Sniper Elite 4 arrives on PS4 and Xbox One
Rebellion’s Sniper Elite 4 is a perfect example of a video game sequel done right. It improves upon its predecessor in every way, while retaining the core essence that makes this franchise so unique. For longtime fans this means more bang for your buck, and for newcomers it signals an ideal entry point. If you’ve been on the fence about the Sniper Elite series, it’s time to give it a shot because this latest entry really hits the mark.
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Rebellion Developments
Publisher: Rebellion Developments
Genre: Tactical shooter, stealth
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature, 17+)
Europe’s fate is in your hands
Sniper Elite 4 is set in Italy, 1943, directly following the events of the last game. Once again you assume the role of Karl Fairburne, an elite sniper serving under the US’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS). It’s the middle of World War II, and OSS has just learned that the Nazis possess a new super weapon that could jeopardize the entire allied resistance. Your assignment is to infiltrate deep into the heart of the Nazi regime and neutralize this threat before it’s too late.
Built for the latest generation of consoles
Sniper Elite 4 marks the first in the series developed from the ground up for PS4 and Xbox One, and the results are quite impressive. The game runs at 1080p full HD and 60 frames per second with no details spared. Over ten daring missions you’ll visit exotic locations across the Italian peninsula, including beautiful Mediterranean coastal towns, ancient forests, and breathtaking hilltop monasteries. Visually, everything looks stunning.
What also impressed me is how sprawling maps are—they’re much larger than those in Sniper Elite 3—and there’s no wasted space to boot. Every square inch of these maps is expertly laid out with interesting vantage points, pristine Italian architecture, and daunting Nazi fortresses. And since this is a sniping game requiring stealth and patience, you’ll have ample time to soak in all the wondrous details each location contains.
A sniper’s paradise
The excellent sniping gameplay this series is known for returns, and this time it’s better than ever. Now you can climb and grab ledges to gain height advantage for scoping or sniping, and maps contain much more verticality. As well, Sniper Elite‘s signature X-ray kill cam is back and even more visceral. This time you’ll get realistic, cinematic shots of the bullet leaving your rifle’s muzzle and penetrating your target’s full cardiovascular, muscular, and skeletal systems. It’s entirely gruesome, and eerily reminiscent of Mortal Kombat‘s shocking X-ray attacks.
As before, this remains a highly tactical game that encourages you to meticulously survey the landscape with your binoculars. You can tag enemies on the field and gain tremendously useful battle intel, including what equipment they’re holding, their distance to you, and their rank. Rank is especially important because the whole dynamics of a confrontation can change depending on who you take out. Snipe low level soldiers and you’re bound to draw attention, often resulting in an officer calling in reinforcements. Conversely, if you snipe the officer early, morale of the remaining soldiers drops fast and you may even see them retreat.
The human side of war
Sniper Elite 4 also offers a surprisingly dose of humanity into this brutal war. For starters, scanning enemies also reveals background information on them, like their name, service highlights, and their mood. On top of that, you’ll also learn very intimate details, such as how they really miss their mom, or dream of being a star violinist. Generally, I still went ahead with my actions as planned, but knowing these softer details adds a personal layer you don’t normally see in these types of games.
Furthermore, in addition to standard intel document collectibles, you’ll also discover plenty of “letters To/From home” written by soldiers. Again, these can be heart-wrenching moments when you learn, for example, that a Nazi lieutenant has fallen in love with an enemy from the Italian Resistance. Worse are the “last letters” that are describe the sadness and despair of a recruit’s final moment. Searching for these types of collectibles is purely optional, but doing so will give you a whole new perspective on the war at-hand.
To further reinforce the game’s authenticity, the dozens of included guns all come straight from the WWII time period. Naturally, sniper rifles have the widest selection, however there are plenty of secondary weapons too. These consist of assault rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, pistols, and even a rocket launcher. You could, if you want, forgo sniping entirely and run in guns blazing, though you’re likely to be met with heavy resistance. Still, the option to approach situations in a variety of ways adds depth and replay.
Supplementing your arsenal is a slew of deadly explosives that really turn the heat up. You have trip mines, shrapnel-spraying S-mines, big blocks of TNT, antitank teller mines, satchel charges, and standard stick grenades. Not only can you overtly deploy these explosives in the thick of battle, but you can also deviously rig corpses to bomb an unsuspecting comrade.
Online and Co-op gameplay
Sniper Elite 4 gives you multiple ways to play. Complementing the single-player campaign is a co-op option enabling you and a buddy to connect online and play through story missions together. Coordinating your sniper shots is exhilarating, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Co-op opens up all-new tactical possibilities, such as one player stealthily invading an enemy compound to take down the officer, while your partner silently snipes soldiers outside on patrol.
A wealth of multiplayer modes are also at your disposal. These range from classic deathmatch and team deathmatch, to objective-style modes like Control where teams compete to maintain control of radio drops. My favourites though are the competitive modes focused on sniping. This includes No Cross, a team battle where both sides are separated by an impassable central No Man’s Land. As well, there’s Distance King that awards a win to the person who accumulates the highest total kill distance. All in all, multiplayer is a lot of fun and gives you a good reason to continue playing long after you complete the campaign.
Sniper Elite 4 is a fantastic tactical shooter, and easily the best in the series. I liked the improved sniping gameplay, and the more advanced A.I. made for a challenging, yet rewarding, experience. The Italian peninsula looks gorgeous, and I love the authenticity in the environments and weapons. A great all-around shooter that fans of the genre will not want to miss.
+ Awesome sniping and stealth mechanics
+ Vast maps to play around in
+ Great multiplayer and co-op offerings
+ Pristine graphics
+ Best story in the franchise yet
– Occasional minor glitches and bugs
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.25/5 (85%)
Get Sniper Elite 4 on PS4
Get Sniper Elite 4 on Xbox One