Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts Review
Seeker; strap yourself in and make yourself comfortable. You are about to embark on a mission ranked as top priority, and you only have a single bullet at your disposal. You better make that one shot count. Your mission, is reading this review and deciding whether you are worthy of your title.
Breaking it down by starting off with your title as a Seeker, you are given, as the game title clearly states, Contracts to complete. There are a total of 25 missions that you will be assigned in the game, each with a varying bonus objectives to complete, but with your main focus being your “Contracts”.
These missions are split over 5 different locations and maps. Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts (SGWC) has 3 different difficulty levels to try out, Marksman (Normal), Sniper (Challenge) and Deadeye (Hard Mode). The differences variate from how easily enemies are aware of you, the weapon damage done by enemies to you and how many obstacles there will be between you and killing your main targets.
Yet again, and to no surprise you are basically a mercenary paid to take out Russian Overlords who are indulged in corporate espionage, human trafficking, corrupt political standings and hogging oil or science companies for ill gain. This has been by far one of the most frustrating yet fun sandbox games I have played! I grant it an esteemed position as one of my top 3 most enjoyed titles.
Slyther, Sightsee, Snipe And Slaughter
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts requires a lot of stealth and even more patience due to the fact that not all of the contract objectives being blatant and your contracts are scattered across the large maps, so you will have to scavenge about until you have located your contract objective, which can last anything between 5 minutes to 30 minutes if you are not paying very close attention.
As mentioned earlier, missions and their respective contracts take place in 5 different and mesmerizing locations, from the Altai Mountains – a harsh, windy night, snow-filled terrain, Kolchak Harbor – played in broad daylight combines the snowy terrain with industrial architecture, Beketov Valley – a forest lit by sun rays at dawn, Arakcheyev Fortress – back into winter with icebergs and glaciers and lastly Sibirskaya Junction – a train yard by the Siberian mountains.
The detail to each map is gripping and the environment not only has an effect on your bullets but on you as well, so be cautious when wading into icy water, you could freeze to death. I did not personally find the maps to be all that big, only due to Death Stranding’s large scale terrains, so finding my way through Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts’ maps wasn’t all that tough, although it does become a tedious task to manoeuvre your way from one point to another without being spotted by the enemy, especially when alternative routes sometimes position you in a field or ditch filled with land mines.
Thankfully each map has multiple fast travel points, which I often used to skip traveling really long distances that were filled with enemy patrols, but you cannot fast travel when enemies are aware of you or when you are in combat. This lends to the ultimate challenge, forcing you to not only strategize your approach, acquiring your contract objective but also your escape, all without being spotted or triggering an alarm. In some cases it’s very simple to get in and not all that easy getting out, then in other cases it is the complete opposite.
Physics And Fancy Gadgets
What I absolutely love about the gameplay is the physics of the bullet drop and also taking into account the atmospheric interference with regards to eliminating your targets with a single shot as opposed to missing and alerting them to your presence. Back by popular demand, and specific community request, gore levels are at their all time peak, because if your shot is clean, once the bullet exits your target, you either see brain matter scatter or dismemberment, adding to the realism of your chosen bullet caliber.
When aiming at a target you need to keep the distance in mind, as well as the height and angle you’re positioned at in proportion to your target, so your cross hair will almost never be placed centered on the target all the time, as you need to position it either slightly elevated to the right or left depending on the wind direction to counter-weigh your scoping position. What gets me excited is the double kill you can obtain by killing two targets with one bullet if you position yourself at just the right angle! I was so excited when I did that the first time without knowing it was a challenge to complete, and felt so totally overpowered for a 5’4 girl. *Dusts off shoulders*
The game has so many awesome and nifty dynamics I legitimately don’t know where to start listing it all. Not only do you use a Sniper Rifle for long range encounters, which is mostly required but you also get granted a Pistol, an AK-47, Throwing Knives and Grenades to choose from for those close range interactions. As time goes by and you collect money by either looting the enemies you’ve killed or completing your contracts you can Upgrade your Weapons, Mask and Suit or buy new useful Gadgets such as Drones, Silencers, different Bullet Types or slick Skins to aid in accomplishing your missions.
