Sniper Elite 4 - PlayStation 4 Review

I’ve got the beast in my sights.

  • System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
  • Publisher: Rebellion Developments
  • Developer: Rebellion Developments
  • Release Date: February 14, 2017

Who it Caters to

We’ll be very quick to the point and say that Sniper Elite 4 is a fantastic game through and through. If you’ve played previous iterations of Rebellion’s third-person shooter, then you’ll be in for a marvelous treat because everything has been fine tuned exponentially. Fans of shooters will surely feel right at home with Sniper Elite 4 because while everything is played out in third-person, the tactical aspects of it all are brilliant. Whether you’ve come from let's say Titanfall, or the more world war friendly Battlefield 1, Sniper Elite 4 offers just about all you can possibly think of in one title. If you’re looking for those juicy cinematic kills that feel so satisfying, Gorgeous looking level design, being able to carve your own path of destruction, along with having an array of tools to take out a large group of enemies at your will, then Sniper Elite 4 is certainly for you.

What to Expect

There’s certainly a lot to look forward to when you boot up Sniper Elite 4, as it comes with a very solid and challenging single player campaign, co-op campaign, along with a pretty delicious multiplayer option that comes with a variety of entertaining modes. There’s also DLC bundles that you can check out which unlock more guns and allow for more versatility on the battlefield. The single player campaign is certainly the creme de la creme of Sniper Elite 4, with it’s dark and war driven narrative to the very strategic thinking you’ll have to do which brought back memories of Goldeneye and grinding away in Metal Gear Solid Phantom Pain. Patience is so important in Sniper Elite 4 because enemies don’t fool around, especially in the harder difficulties where one slip up and the entire brigade is on your trail. Escaping isn’t so simple either because enemies will set up triangular formations to trap you in, and so Sniper Elite 4 encourages you to be on alert at all times.

Story

Sniper Elite 4’s story is set in Italy of 1943, which takes place shortly after the events in Sniper Elite III. You take control of sniper specialist Karl Fairburne, who has been tasked to work alongside with the Italian Resistance in order to take out the corrupt Fascists in World War II. You’ll encounter various characters throughout the story who will provide you with intel on where to go, and who to take out with very little room for error.

Gameplay

Single Player Campaign

As we stated earlier in the article, the single player campaign is what truly makes Sniper Elite 4 shine in so many ways. With its very witty yet intriguing protagonist Karl to the various colorful characters he encounters throughout his missions, the story is packed full of suspense and keeps you engaged as to what will happen next. Before you hop into the campaign, you’re greeted with a screen that allows you to customize your loadout, as well as edit your skill tree which goes up to level 30. You can choose your favorite gun if you wanted, and throw in some extra healing materials into your sub loadout before moving on.

This was very nice because, despite its simplicity, it does allow for a bit more depth since the more you play the more you can unlock and the more versatile your gameplay becomes. The skill tree allows you to do such things as reduce explosive damage by 50%, or reducing fall damage. All of this can be catered to your playstyle and furthermore, weapons can be customized with upgrades along with skins. It’s not your Skyrim type of customization but it’s certainly very pleasing and makes the game feel more personable.

Once you’ve acquired all of your missions and speak to the Mother Hen, you’re out in this vast almost livable open world, where just about anything can happen at any time. Random gunfire and explosions will go off in the background which will create sound masks for you to take advantage of, or you’ll encounter soldiers having random conversations with each other which truly make the game feel more authentic. Speaking of authentic, making use of the various languages throughout the game such as Italian and German just added more realism to the gameplay.

One great example was when we were running through what we thought was a safe haven, but because we couldn’t understand German on the sign it actually said danger ahead. So we blindly ran through thinking nothing of it, then suddenly feel our legs separating from the rest of our body as we explode into pieces from hitting a trip mine. This was surely a learning lesson for us in the earlier stages of the game and reminded us yet again that we simply cannot rush. Patience is an understatement in Sniper Elite 4 because you’ll be camping in the same position for sometimes up to five minutes or more just because an enemy movement is at times unpredictable, but also tactical thinking is imperative if you want to successfully complete every objective. What’s remarkable and perhaps a huge plus to Sniper Elite 4’s campaign is that there’s no time limit at all.

This gives you a handful of time to plan through your next approach, get an accurate number on the enemy bodies around you, and follow through on your actions appropriately. Tactical espionage at its finest, and with so many different ways of completing an objective you’ll find yourself so invested for hours. Maps are incredibly large and so a number of things you can discover and also enter feel almost limitless. Perhaps due to the game being a whopping 33 gigabytes, any house that you see in the distance can be entered and there are no loading times whatsoever so that in itself is truly extraordinary. With more and more companies opting for a more sandbox experience, Sniper Elite 4 takes that experience online as well which just makes the multiplayer side of things so much more over the top and incredibly satisfying.

