CI Games is back with another dose of sneaky sniping in Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2. The PS5 upgrade is still some time away so we’re having to make do with the PS4 version running on PS5. It’s not all bad, though. In fact, it’s very good.
Stealth games are hard to come by these days, and good ones are even harder to find. Sam Fisher is still lurking in the shadows of Ubisoft’s vault of forgotten treasures, Snake is comforting the rest of Konami’s gaming orphans, and nobody has managed to swoop in and claim the void as their own. Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 does not manage to stake a claim to the stealthy throne, but it puts up a good fight and with few other contenders around, it will have to do.
Release Date: June 4th, 2021
Developer: CI Games
Publisher: Koch Media
Availability: PSN, Retail – Buy on Amazon
You take on the role of Raven, a master sniper with all the charm of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker and the moody dialogue of your local 15-year old Kyle. He’s a bit of a dick, basically, and I didn’t like him one bit, nor did I like any of the game’s writing. The dialogue was horribly forced and steeped in the kind of edgy cringe that the rest of us left behind in the mid-2000s. I appreciate the effort, mind you, but I couldn’t get a good grasp of the story, and the character dialogue was half the problem. The other half was that the story was just a bit rubbish with a few remarks during play and a quick (and thankfully skippable) into dossier splash screen between missions. It serves just one purpose, and that’s to push you from A to B, one target to another, one location to the next. And that’s fine because the gameplay is what we’re all here for. And it’s good.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is not your Call of Duty-style shooter, though you can go down that route if you want, and sometimes the game does force big firefights upon you. Mostly, it’s a sneaky stealth game where you’ll infiltrate enemy outposts, silencing guards and putting other snipers to their final sleep with a well-placed bullet between the eyes. It’s gory, though, so fair warning.
The gore is excessive but realistic, but only up to a point. You snipe a guy in the face, his whole head tears apart like jelly being attacked by a child. You sniper a guy in the leg, arm, or chest, he shakes it off and carries on running toward you. It’s inconsistent and I’d have preferred if they went all-in, like Sniper Elite, but instead, it feels like the gore is a bit showy and more for shock factor than anything else.
The game is split into regions and each one has various targets to kill and objectives to fulfil, like disabling a number of radars, helping a prisoner escape, or retrieving something of value. They’re as bog-standard as they come but the fun comes in getting to the task, not completing it.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contract 2’s USP is in its sniping. There are a whole bunch of bad guys who need taking down, and they just so happen to be very, very far away, making a successful shot difficult to pull off and impressive when done right. You need to be aware of the wind, the distance, and the bullet drop over time and space. Or, you can knock the difficulty down and have a little guidance dot tell you where you should position your scope. That’s what I did. I tried to do it the proper way, but I failed miserably and I wasn’t having much fun. Easy mode is there for a reason and it turned what started out as a sour experience into a great one. If you can beat the game without the guidance dot, good for you.
Sneaking through an enemy camp is a challenge in itself. Enemies are always mooching around making life difficult for would-be sniper assassins. But you do have an arsenal of tools, weapons, and skills, all of which can be used to lure, distract, avoid, or kill the enemy. They can also be upgraded with the money earned through successfully completing contracts, bounties, and challenges.
Upgrading your skill set is essential if you want to do well, especially in the later locations. The upgrades are simple enough and the game doles out enough cash that you’ll be able to get the best gear before you hit the last contract, not that the game ends there.
There are just five locations in Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2. They’re all fairly large, too, and there’s plenty to do outside of the main missions.
Each location has a number of challenges as well as bounties where you’ll have to take out a target before one of your fellow hoody-wearing emo snipers get there first. That’s where the replayability comes if you want it. It’s similar to the recent Hitman games in that regard.
I liked Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2. It looked great and ran really well, and that was just the PS4 version running on PS5. The gameplay was fun, challenging, and quite fair. I got a kick out of sneaking around, but I have to admit that I had more fun when I was running at the enemy with my machine guns primed and ready. The game lets you get on any way you like without punishing you, even if you need to play on easy mode.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 PS5, PS4 Review
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 pushes the series forward without making any great changes to its core. The writing is rubbish but the sniping is brilliant, and everything else in between is good enough to warrant this shooter a second glance.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5.