Ahead of our full Sniper Elite VR PSVR review, we’re allowed to do a little preview and tell you about the opening hours of the first – and hopefully not the last – Sniper Elite VR game.
The game opens with you as an old man recounting tales of World War 2. You play as an Italian partisan soldier and every mission is told as a flashback with your character narrating as you play. Your decisions will directly affect what narration plays out, too, which I thought was cool. It’s a nice standalone story and you don’t need to be well versed in Sniper Elite’s history to enjoy it. The missions have leaderboards and goals to achieve, which is something that is definitely going to help with replayability.
Release Date: July 8th, 2021
Developer: Rebellion, Just Add Water, Coatsink
Availability: PSN (Digital)
But what about the sniping and shooting? That’s what you want to know, isn’t it? You want to know if Sniper Elite VR is good on PSVR and if it’s worth buying, and you don’t care if there’s a score attached to these words, so long as I say “yeah, it’s good.”
Fine. Yeah, it’s good. But it’s a little rough and there are some flaws, though I will leave those details for the full review. What I will say is that pros heavily outweigh the few cons; the sniping is good fun and every bit as gory as the traditional version of Sniper Elite, though a little pared back due to the limits of PSVR. But it still looks great, runs fantastically well – I didn’t notice a single blip in performance – and the gameplay is solid with a bigger focus on action than I expected, though I can’t say I mind, especially as the gameplay is complimented by an arcade-style scoring system that encourages replays and competition with the online leaderboards.
My biggest annoyances with the game have stemmed from the tech powering the PSVR experience more than the game itself.
If you want to put those PS Moves to use, you’ll find the game stumbles from the get-go due to the inherent aches that come from the PSVR’s light-based tracking system. I played the first few missions with the PS Moves and I was frustrated after half an hour and I was left longing for those sweet PSVR 2 controllers; using the face buttons is still a horrible way to move around and I’ll never get used to it. I know some that some hardcore PSVR heads swear the Moves are fine, but after spending years with other headsets that support proper controllers, they’re just not up to the job anymore.
All is not lost, though, as Sniper Elite VR supports the PSVR Aim controller, and this is by far the best way to play. If you’ve got one, use it. Or use the DualShock 4. It’s supported and it works really well. If you’ve played Firewall Zero Hour with a DualShock (you minger) you’ll be fine here. I was pulling nasty headshots with ease, even when I had to switch to the DualShock after running my Aim controller dry.
Up until now Blood & Truth has been my favourite action-shooter on PSVR, but I think Sniper Elite VR has just about inched its way to the top spot, despite being a little rougher around the edges and not boasting the same production values.
The big draw of Sniper Elite VR, for me anyway, is that you can move freely around the levels and you can play your own way. You can sneak your way through missions, popping bad guys with your silenced pistol, or sniping from a distance under the cover of passing planes, or you can totally go Rambo style and run head-on into the Nazis and shoot them in their silly faces. A lot of the time I played Rambo style and it was brilliant and easily some of the best fun I’ve had in my PSVR headset in a long time.
If this is the OG PSVR headset’s last summer of support before being replaced by the powerful PSVR 2 headset, it won’t be a bad way to go out.
Disclaimer: This preview was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher.