Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

Released in 2014, Sniper Elite III was a mediocre action game, the potential of which the developers could not fully realize due to the release on two generations of consoles. In the sniper game, using a rifle was not very convenient due to inappropriate location design, so it was often necessary to covertly move from one point to another, eliminating soldiers with a pistol. At least some qualitative changes were expected from the fourth part, and as a result, the authors managed to make, I’m not afraid of this word, the best game in the series.

It’s a good idea to explore the area before heading out.

Return of Superman

True, it is still not worth launching it for the sake of the plot. As before, screensavers and other videos can be skipped without a twinge of conscience in order to immediately get to the next mission. The main character again becomes Karl Fairburn – a professional sniper, a sapper, a craftsman with a couple of shots to undermine tanks and, in general, a master of all trades. If in the third part he visited Africa, now he finds himself in Italy in the middle of World War II. Its goal is to destroy the weapons that the Nazis have taken possession of and which can increase the strength of the Nazi coalition.

Despite the attempts of the writers to somehow interest the player, you will not pay attention to the story. The characters are uninteresting and clichéd, the facial animation leaves a lot to be desired, and the tragic episodes just make you laugh. Perhaps by the seventh or eighth part we will get a decent storyline, but this is unlikely to happen – the better the gameplay in the series, the more difficult it is to build an appropriate story around it. Still, the hero single-handedly destroys hundreds of soldiers and remains unnoticed at the same time – how can this be adequately explained within the framework of the Second World War?

But the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 no longer limited the authors in anything, so they made truly huge locations, each of which is several times larger than the African maps from Sniper Elite III. In addition, they are diverse – you will find yourself in the forest, then in a snowy area, then in a bright Italian town. Before embarking on a mission, almost always Carl is with his colleagues and takes side tasks, and then goes to the right place and is free to do whatever his heart desires.

There are only eight main missions in the campaign, which at first seems like a ridiculous number, but taking into account additional tasks, each can take from one to one and a half hours. Especially if you try to go through everything as discreetly as possible, without raising the alarm and without giving out your location. And if earlier it was difficult, since the opponents who noticed Karl arranged a panic and convened almost all the detachments in the district, now you can just run away to the other end of the map and do something else until they calm down.

Sometimes you make truly “roaring” shots.

Another advantage of huge spaces is the ability to constantly use a sniper rifle. Finding a convenient tower, house or high hill is very easy, although in a pinch you can hide in the bushes and shoot from there. Whatever position you choose, most often you have a view of at least a couple of targets. On normal difficulty levels, aiming and hitting any part of the body is incredibly easy, and every long-range shot (always accompanied by a demonstration of the innards thanks to the X-Ray system) is a great pleasure even after several hours.

Being in constant motion, but at the same time staying away from danger is very useful. This is especially fun in co-op, when one player marks opponents with binoculars, while the other shoots them. You can also indicate the location of vehicles or exploding objects, and it’s funny to drop something heavy on a gaping soldier, successfully hitting the mount. Plus, in the fourth part, one of the most ridiculous flaws of the third part was fixed – in the joint game mode, both participants finally see an X-ray camera with each beautiful kill, and not twice in the entire campaign.

All means are good

To play the role of a sniper was a little easier, the developers added subsonic cartridges to the main character’s equipment. When using them, the shots are not heard by anyone, which is ideal for situations when there is deathly silence around and no way to mask a loud sound. At the same time, other ways to hide your presence have not disappeared, such as noisy generators or aircraft flying at a certain interval. Thanks to such opportunities, staying in the shadows is not difficult, although it’s still worth protecting yourself and putting up a stretch – all of a sudden someone sneaks up from behind.

And to bypass, especially on “hard”, the enemies will certainly be. If you don’t bother to muffle the shots, chances are high that the Nazis will send a few soldiers out to scout and smoke the hero out of his position. And if the alarm is raised, get ready for an additional wave of opponents. Of course, you can’t call the local artificial intelligence smart – enemies often perform illogical actions, very quickly forget about the corpses they see or don’t notice them at all. But at the same time, they comb the surroundings and try to stay away from dead comrades, which in the case of Sniper Elite is already enough.

Karl is an excellent sapper, so he is not afraid of a minefield either.

Much smarter Nazis will appear on the “Reliable” difficulty level, where the interface is completely absent, and any mistake can be fatal. You won’t see a mini-map showing opponents or ammo, and when reloading an incomplete magazine, you will lose some of the ammo. Only here the choice of a rifle becomes really important: parameters such as stability, maximum increase or recoil damping do not matter during normal passage – all levels can be easily completed with a standard “sniper rifle”. For the “Reliable” mode, it is advisable to prepare wisely, having previously studied the maps on normal difficulty.

Well, when the campaign has been explored far and wide, you can look into Survival. It is not much different from the previous parts of the series and is unlikely to captivate for a long time. A group of four Karls protect the boxes from the Nazis advancing from all sides, help each other in case of severe injury and eventually gain a large amount of experience to unlock additional skills, including for the “plot”. The degree of their usefulness is determined by the goals that the player sets for himself – if there is a desire to play the game in the “Reliable” mode, an increase in the number of cartridges collected from corpses will certainly come in handy.

Multiplayer also lacks stars from the sky, and only one stands out among the available modes – “Control”. An enemy radio appears on a spacious map, and the Red and Blue teams try to take it over. When capturing it, you need to wait a few tens of seconds, after which the corresponding unit will receive a point, but if the radio is intercepted, the timer will not reset. It often happens that at the last second some scoundrel runs up and completely changes the course of the match, but whether this happens or not depends on the attentiveness and promptness of the team. All other modes are boring gatherings on towers and hills, during which players look through a sniper scope and expect the next victim.

The badges above their heads indicate ranks – officers, for example, carry collectibles with them.

***

As banal and dreary as multiplayer is, Sniper Elite is played for the sake of the campaign. And the fourth part can be described in one word – it’s fun. It’s fun to explore the area, it’s fun to look for opponents in binoculars and mark them, it’s fun to make impressive shots and watch the flight of a bullet into the lung of an unsuspecting enemy. If many developers increase locations simply because it is fashionable and modern, without filling them with anything interesting, then here it is done for more interesting gameplay for a stealth sniper. And this role in Sniper Elite 4 is very exciting to play, especially in co-op.

Pros: huge and diverse locations where the rifle is especially useful; many ways to complete tasks, including side ones; the multiplayer mode “Control” can be enjoyed if there are players online.
Cons: the plot is still added “for show”; artificial intelligence sometimes fails; most multiplayer modes are boring.

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