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Sniper: Ghost Warrior review

Troubled
AT A GLANCE
  • The bullet camera
  • Realistic sniper controls on the hardest difficulty
  • It's only five hours long - yeah, that's a good thing
  • The super powered enemies
  • Trial and error stealth sections
  • That Call of Duty knock-off feel

Note: An upcoming patch, expected to release around the end of July, claims to address issues raised in this review. See the bottom of this page for more details.

Snipers have it tough. They slog through dense jungles wearing hot and heavy ghillie suits. They have to sit and wait for their target for hours. And if they miss their shot, their cover is blown. It's a hard line of work, and it's an even harder one in Sniper: Ghost Warrior, where your enemies have x-ray eagle vision and the ability to shoot the wings off a fly from half a mile away, with a machine gun.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a first person shooter that sticks you in the shoes of an elite sniper (duh), and a few of his short range squadmates. Your goal is to creep through the jungle and shoot dudes from really far away. There's a story in there somewhere, but it's poorly told, and feels more like a design-by-committee kind of tale (people like their Americans to curse a lot and say "stay frosty" in their military shooters, right?).

This game borrows a startling amount of things from the Call of Duty series. From the menus and loading screens, to the button layout and animations, it's hard not to compare the two. That comparison really hurts this game. It's got some neat elements that could have made for a fun shooter, but because it cribs so much from a game that's far superior, it just looks worse.


Above: Those little blurs down there are enemies. They can totally see you from there, and they will kill you with two shots from their pistols

Those neat elements? They come in the form of the realistic sniper controls. On the hardest difficulty you'll have to account for wind speed and distance. Nailing a shot in a windy rainstorm from a mile away is satisfying, especially when you get to see it through the sweet bullet cam - an effect that follows some of your headshots from the barrel of the gun to a bad guy's skull. Unfortunately, you don't have access to the realistic sniper controls in the other difficulties, and if you want to keep your sanity, those are the difficulties you'll be playing.

There are several stealth sections in Sniper: Ghost Warrior and not a single one of them is fun. You've got a stealth meter that tells you how visible you are to the enemy, but it doesn't seem to matter. If you're not creeping through the jungle and taking out the bad guys in the exact order the developers intended, you're screwed. Enemies will spot your camouflaged commando from across the level, over buildings, and through dense foliage. Then they'll gun you down in an instant with pinpoint accuracy, or in some cases, the mission will just end. Even on the easiest difficulty, you'll have to retry some levels dozens of times before you find the right way through. There are a handful of thrilling scenarios that have you sniping fools left and right as you book it to several different positions, but overall, the stealth missions are an exercise in rage control.

There are a few missions that don't involve sniping or sneaking, but these are forgettable at best. Like Call of Duty, you'll storm an oil rig, bust down doors, and find secret laptops. The aiming and gun control in these sections feels loose and imprecise. The enemy AI seems dumber in these missions, often getting stuck in level geometry, but they're still just as deadly, even if they are facing the wrong way.


Above: You don't always have to use sniper rifles. Sneaking up for close range is risky though - the guards have eyes in the backs of their heads

There's a multiplayer package too, and it's predictably sniper heavy. Once you learn the maps, it can be fun to get into stealthy snipe matches against 11 other people. You'll spend a lot of time dying at first as you learn, but at least you're not dealing with the atrocious AI found in the single-player. If you're more of a run and gun player however, the multiplayer probably isn't for you.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior is priced below other new games, but even then, it can't compete against the games it borrows from. Without the AI and stealth problems, it might be a decent, if extremely derivative, shooter. As it is now, you're better off skipping this one. Note that a patch is forthcoming that is supposed to fix AI issues. It specifically mentions adjusting enemy sight distance and improving your stealth effectiveness when hiding in shadows and foliage, so it may have a significant impact on the enemies’ uncanny knack for blowing you away from across the map. Since the game is already available, our review score reflects the state of the game as it is now.

Jun 15, 2010

More Info

Release date: Jun 29 2010 - Xbox 360, PC
Jun 28 2011 - PS3 (US)
Jun 24 2010 - Xbox 360, PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: City Interactive
Developed by: City Interactive
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Drug Reference, Strong Language, Violence
PEGI Rating:
16+

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21 comments

  • snowwolfnh63 - December 27, 2010 2:08 p.m.

