Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Review – The NRA Wet Dream

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GAME INFO

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2

4th June, 2021
Platform PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One
Publisher CI Games
Developer CI Games

As most know by now, I'm from the UK. Guns are considerably rarer here than in the US. They're so rare that our school kids aren't even traumatised regularly by performing active shooter drills. I know, it's crazy. We don't even get a mass shooting every week, and the sense of thrill from not knowing if you're going to be taken out by a crazy whose right to arm bears is above your right to life. But anyway, now I've lit that dumpster fire, let's talk about Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2.

On the topic of dumpster fires, CI Games actions' feel a little like that sometimes. CI Games sent the code to us on release, meaning this review would always be late. Also, when I finally came to play it over a week after launch (E3, etc.), there were fourteen pieces of DLC available (not including the OST), including one piece of DLC that features "the best long-range scope in the entire game". Come on, CI Games, do better. Also, don't comment on the intro for those who are still reading - it's a bit of fun; I took the shot, so let's see how many get triggered. Pun intended.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Out Now (Except on PS5), Streamer Shroud Selling a $10 Gun

Summarising my review early, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 feels like an expansion, not a full-priced sequel. At the same time, it feels like an expansion in the same way that Hitman 2 & 3 felt like expansions, titles that CI Games have most assuredly watched. I can't blame them either, so long as the missions are varied and satisfactory enough to carry a game, it's fine, right? Right. So, the missions here are fine and varied enough, improving at parts but worsening others from the original, a game that I previewed and Dave reviewed before Alessio previewed this.

As I've said, essentially doing the same thing but again, with a few extra things, isn't a bad thing if it's done well. Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 does a lot well. In all my gaming experience, I've only ever had two moments where I've enjoyed sniping as much as I do here. Those were in Battlefield (most of them) and Call of Duty 2. There's something inherently enjoyable about choosing your path, then using your wits and the magical future tools made available to you to get yourself to a location and then start sniping.

This is something the original did well, and this also performs admirably. Though it seems CI Games are borrowing from Mario world tropes. We had Ice World in the first, Desert World in this one. If there's a third game, I'm guessing Jungle World? But it's how the areas in the world are set out that mostly works. For the most part, you get to make your way through small enemy camps and patrols to an observation point overlooking a target area, use your binoculars to scout the area, marking targets and other points of interest, and work out how to kill your mark.

Only this isn't all of the time, which it bloody well should be. Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 often forgets the core part of the title name; Sniper. This is not Spec Ops Warrior Contracts 2, but the game seems to think it is when it sends you into a huge underground complex, one where unless you're willing to save-scum (which I am), then you're going to be spotted by AI that is somehow both idiotic as hell and omniscient. Maybe some people want some close-quarters action; those people can play something else. At least give me a choice to do everything at range.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Hands-on – All About That Bull’s Eye

Can somebody tell me how, when a shot is missed on an enemy over 1200 metres away, they can suddenly know exactly where I am? It's even easier to be spotted when you're forced into the aforementioned underground base, where enemies are crawling on top of each other. The game may as well become Call of Duty Contracts 2 at that point.

Another thing, the accuracy of some soldiers with a semi-automatic rifle at 300 metres is so deadly that I'm genuinely shocked that this army hasn't taken over the world, rather than be the paid force of some tin-pot dictator in a fake middle-eastern country. I know we don't need to worry about realism when Raven, the character you control, comes equipped with more high-tech gadgetry than the USS Enterprise, but some things stand out.

The story isn't one of those things. I've said all you need to know about it. You are an operative sent in to kill the country's leader, their high-level cronies and destabilise anything they find useful, such as oil fields. Essentially this is the United States Foreign Police Simulator (despite your intel guy behind the mike being a Yorkshireman, of all things). The story is a means to an end. It's a loose thread that ties the five large areas together.

Fortunately, these areas stand out. There's no doubt that CI Games know how to make an area feel believable enough and make it look fantastic while doing so. The five open areas have multiple contracts to perform, letting you go at them in whichever way you want. The reality is that you're guided mostly by the challenges on offer, as the game does list the contracts in the order it would prefer you to do them, feeding into the narrative of each area. For example, it wouldn't make sense to go in and attempt to kill the super-hacker in his underground base before first removing the signal blocking features that give you comms support, sabotaging the power supply, and so on.

So yes, the kills are fun, particularly the planning of the kills. Often it's about patience, waiting and watching your target go about their duties. You know they're eventually going to come out of that house and execute the journalist you're tasked to save, so do you wait? Or, do you lure them out by shooting the antenna or creating some other distraction? Every task has a good number of ways to complete it, most having challenge around it. My preference has been to kill everybody without raising the alarm; those challenges offer lots of money and points.

The money and points from these contracts, like the original, going into buying new weapons and perks (or you could pay real money - seriously CI?). You can equip your drone with poison darts or give yourself extra ammunition with a carrying pouch. Equip your multiple weapons with various scopes, silencers, muzzles, tripods, and whatever else. Plus, once you've completed a region, nothing stops you from going back afresh to try to do the other challenges.

So, do I like Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2? Yeah, I do. It's certainly flawed, with absolutely idiotic AI that suddenly becomes god once they're alerted to any single sound that could either be a bullet whizzing past them or a slight breeze. Either way, they know where you are now; everybody in the base is alerted within a nanosecond and the save-scumming returns. Strangely, when killing soldiers on the way to targets, they don't alert everybody through the power of telepathy.

Oh, and one last little thing. I'm not even sure why it irritates me as much as it does, but it does. When you sneak up and interrogate somebody, and they tell you what you want to know, why in the bloody hell would you call them a liar before stabbing them in the throat when you don't know if they're lying? The mass-murder gore-fest I can live with, but that's low. Stop being a prick, Raven.

Actually, another last thing, bugs. This isn't too bad with them, but there are a few. I've had voice lines repeating themselves, over the top of themselves, creating a wall of noise. I've also noticed one or two enemies getting stuck on the terrain, though I'm not even sure if that's the AI being terrible.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is at its best when it lets you be the titular sniper. Sure, you're always the same character, but the AI is far too crap, as are the guns, your health and the game in general, to stand up as a close-quarters shooter. Keep everything a good 500+ metres away, and this game is genuinely very good; it's just a shame CI Games keep forgetting the simple rule that snipers shoot from far away.

PC version reviewed. Copy provided by the publisher.

Products mentioned in this post

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
USD 39.99

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7

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is one of the best games in the world for doing sniping right, that's something I firmly believe. However, CI Games almost seem afraid of letting the game shine, all too often moving you away from sniping, an action the game is named after. In addition, the game is showing a few issues, such as downright stupid AI and a few bugs here and there. It's a shame because there are good open areas to move around in, the contracts allow you to use your brain and plan the perfect hit and it all looks great while you're on your path to becoming the world's best blood-spatter creator.

Pros

  • The areas look and feel good, offering multiple routes and letting you (theoretically) choose your path.
  • Long-distance sniping is absolutely fantastic, with the contracts taking a Hitman style approach in letting you use the environment, and more, to find your way forward.
  • Offers a good amount to do, particularly with the side challenges to earn more rewards.

Cons

  • Too many times where the sniping is pushed back by close-quarters aspects.
  • The AI is absolutely terrible one second, then omniscient the next.
  • A few bugs here and there.
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