Developer: City Interactive
Release Date: 3/12/2013
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Sniper: Ghost Warrior was a game trying to be different, a sniper simulator similar to Sniper Elite, but much worse. Ghost Warrior 2 improves upon the predecessor a lot but is still not worth the price of admission. I actually wanted to be interested in the story, it kept trying to pull me in, but it just fell flat in the end. The voice acting is actually pretty decent if cheesy sometimes. I don’t know why you’re on these missions, it never explains. All I know is that you’re hunting a guy named Marinov or something like that and trying to stop the selling of bio-weapons. A typical present-day military story, but the plot twists actually had me interesting, almost.
The game actually is a lot of fun, but all the gameplay mechanics are half-baked and fall flat. The game is supposed to be a sniper simulator, but it holds your hand through every scenario. It marks who to shoot in what order, how far away they are, and even gives you a red dot to accommodate for which way the wind is blowing. With the sniper rifles rendered in such high detail, why not let us figure it ours for ourselves? Well, the average 15-year-old Call of Duty player wouldn’t like that that’s why. The shooting feels fine but all the sniper rifles feel exactly the same, all three. There is a serious lack of weapons, to begin with, your only other weapon is a silenced pistol, that’s it. I understand you’re a sniper but why not a silenced sub-machine gun or something?
The other major issue is that every single gameplay mechanic is broken in some way. The game tries to implement stealth but it doesn’t work. I was able to just walk around without being detected and even run. Stealth kills don’t work right and are unsatisfying because the animations are terrible, and the death kills aren’t very gruesome. Even the bullet cam shots suck, it’s nothing like Sniper Elite V2. On top of all this, the AI is dumb as dirt. In one mission I alerted everyone but stepped into a bush and not a single enemy saw me even after I stepped out again. I was able to kill everyone and none of them even looked for me. Sometimes I died during scripted events without knowing why. Having your core gameplay elements break is not fun.
Ghost Warrior 2 fails in making a sniper simulator like it wants. The game is highly linear and is nearly on-rails. The upside is that the game is still mindless fun. Sometimes when the game does let you on your own and you have to clear an area, things, like killing two enemies with one bullet and clearing the whole area without getting detected, feels a bit satisfying. Other than that it was the same scenarios repeated until the game ended. Snipe these enemies, sneak around a bit, scripted event, cutscene, hide, snipe these enemies, rinse and repeat.
The game actually looks pretty decent but doesn’t use CryEngine 3 like Crysis 2 or 3 has at all. It doesn’t take advantage of the DirectX 11 features at all. The game looks like medium-high settings on Crysis 2. It still looks good, but there are some eyesores. Plants that you sneak through a move at a low framerate and are literally just flat textures that bend around. The cattails are not even in 3D and look like something from a PS2 game. A huge oversight or just plain lazy? I don’t know. Don’t even ask me about the multiplayer because no one is playing and it’s boring anyways.
Overall, Ghost Warrior 2 is mindless fun but not worth the price of admission. Every core element is broken in some way and even the graphics are broken in spots. Pick this up when it’s $5 or less, otherwise pass it up and play Crysis 3 instead.