Bullet types are quite extensive. You get Tagging Bullets that will tag enemies, aiding in measuring their distance more accurately. You get Luring Bullets that lure enemies to investigate the area that your bullet drew their attention to. You get Armor Piercing Bullets that pierce through the protection of the enemies that are wearing heavy armor or you can get fancy and even attempt to get a kill through walls. You get D.A.R.P.A. Bullets that adjust automatically to ignore weather and elevation so your cross hair can be centered on the target at all times and lastly, you get Explosive Bullets that explode on contact or EMP Bullets that disable electronic devices, of course.
Something handy is your Masks’ Radar Device, giving you the ability to Ping the area to highlight Ammo Refill Containers, Hiding Spots, Collectibles, Interactive Objects, Land Mines and Enemies too. This really does come in handy once you’re stuck at a certain point of the game or when you’re obstructed from seeing due to the environment being too dark or cluttered.
Hard on Enemies. Harder on Victims
One thing to take note of with regard to enemies is they are on different difficulty levels in comparison to others, and you can easily distinguish their “difficulty rank” by interrogating enemies (yes you can sneak up on them and interrogate them for the locations of other enemies or details on your objectives) or by activating a skill set on your mask or focusing your binoculars on an enemy target, which will then place various shapes above enemy heads indicating their class.
Classes that you will encounter in the open or in camps are Regular Soldiers which are easy to kill, Sergeants who are close combat specialists, Riflemen who specialize in assault, Marksmen who are long-distance killers, Heavy Soldiers who are one of the tougher enemies to kill and lastly Rival Mercenaries who are also snipers, encouraging you to be aware of your surroundings at all times as to not allow any of these enemies to get the drop on you, so keep a steady hand, make sure your aim is on point and eliminate them first.
The benefit to knowing each of your target classes aids you in knowing whether to either aim for a clean headshot, aim for the throat, engage in close quarter combat or plainly use Armor Piercing Bullets to get the job done right the first time. When killing targets or bounties, you won’t just be contracted to eliminate men, probably since it’s 2019, and a more modern society, it seems that Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts is more gender-neutral than most games, meaning that some of your contract targets will also be female enemies. An interesting tactic that Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts has implemented is that you do not just simply kill enemies and leave the area but in some cases your objective requires you to retrieve items from the target that you were set out to annihilate.
This is where the aforementioned escape route comes in to get out of the situation that you got yourself into. Balancing things out, you do get to save prisoners as well, so the game is not all about the hunt and merciless kill. Lastly, once a contract objective has been completed, be it saving someone, killing another or extracting information, you need to get to an Exfiltration Point where all the data collected during the mission gets uploaded to your “Handler”, which then brings you to your Summary Screen indicating your percentage of completion, goals achieved and missions accomplished.
Something that I was so grateful to see, was that Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts has an auto-save feature that updates your most recent “save” once you have achieved certain checkpoints, contract completions or bounty executions. What I love about this feature is that if you’ve died attempting to accomplish a specific task, you can go back and retry the mission from a different angle, or if you finally get past a frustrating point, but end up face-planting into a minefield and getting blown to bits, you do not start over with your objective not being completed, you just need to watch your darned step.
Referring back to my first statement, Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts has to be one of my top 3 games not only because I’m a First Person Shooter fan but also because of the gameplay, realistic aspects and tedious objectives irrespective of the game being time consuming and frustrating to the point where I had gotten up and left my chair throwing a fit – I. LOVE. THIS. GAME!
As high as my praise is for Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts, I have come to respect CI Games (City Interactive) even more for not only pricing their title way below market related rates, as you can get a Microsoft Windows PC version from Steam for R319.00 and for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One from BT Games for R645.00, but they have also stated in their own words “Any additional content, multiplayer and/or DLC is all TBC, but if we do look to add this will be at no additional cost to our fans and players. We strongly believe in providing great value for money”. Seriously, free content, even after making your game so cheap? Big Hi-5 to you guys!