Sniper: Ghost Warrior slipped past us in previews but when it landed on the review desk at PlayEject towers, we were interested in taking a look at how seemingly reducing the amount of weapon options to just a sniper rifle can be a good thing when the main rivals of Battlefield and Modern Warfare offer so much more…

But that’s not strictly the case. Despite the games name, Sniper Ghost Warrior provides you with the standard knife melee, a silenced sniper rifle and the option to pick up and use dropped or found enemy weapons from alternative sniper rifles to M16 rifles and silenced pistols.

sniper ghost warrior game review ps3 xbox 360 PlayEject

Take aim…control your breathing and fire!

So apart from not being exactly what it says on the tin, we were keen to see what else was offered in this bundle of surprise. The boring training session (which can be skipped) was quickly finished and we were dropped into the Mexican jungle to seek out and eliminate a target. Taking cover behind rocks and in bushes, we stealthily worked our way towards a patch of enemies and made a few head shots – so far so good.

Delving further into the missions we were surprised at how much we were enjoying Sniper: Ghost Warrior – we weren’t expecting much given the lack of hype surrounding it’s release but its actually a pretty solid game. The story is flimsy and straight from an 80′s cliche-ridden film but the weapons feel chunky, the enemy AI isn’t too bad and you are given almost an option as to how you want to play – stay hidden and play tactical or give away your position but draw out the bad guys to get quicker kills.

The actual mechanics for the sniper action is very clever – each shot you line up is affected by the wind speed, distance and general environment. That directly affects the bullseye targeting but you are helped by the introduction of a floating red dot that shows where the bullet will land. Its simple enough to follow and definitely makes like easier.

There’s a few nice touches thrown in that keep Sniper Ghost Warrior interesting and varied. Riding on a boat while picking off enemies from the riverbanks adds a new challenge – hitting moving targets! As well as the enemies turning into a glowing red colour when you use the sniper rifle’s sights and the zoom. Without the red-colouring it would be so difficult to spot the enemies especially through the dense jungle. There’s also a bullet-cam that kicks in when you manage to pinpoint a great headshot or long distance target. The action slows as the camera zooms in on the bullet leaving the rifle while it follows the path to the enemy and the red mist flies up and the rag-doll physics on the bad guys flip them 360 in the air from the impact. Its great to watch and enjoy but can get tedious if you’re in the middle of keeping track of targets especially on later levels.

A couple of things we didn’t like was the annoying and clunky controls when we were trying to use the rappel to scale cliff faces where we ended up unable to shoot the grappling hook onto the red indicator and took our chances jumping down a cliff and trying to break our fall on ledges. Also, the game in general seems a bit too easy on single player. At no point did we run out of ammo and there’s a massive amount of health packs if you’re willing to go off the obvious path and look in the nearby huts. The difficulty can be cranked up but even then its easy enough to get a good cover position, zoom right in and use the handy slow motion feature to hit multiple targets that are huddled together.Snipe Ghost Warrior xbox 360 PS3 game review PlayEject

The single player missions aren’t massive – each mission split up into acts and each act taking about 30 mins or less to complete depending on how good your shot and how you play. There are the standard collectables to find – laptops which contain intel on the missions and the story. But apart from the achievement or trophies, there’s no point in collecting these items. They don’t provide new weapons or xp or anything to the character but are instead bits of text that we didn’t bother to read from a separate menu (so even when you collect them you can’t read the intel straight away!).

The multiplayer game modes do add a new level of depth and strategy to Sniper Ghost Warrior. As you’d expect, depending on who you play against will determine the kind of game you have to play. Most of the games we played were like massive games of chess – teams and individuals looking for the best position just waiting for someone to blow their cover or make a mistake before being pounced on by the other side. Its very tense stuff and in some ways it is better than the big name shooters as you know the majority of people playing the multiplayer are there because the game is geared up to sniper maps and players – something that is frowned upon in some games on the likes of Modern Warfare and Battlefield!

All in all, we were surprised at how much we enjoyed Sniper Ghost Warrior. While there are some niggles and things that need tidying up, overlooking them is easy enough and all forgotten when you’ve just taken aim and hit a South American drug dealer from a mile away under the cover of the thick jungle!

Sniper: Ghost Warrior game trailer

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