Not too long ago, I was addicted to playing Sniper Elite. I loved the level of detail, and watching your bullet as it flies through the airall the way to a satisfying headshot! So, when I first saw the trailer for Sniper: Ghost Warrior, you can imagine how excited I was. I mean, really, it could only get better, right? I wish I had nothing but good news to offer, but I have to shoot you straight.
Now, I can’t just lead off like that and go right into some angry rant, that wouldn’t be proper. Instead, I should mention that the game isn’t a complete waste. No, really, it does have some really good points, if you will allow me to digress.
When I first picked up Ghost Warrior, I was excited. The game world is really well rendered, giving it a great immersion effect, several times I could swear I was playing Far Cry 2. I was really glad to see that they kept the attention to environmental details, as that was one of my strongest draws to the series. Everything is accounted for: the wind speed, your heart rate, even gravity! I have spent a good amount of patience just lining up my shot, slowing my breathing, and then, the release. That is my favorite part, the moment you pull the trigger. Sniper uses a ‘Bullet Cam’ to follow the round from muzzle to skull, and I never get tired of it! Call me sick, but I think it’s cool.
The game takes you though a rather generic story, but really, what can you expect? War isn’t as Hollywood as we’d like to imagine. All I really need is a mission and a gun. I don’t usually ask too many questions, if it shoots at me, I kill it. The story shifts around a bit, mostly to force you to play a certain way; usually stealth missions or manning a vehicle turret. Like I said, I don’t really ask too many questions when it comes to shooter games, all that matters is WHAT to kill!
The voice acting is actually fairly decent, and the sound effects are believable. There is ambient music that can add to the tension, but I found it annoying and played my own MP3’s instead (Phil Collins can really add to the jungle atmosphere). I will say, for all the flare, I really would have liked to see this game made on the Dunia Engine, the driving force behind Far Cry 2. It would have been much prettier, and it already looks like it anyway. 😛
Yeah, so back to why I was disappointed. What? No, I’m sorry, that WAS all the good stuff. Yes, I am “for real”, that’s it! The game is pretty FUBAR from here on out, so pay attention!
There are so many things I could point out, but I really don’t want to create an expansive list of flaws. (Who thinks to check if the video game rifle has the safety on?) The biggest thing I could mention, is the one thing that could save you from a whole shit-ton of annoying moments.
I am not sure how to present this, and I am never one to beat around the bush, so I shall just be out with it! The clipping SUCKS!!! So many times I would fall off of something and get caught on the opposite side of the environmental borders. I mean, WHAT THE HELL?!? I am a persistent bastard, so I spent as much time as needed to find a way back to the playing area, but how does this happen?? I don’t know exactly how this game made it through the testing phase with this issue intact, let alone launching with it. It is ridiculous, and it happens ALL THE TIME!!! I was constantly getting stuck in rocks, or not being allow to walk over obviously level terrain, but if I moved 6 inches over, I could suddenly walk over it… Cuz a big bad pebble prevents a soldier from moving, didn’t you know??
The environment encourages you to explore, to find your own path through the mission, so why is this made so impossible? Sometimes, I would be trying to sneak past someone, and I would get stuck. So then, I would have to STAND UP, and of course I get shot. So many times, I had to restart levels because there was no way back, or I got noticed in this bullshit of a manner. Over and over, I was getting pissed!
I really want to like this game, in fact I am still playing it, regardless of these issues. Sure it pisses me off, but I like everything else about the game. When it isn’t being a bastard, it is quite an endearing relationship. So like a hypocrite, I am prepared to warn you against this game. Seriously, don’t buy it! I was lucky enough to get it on sale (around $15), and I still feel like it was too much. If you happen to own a PS3, it is supposedly getting a complete overhaul when it is ported over. I would hope this includes fixing the bullshit. If not, then… yeah… you get shafted too. 😛
City Interactive, the company behind Ghost Warrior, has licensed the use of the CryEngine3 for a reported TWO more games, so I have a feeling that the series is about to get a whole lot better (Read Here). Building the game on top of an already amazing engine is sure to remove many of the complications, right? In the mean time, check out my article on Far Cry 2, and play a game that works! ^_^
<I wish Far Cry 2 had “Bullet Cam”>