Steam is busy having an outrageous sale and one of the games that I’ve had my eye on for a while, but decided against due to price, was Sniper: Ghost Warrior(SGW). (Almost) Needless to say, I got it now for half the price. My own review of it seemed like a good idea to get me to write something again.
SGW takes place somewhere in a fictional Latin America and in the game you get to take control of a few different characters for different types of missions, including sniping, spotting and direct assaults.
The first thing you notice with SGW is that it really has some good graphics. The jungle scenery complete with lush long grass, ferns and trees of varying shapes and sizes are really beautifully rendered and really help contribute to an immersive game environment. The models for the characters, guns, vehicles and various buildings are similarly well done. I haven’t played a game that used the Chrome engine before, but if this is the quality of graphics that you can expect from it, then it is possibly one of the most underrated graphics engines out there.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned sound in one of my reviews before as there has never been anything worth mentioning. SGW does quite a good job with sound, blending in your radio chatter with environmental sounds quite smoothly.
However, enemies would sometimes stand around having conversations with each other or over the phone, and while I couldn’t understand them, I did realise that they were repeating as I could recognise the patterns of words.
Another thing I noticed was that there would sometimes be “mood” music to set a scene, but too often it would go on for too long and start to get on the irritating side rather than help with setting the tone.
Seeing as the game title is “Sniper: Ghost Warrior”, I expected a game that involved sniping, sneaking, infiltration and trying to remain undected while decemating the enemy ranks. SGW does a good job of living up to those expectations and there were points where I noticed that I’ve become very accustomed to the fast pace of general FPS games and I’ve lost a lot of my patience and willingness to take things nice and easy to avoid detection – I had to redo a few sections due to my kick-in-the-door attitude. While sniping, you have to compensate for all sorts of factors, including things like bullet travel time, wind speed and direction as well as the amount that the bullet might dip due to the range of the shot – all of this makes it quite enjoyable as a FPS sniper game.
You get to play one mission as the spotter – seeking out and “painting” targets for a sniper who has to get in to position for an assisination. This was quite enjoyable, though less so than the sniping missions.
While the sniping and spotting sections were fun, the parts where I played an assault troop, literally kicking in the door, were not. The guns were inaccurate even over short distances and hitting anything felt more like luck than any type of skill. There is also no real gun selection – you get what you start out with and you’d better be happy with that.
The AI deserves a special mention for being so absolutely terrible. The friendly AI were the typical bad team mates, being more of hindrance than a help and more often getting in my way than actually hitting anything. There was one part where a friend and a foe were literally standing right next to each other emptying clip after clip at each other and neither one hit any part of the other. The enemy AI seemed to be able to locate and hit me quite effectively during assault missions, even though they might be on the other side of a rather large encampment and I might be behind a large stack of crates. During sniper missions I could avoid detection by staying in bushes and tall grass, but once I was spotted I remained that way until all enemies that have seen/found me were eliminated regardless of the cover I was in.
Finally, the ending: It’s sudden and disappointing and at the time I said to myself “Wait, that’s it? That’s all there is?”. Steam reports that it took me 4 hours to complete and that was with me redoing sections – I’d expect an FPS sniper veteran to finish in 3 hours or less.
All in all, I enjoyed the parts of the game that had to do with the title. Bad AI, terrible FPS run-and-gun scenarios and the shortness of the game actually make me feel a little ripped off, even though I got it for half the price. Yes, there is the multi-player, but you’d have to find someone to play it with and there are so many better titles out there that people would rather be playing. If you like sniper games and you’ve been going out of your mind trying to find one, I’d recommend Sniper: Ghost Warrior. If you don’t or you haven’t, stay away.