    I just got this for Christmas and I went through it in just a little over 5 hours. It has some great points and some that are very not so great. The AI's still have eagle vision to be able to hit me from way the heck on the other side of the map with an Assault Rifle when even with the scope magnification turned all the way up they are still a fairly small target to hit. I am glad I didn't drop the cash for it and it was a gift. Still it was interesting to play though not as realistic as I would have liked for its title.
  • crazycraig2k10 - December 12, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    i watched gameplay of this game and i think that its brillent. i like the bullet cam the most as well as the blood effects after you snipe someone in the head
  • GeNeRaL - July 18, 2010 4:48 a.m.

    Damn , thats a shame that it only got a 4 out of 10 .. i have just bought this game and from seeing the trailer i acturlly thought it would be a decent game.. the graphics look pretty nice and i like the concept of the wind and how it changes the bullet and the way it flys i think these will make the game a bit more injoyable ... But one of the things which let this game down is it only has 5 hours play and if you are a person like me who gets stuck into their games , this is bad.... well i guess i will see how this game fairs when i get it .. Hopefully it wont let me down .... GeNeRaL HiLl out ...........................
  • Vitoruss1 - July 16, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    What sucks is that those screenshots are absolutely beautiful...
  • mrmorozov987 - July 16, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    That's a shame, cause I was surprisingly looking forward to this. Once it reaches a super low price, I'll pick it up.
  • T1arnan - July 16, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    This game is probably a rental kind of game. Thats why its cheap to buy new.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 16, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    For some bizarre reason, the UK is eating it up! First it was Just Dance, now this! What is wrong with the Brits?!
  • JayBeat - July 16, 2010 6:31 a.m.

    Time to echo TheIronMaiden.. Exactly what i was going to write.
  • lovinmyps3 - July 16, 2010 4:53 a.m.

    I hadn't even heard of this game before now. But it's pretty at least.
  • yeah_write - July 16, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    @WillisTron It's actually a pretty good looking game (though it does look better in screen shots than in motion). All that lush vegetation is static, and doesn't react to you creeping through it or anything--that's kind of a downer, because you spend a lot of time at eye level with the grass. @Wriggly You can turn the bullet camera off, but it's one of the best parts of the game as it is now. Also, there are times when you'll snipe a guy and you'll get the bullet cam, and the guy next to him will go on standing there as if nothing happened. Other times, you'll snipe a guy, get the bullet cam and it will show you other people around him. Then somehow you'll get spotted by a guy on the other side of the level and the mission will end. It's maddening.
  • Wizrai - July 15, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    So it's not a safe idea to watch "Shooter" and then hop into this game, is it?
  • Aeleys - July 15, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    this review is wrong, by far... sure it has problems, but its 100% better than fan-boi orgasm COD:MW2.
  • Embolado - July 15, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    I hate snipers
  • TheIronMaiden - July 15, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    damn I saw trailers for this months ago. Had a feeling it was gonna be mediocre but I really didn't want it to suck this bad :(
  • Wriggly - July 15, 2010 10:03 p.m.

    I'd have to agree with Triscuitable (There's a demo on gamershell.com at http://www.gamershell.com/download_60208.shtml), you're entitled to your opinion Mr. Robot, but this was reviewed critically like it should have been. I played the demo and it was spot on for what this said about it. Main complaint was when you had to snipe two enemies close to each other, and the sniper cam would kick in and you wouldn't be able to kill the guy next to him fast enough.
  • Triscuitable - July 15, 2010 8:25 p.m.

    Looks pretty. Is there a demo out? I'd like a demo, to at least give it a shot. I'd also like "IAmARobotWhoTurnsIntoATruckAndIFindNoLevityInThis" to get off the internet. You're quite a wank.
  • JADENkOTOR - July 15, 2010 8:19 p.m.

    @ WillisTron: Yeah those screen shots are amazing
  • IAmARobotWhoTurnsIntoATruckAndIFindNoLevityInThis - July 15, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    this game is actually a 9, you just can't play
  • Baron164 - July 15, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    I've been interested in this game since I first read about it. But the poor reviews and issues as you stated have really turned me off. I'm waiting to hear if the patch fixes anything before making a final decision. I liked the concept but same as Naughty Bear it seems like a good concept with poor execution.
  • JohnDagger - July 15, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    I wonder how the came up with the title? I guess they stole Ubisoft's Tom-Clancy-Game-Name-Scrambler-Maker-of-Science-and-America!

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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