While the story itself isn’t grammy award worthy, it’s certainly a bounteous experience that you’ll probably chuckle at every now and then. Whether you’re working alongside the mafia to track down vital information on the Nazi’s, or helping the Partisans stay out of trouble, Karl is open for just about any task so long as the money’s right. There were a couple moments within the game where we experienced some framerate issues during massive explosions taking place all at once, but that was so rare that it passed our mind simply because we were so engrossed in all the action. The campaign in itself will take quite some time, especially because the game requires so much of your attention and stealth playing a major role in the success of your missions. The longest we’ve taken to complete an entire mission was almost 2 hours because the list of things you had to complete was abundant, along with being so engrossed in collecting all the little extra collectibles that add more XP to your end score.

Multiplayer - So much to choose from!

With the single player campaign offering up so much in terms of gameplay, we weren’t sure what to expect from the online side of things. We decided to pack our equipment and take on other skilled sniper elites, and to our surprise, Sniper Elite 4 came with a variety of modes to choose from. Of course, the quintessential team deathmatch is thrown into the mix, along with free-for-all. Both of these can be played differently in that, one mode requires that you can only receive kills from a distance while the other is just your normal all out onslaught.

Funny enough, compared to other online shooters that promote this all out frenzy, Sniper Elite 4’s team deathmatch isn’t this wild gun slinging shindig but rather this very calculated and precise approach to killing off the opposing side. If you try to run in guns a blazing there’s most likely going to be a trip mine waiting for you along the way, or someone carefully hidden within a building waiting for any unsuspecting victim to move within the crosshairs.

This high tension scenario is what makes Sniper Elite 4 shine remarkably because while it promotes the very popular modes that make online so enthralling, it creates a very unique experience by throwing in elements that really take the challenge to the next level. Distance free-for-all, for example, was crazy to play because you really have to understand the map layouts exceptionally well, in order to take advantage of your opponent. Most of the time you’ll be hunkered down waiting for an opportunity, and so matches may take a while. There’s a 20-minute timer on the screen to keep you on your toes, but even so, the waits are long but the kills are so satisfying.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Sniper Elite 4 is every tactical shooter fan’s dream come true, because it provides you with a very satisfying experience both on and offline, with plenty of extra bonuses to keep you hungry for more. The game has so much depth that you don’t always have to snipe your opponents, but often just rely on melee combat to prevent being noticed. We spent most of our time trying to come up with clever ways to eliminating multiple soldiers at the same time, so, for example, we’d plant a mine on a dead body and provoke attention by shooting an enemy nearby. Those enemies would then run desperately over to the body to see what happened only to be blown up by a trip mine, while we deal with a group of other soldiers by throwing an adhesive grenade onto an unsuspecting soldier.

It encourages so much creativity out of the player yet it doesn’t get too saturated to the point where things feel bland. Sometimes the enemy conversations get a bit repetitive and being randomly attacked can be annoying, but you seem to forget about it all after a few minutes because your head needs to get back into the game. Just as a fair warning, don’t leave too many bodies lying around because these soldiers will respond very quickly and can swarm you in the blink of an eye.

We ran into a few slip-ups where our melee actions didn’t initiate and ending up arousing the enemy, or an explosion taking place and we somehow die from a truck blowing up behind us which had no explosives attached. Those honestly weren’t game changing by any means, but something that we took note of and laughed at after doing so. Overall Sniper Elite 4 has a lot of depth and appeal, whether you come from an FPS background or even say Metal Gear Solid for example, and will certainly tickle your mind in trying to come up with ways to use every tool at your disposal.

Honey's Pros:

  • Incredibly long single player campaign.
  • A vast open world with no load times.
  • A diverse array of weapons and tools to choose from, along with upgrading.
  • Very fun and immersive.
  • Enemy soldiers are incredibly responsive and don’t joke around on harder difficulties, adding more a more enriching experience.
  • Multiplayer action is fun and rewarding.
  • Superb voice acting on Karl and other characters.
  • Cinematic kills are such a blast to watch over and over.
  • Murderous rampage.
  • You’re free to complete missions however way you want to.
  • Gorgeous map design.

Honey's Cons:

  • The easier difficulties really don’t provide any challenge.
  • Framerate issues when there were a lot of explosions happening.
  • Repetitive dialogue between soldiers felt a little stale after awhile.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Sniper Elite 4 is a beautiful title that comes with a lot in its package. There’s so much to learn and adapt to as you play through the game, as you need to pay close attention to your health bar and heart rate to ensure you don’t screw up on your shots. Every minute feels tense and the action increases as missions get gradually more difficult and the AI doesn’t play it fair. However, the method of approach you want to try in Sniper Elite 4, the freedom to do is there just make sure to protect your head at all times and bring an extra health pack along with you. What do you think of Sniper Elite 4? Let us know in the comments section below, and feel free to spread the love by sharing our articles on social media to keep the community growing!

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Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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