Publisher: Rebellion | UI Digital
Format: Playstation 4
The fourth official entry in Rebellion’s acclaimed Sniper Elite series, Sniper Elite 4 makes full use of its stunning, sun-drenched Mediterranean setting to fulfil its promise as one of the largest and most advanced World War II shooters to date.
Set in the direct aftermath of its predecessor, this latest slow-motion, extreme gore-fest builds quite significantly on SE3 with vastly larger maps and a newly improved movement system (allowing climbing), not forgetting the re-introduction of the co-op missions and multiplayer formats absent from the last instalment.
Sniper Elite 4 plunges its hardened protagonist, Karl Fairburne, into the serene and unusually bright, Nazi-infested Italy of 1943, as he battles alongside the Italian Resistance to help free the country from the oppressive Fascist forces. Though the stage is drastically different, the central mission feels pleasingly familiar, and there is something strangely satisfying in exploding organs, cracking spines, punching Nazis and penetrating eye sockets from considerable distances.
Arguably the finest tactical, stealth shooter since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Sniper Elite 4‘s principal strengths lie in the multitude of opportunities the expansive, open-world maps now afford. Whilst in previous titles gameplay felt a little restricted, directed primarily at the sole goal in hand, SE4 allows viewers wider control of overall gameplay, allowing for greater levels of freedom and tactical skill.
With Karl now able to climb and grab ledges (and not just at designated points as before) the opportunities afforded in getting up high on towers and cliffs really opens up the vertical gameplay quite significantly.
For any keen fan of first-person shooters (or third-person shooters, as is the case here), Sniper Elite 4 is a essential new entry into the stealth video game canon you’d be silly not to check out.
The plot is solid, if fairly simple, gameplay is enhanced, the elevated sense of realism and enhanced scope for freedom are a major plus, and even in graphic form, the Italian Peninsula looks utterly breathtaking, despite the countless Nazi corpses splattered across it.