Thank goodness Rebellion is keeping the dream alive, otherwise we might have less opportunities to kill the Germans and Nazis. It’s time for Sniper Elite 4!
Number four in the series, technically the 7th game if you include Nazi Zombie Army and their re-design, sees Karl Fairburne – our eponymous elite sniper – going to Italy directly after his previous escapades in North Africa during Sniper Elite 3. The mission is whatever the mission is in any war game – do the thing, win the war, etc.
The change of setting brings much more color to the Sniper Elite series than all the previous entries. In contrast to the bleak, dreary and dilapidated landscapes of 1945 Berlin from the first two games, or the colorful yet mostly yellow and brown vistas of North Africa, the new game gives us old quaint Italian towns and villages as well as countryside. You can shoot Germans on beautiful beaches and cliffsides, vibrant Italian marinas, lush green forests, industrial docks and more.
As far as game-play goes, it still isn’t a stretch to say things really haven’t changed much in the 4th game, but there are a few welcome additions. The major new “feature” is that melee kills and shrapnel/grenade kills actually initiate the x-ray kill-cam. So any way you can possibly kill someone in the game, now, has the potential to show their death in glorious, bloody detail. In addition to the various gadgets and explosives present in Sniper Elite 3 – which each had dual functions – Karl now also has the ability to fire sub-sonic ammo, and switch between ammo types in the middle of combat.
Perhaps the most significant addition to the game, though, is one concerning movement around the game world. Elite 4 now features “platforming”, or in other words, climbing. You can climb up pipes, ledges, shimmy along walls, climb up chains, etc. It’s not a major change in that it really only adds additional ways to kill enemies, like pulling them off of ledges or cliffs, but it at least gives the illusion that you have more freedom of movement and it looks cool.
As with Sniper Elite 3, however, the majority of the improvements in the game continue to be with the multiplayer game modes. In Sniper Elite 4 you can now do wave survival with 3 other players, although there are only 3 maps. You basically fight against 20 increasingly harder waves of infantry and vehicles, and compete to see who can get the most points, using your weapons as well as explosives and traps.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons to frown upon this game, or Rebellion as a developer altogether. They continue to employ the same schemes. Every game since Sniper Elite V2 has had a separate DLC where you can kill Hitler. One can only assume they make this extra because the game is supposed to maintain a reasonable level of historical accuracy. So obviously you can’t go around killing Hitler in 1943 or 1944. V2 would have made perfect sense, but again, no one got to kill Hitler, except Hitler.
Once again, the majority of the weapons and their customization options are locked behind a DLC license. Not only do you need to grind with these guns – using a system that frequently doesn’t even record grinding progress – but where some of them are concerned, you have to actually pay additional money to get all the available skins or attachments. Something like half of the guns in the game, on launch day, were locked behind DLC. On top of that, buying the season pass unlocks 18 “new” weapons as well as 32 skins and some characters, and 1 actual “expansion” which is the Deathstorm 2 part downloadable content. Rebellion is great at making these games, but they are on an EA or Ubisoft level of total bullshit when it comes to nickel and diming their customers. When your game is $102 total for all the content, and almost $40 of that is cosmetic, you no longer deserve any money.