones you don’t feel so bad about shooting through the eye ball.
“Rebellion knows that wars are fought by real people, not the leaders looking to make history.”
In fact, world building is one of the triumphs of Rebellion’s work on Sniper Elite as a series. 1 and 2 were fairly straightforward Berlin-based affairs. Number 3 took us into South Africa. But this installment, Italia, set along the pristine and ancient backdrop of Italy, is something altogether breathtaking. The fact that you snipe down Nazi officers perched on an ancient aqueducts one minute, and then read about a soldier’s mother back home whom you just killed… it’s kind of a trip.
You shot me in the feels, bro.
Rebellion knows that wars are fought by real people, not the leaders looking to make history. It’s the care to little details, even if collecting such notes and antiquities is a mini-game, that makes this the strongest entry in the series to date. Combined with the massive free-roaming open world levels, and the sheer amount of customization for your loadout as you level up – it’s clear to see why fans and press alike have been clamoring for this game at gaming conventions for the past year.
There’s a full multiplayer component on private servers. PVP modes include several standard options like Team Death Match and the like, but the No Mand’s Land might be the most fun: two teams have an impassable zone separating each other, and you must eliminate the other team from afar. There’s also an extensive co-op mode, where you can go through the whole campaign with a friend, or take on waves and waves of enemies. Each version of multiplayer helps build our your own Karl Fairburne and equip him with greater weapons and skills.
Final Thoughts for our Sniper Elite 4 Review
This is a game no action fan should miss. It’s quite simply one of the best I’ve played this year, and has loads of replayability, even in the campaign mode. My only real complaints are that sometimes the camera can get lost when you’re popping in and out of cover, and that the leveling process can be a bit grindy when you want to unlock new gear or cosmetics. Sniper Elite 4 is in a class all its own with its long-ranged shooting, and quite frankly – don’t we all want to give it to a few Nazis these days?
Sniper Elite 4: Italia was reviewed on PlayStation 4, with a code provided by Rebellion’s PR agency. It launches on February 14th, 2017. for $59.99 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. There is a DLC Season Pass, which is detailed here.