Sniper Elite 4 Preview – Death From the Shadows (PS4)
Sniper Elite 4, the direct sequel in the Sniper Elite series, is set to release on February 14 and we were recently given a hands-on sneak preview of one of the large, open world missions. Longtime fans of the series will instantly notice the familiarity of the game as the basics stay true to form, with things like x-ray kills and empty lung mechanics. But a few changes have enhanced the game, like x-ray kills expanding to include shrapnel kills, melee kills and stealth kills, and an adaptive AI.
The first thing longtime fans might notice is the size of the map. The mission we were given access t was on an island and the entire level was open for exploration from the very beginning. This gives the player many options as to how to progress, with no linear path being forced upon them. The terrain was also multilevel, with areas that you could climb up or down to access, giving you even more options. While hanging from a ledge, you can also stealth kill enemies so this can also help your overall strategy when deciding how best to assault an area or group of enemies.
The AI is directly affected by how you approach your objective and how they act will depend on your actions. Each villa on the island had one officer and if you can take him out, the remaining soldiers seem to lose their desire to hang around and will retreat pretty quickly. Wait to take the officer out, though, and the soldiers become less fearless and this ramps the difficulty up some. Finding and taking an officer and taking him out as quickly as possible makes each area easier to clear and should become a sniper’s standard operating procedure.
1943 – San Cellini, Italy
I’ve arrived on the beach of a small, German infested island just off the Italian coast. Somewhere in one of these small villas is General Tobias Schmidt. My mission is to search him out and strategically place a bullet in his head and gather as much intel as I can about the German’s new remote control rocket technology. German soldiers are everywhere and I’m outnumbered by at least 100 to 1. Stealth is my friend so I attach my silencer to my rifle and make sure my silenced pistol is loaded and ready to go. I know that even one gunshot will alert the enemy of my presence and put them all on guard, making a stealthy approach that much more difficult. I must remain silent and invisible, as death from the shadows will help secure a successful mission.
After the mission was completed, we were placed in groups of four to try out the horde mode-like co-op multiplayer. This mode consisted of 12 waves of Germans, with each wave getting harder and increasing in number. While this mode isn’t new to the series, a new ranking system was unveiled that carries across all modes and unlocks perks as you progress up the military ranks. Perks such as better target allocation, a steadier hand, and stronger lungs will enhance your character and make him (or her in multiplayer) a more efficient killer.
We were also introduced to a 4v4 PVP zone-like game mode where a radio was dropped from the sky and we had to capture and defend it. Since this is a sniper game, teamwork was the key to winning each round as a couple players would find a nice camping spot while the other players would advance towards the target, capturing it while having the snipers keep the enemy off of them. It was a fun mode, but without teamwork death was a certainty.
As a longtime fan of the series, the game felt great and looked even better than the last release. The new open map system should give the game more replayability with even more options for progressing towards your target and stealth kills.With familiar gameplay and new bells and whistles like perks and an adaptive AI, Sniper Elite 4 is shaping up to be a silent killer, and a worthy addition to the franchise that fans should keep an eye out when it shoots out this February 14 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC.
We’d like to thank Rebellion for inviting us to this Sniper Elite 4 preview event. Keep an eye out for our interview with Rebellion regarding the game very soon.