E3 2012: Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 Hands-On

There were countless games awaiting me at E3 this year, but one of the most anticipated titles for me may have been one that flew under the radar for many others. Having played and enjoyed (for the most part) Sniper: Ghost Warrior, I had to see what changes City Interactive was making to the sequel. I’m happy to report that the game is making great strides forward and not only has the potential to right every wrong from the last game, but also become a memorable sniper-oriented FPS in August.

I eagerly picked up the controller and was given free reign over the main character, Captain Cole “Sandman” Anderson as he began his infiltration mission. I watched as Anderson parachuted down into a thick forest (which looked gorgeous thanks to CryEngine 3) and located his spotter. The demo wasted no time giving me targets to try out the realistic sniping mechanics on. Two men stood on either side of an unmanned tank under repair. My spotter called out their presence, the distance, wind speed and wind direction. For those of us that aren’t expert snipers that can overcome the various elements, a red reticule appears while in scoped view to show where the bullet will hit. However, it is worth noting that this precision aid is not available on the Hard difficulty. I carefully lined up my shots and took them out. One of the shots even rewarded me with the cinematic bullet cam.

In the next area, the spotter took point and viciously cut down the unaware opposition. Once I reached an observation tower, it was time to do what Anderson did best. I perched up far above the patrolling guards and started taking them out one by one. Although the red reticule showed me where my bullet would hit, it was important to take the bullet’s travel time into consideration, thus making leading targets a crucial aspect to each shot. Unfortunately, I overestimated my targets movement speed and missed. The stronghold went into full alert, which led to the appearance of the new visibility meter. When enemies spot you, the ring around the mini-map shows you that you’ve been seen and in which direction the alerted enemy is located. Due to time constraints, the demo was cut short and so ended my time with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2.

In the build I played, the game appeared to be very solid, with only a few minor issues that the developer next to me acknowledged and stated that they would not be present in the final build. He was kind enough to reveal further details regarding the upcoming title. The hated action sequences of the first Sniper: Ghost Warrior will not be returning at any point during the 10 hour campaign. The team has figured out that the focus needs to remain on sniping. Although co-op was considered (and was even tested), it will not be making it into the game. Competitive modes will be available with the usual Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch making an appearance. A special sniper multiplayer mode is in the works, but details are being withheld for now. We will have to wait till we get closer to the August 14th release date to learn more about this mysterious mode, and the game in general. Fans of the first game and FPS players in general should definitely keep an eye on Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 as it’s looking to leave its predecessor far behind.