Sniper: Ghost Warrior Review
Sniper: Ghost Warrior by City Interactive attempts to bring you to the field of war from the role of the guy referred to when you hear the line "it feels like we're being watched." You figure the game is primarily about long-range sniping of targets that can't see you; that you'll pick apart enemy encampments without anyone knowing you're there. And being set in the jungle, perhaps you'll have a real sense of being a Predator like from the recent movie. Sounds like a fun game right?
And then realty set in. It's always in us to want to find a hidden gem from smaller companies, those little guys doing their best to contend with the big guns in the industry. The result is a game that attempts to recreate the most memorable set of levels from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, "All Ghillied Up" and "One Shot, One Kill" – it even says "One Shot, One Kill" on the back of the box of this game! Those two levels really stole the show in Modern Warfare; hard to recall what happened in the rest of the game. You went from a modern soldier fighting in warzones to an urban predator, all capped off with a brilliant little chase and an epic last stand. So just copying that should make for a decent game, we just deduct a few points from its score and move on to the fun, right?
This game makes no bones about how it is ripping off of Modern Warfare, it has almost the same tutorial just without an obstacle course, but of course that is not a big deal – this kind of training exercise may very well be standard in the military for all I know (I'm kidding about that). Then the game starts off in the jungle, you even got a voice on the radio giving you nice orders. This first level starts off linear, with all the bad guys in nice set locations and you just follow the path of stealth (again, also seen in those referenced levels in COD4). Then the dude leaves you on your own after a few kills and that is when the game literally runs out of gas; that's right, a tutorial and a third of a level in and you've hit the peak of excitement.
Once you get to the cliff overlooking a refinery you get to snipe a leader. You pull off an epic window shot, but I guess you miss or he's a zombie because you have to grappling hook down and chase him, or somebody, the game really isn't clear on the story or characters at any point. When you climb down off the cliff, everyone is shooting at you, and one thing you find is that it's very hard to tell where bullets are coming from. It helps not at all that once one enemy in an area is shooting at you, so are all the others. Of course I died after climbing down, and when I retried I decided to stay on the cliff and snipe all the bad guys – sounds like a reasonable solution to a game called Sniper, right? So I kill one guy and sure enough the entire refinery grounds had spotted me, everyone was shooting at me, and every other bullet seemed to be hitting me. That's right, I'm a professional sniper that has to factor in wind and distance to each shot, but these clowns with AK's are hitting me from hundreds of yards away with about a 3:1 miss to hit ratio.
At least the game got the sniping mechanic right. It's a neat system which factors in wind and distance, and also letting you go into focus mode. There's a nice little red dot that shows you where your bullet is hitting. Just plopping down and going into target practice with this mechanic the whole game would have been nice, it would have been a ton of fun just to go "deer" hunting in South America. But no, this game is trying to play down it's sniping roots as soon as it establishes them.