Preview: Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
I am the the ultimate predator. That is the fantasy of sniping, at least to me. I get the Agent 47 and the Sam Fischer stuff as well. That’s all here too, but sniping is the star. The first one promised to glorify the woefully under-appreciated mechanic that is sniping. Sadly it was ultimately let down by its rough edges, poor technology, and heinous firefights.
Still I enjoyed the opening couple hours and it really is an interesting idea, to specialise and flesh out a single gameplay mechanic. I like the idea of a game based around an often sidelined aspect or feature of bigger games. If done right it could be a chance to explore something often touched but never properly developed. a delicious concept. City Interactive seem to believe there is some magic to be had, and if nothing else they are determined. Also there are multiplayer sniping duels, which could be something superb, if they pull it off properly.
Their first try wasn’t great, but it had grains of brilliance marred and ultimately overcome by bugs. Unperturbed and with a small cult following they’re trying again, but awesomer.
Name: Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
Genre: First Person Shooter\Headshot Simulation Game
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: City Interactive
Publishers: City Interactive/ Namco Bandai Games
Expected Price: R455 (Pc) R619 (Ps3, Xbox360)
Release Date: 12 March 2013
City Interactive are tenacious. They’ve swapped engines to the CryEngine 3, the fuel behind Crysis 3. Although neither game is out, I think it’s fair to say there is some serious oomph under the hood. If it were a real engine it would have one of those purring growls that you can just feel, in the quivering of the hairs on your chest, is hiding some serious power.
What they do with that power though, is another story. In all fairness, they did blame a lot of their technical issues last time on the limitations of their engine. They used the engine that powered Call of Juarez Bound in Blood. The only good Call of Juarez. Also, a living testament to the legitimacy of City Interactive’s complaints. Strange stuff happened. Just odd things that gave me the impression of rickety underlying technology. The way that Far Cry 3 felt, all robust and packed with glorious things. Not like that.
This time though, they say everything is fantastic and the engine is powerful. They promise good things, and I’m starting to believe.
Sniping is an interesting aspect of gaming, generally it’s just an extension of the normal gun-play but in reality its an entirely different beast. The issue is that the realities of sniping don’t make for glorious gameplay experiences, at least they haven’t yet.
The issue is that the way I feel about sniping is similar to the way I feel about pedestrian traffic laws. Depending almost 100% on which side I’m on, I hold to be self evident an entirely different and fundamentally opposed set of truths.
When I’m walking on the street I believe with all my heart that cars ruin the natural beauty of things, are dangerous, and rush around with no regard for human life. Not ten minutes later, behind the wheel, I find myself planning vivid and elaborate car-related murders for all the dumb, slack-jawed, respect devoid pedestrians that infest the streets.
Sniping is no different. Picking off target after target from miles away like a silent god of death is exhilarating. Dying instantly and without warning by the hand of some unseen, cowardly rat hiding in the dark half the map away is equally rage and frustration inducing.
This strikes me as risky territory for a game, but I do see the upside. The exhilaration is hard to match. Memories of the Ghillie Suit mission from the original Modern Warfare are vivid to this day. Even though I never played it, I’ve watched the Meet the Sniper video too many times, dreaming of a game based on the art of the assassin.
And here it is, at least by its own herald. Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 has you in the jungle, in the cities and in snowy Tibet. The technology is solid and the developers are the publishers, with everyone involved being passionate and determined.
I have expectations, I have misgivings and I have evidence to prove any eventual truth.
So now all that matters is hope. And it is a large hope indeed.