Sniper Elite 5 Q&A – FSR 1.0 Support, Engine Advancements, and Game Improvements
Sniper Elite 5 is just about ready to be launched, roughly five years and three months after the previous installment. Oxford-based game developer Rebellion has enjoyed continued success with the tactical shooter series, and this new game aims to build upon the foundation of Sniper Elite 4 while adding plenty of new options and features.
To discuss all that, we interviewed Jordan Woodward, Head of Design at Rebellion. As a reminder, if you're looking into buying an AMD Radeon RX 6000-series graphics card, select retailers are running a promotion that will bundle Sniper Elite 5 and the upcoming Saints Row reboot.
Sniper Elite 5 will otherwise be available starting on Thursday, May 26th for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X. Game Pass subscribers will find it in their library.
How many missions are available in Sniper Elite 5? How long do you expect the campaign to be on average?
The Sniper Elite 5 Campaign features 8 expansive missions as well as an epilogue. Each of the main missions has a number of additional objectives, a kill list target, unlockable start points, and various collectibles as well as numerous routes and approaches. This results in a high level of replayability, especially when you can approach the mission from a new starting point.
The length of time taken to finish the game varies so much, depending on whether you undertake the side missions and also your play style. If you are a stealthy, cautious player who’s looking to complete some side missions, then I would say you are looking at over 20 hours to complete the main campaign. There is then still plenty of room left for replaying missions to complete anything you missed on the first playthrough. Other players may just want to blast through the campaign with a more run and gun approach. There are a lot of variables.
What were the main improvements made to AI logic compared to previous installments?
The AI in Sniper Elite 5 is far more reactive than it has been in previous installments of the franchise. If they spot you they will now alert nearby enemy soldiers to your presence and call for reinforcements. They also have access to spotlights which they can use to help spot you as you try to sneak by using the cover of darkness. If they do spot you, they also have far more heavy weaponry which can be pretty devastating.
The vehicle AI is much improved as well, meaning that they can now freely navigate the terrain to track you down, rather than having to stick to defined routes. This is particularly menacing when it’s a tank.
The game is placing more emphasis on stealth. Was this direction picked due to player metrics analysis of Sniper Elite 4?
The Sniper Elite series has always encouraged stealth gameplay but we also want to offer as much choice as possible to the player. Sniper Elite 4 was our first real foray into a sandbox style of game, and we learned a lot from this having looked at the metrics and also garnered feedback from the community and fans of the game.
Those learnings meant that we could create the maps and the objectives for Sniper Elite 5 with more confidence and offer the players more options, routes, toys, and tactics for them to utilise in order to fulfill their mission. For example, the new traversal mechanics, including climbing allowed us to explore a number of new possibilities such as hidden areas and new sneaky routes for Karl to utilise.
How many total weapons can players equip in Sniper Elite 5?
This number is actually very difficult to pin down due to the sheer number of weapon customisation options that are offered to the player. From a base weapon perspective, there are 6 rifles, 6 secondary weapons, and 6 pistols as well as 4 types of heavy weapons, which can be found in the levels and other items. Then you are able to customise different components of those weapons including the barrel, suppressor, scope, stock, magazine, and more. If you include the 5 different ammo types, there are actually over 8 million permutations that can be created in the weapon customisation.
This can seem daunting on the face of it but you unlock items as you play by discovering workbenches that are hidden within the mission maps (each level has 3). You can then tailor your weapons to suit your individual play style, whether that be slow and cautious, taking people out from distance, or whether you are more run and gun, and everything in between. If you create something but it doesn’t work for you then you can just go back to the bench to reconfigure and try again.
Are there still various types of mines to choose from?
We have both the anti-tank Teller Mines and the anti-personnel Schu Mines. You will also have access to TNT (which you can set on a timer if you wish) and Satchel Charges which can be set on a short or long fuse or alternatively shot once you get to a safe distance.
What are the incentives to keep playing Sniper Elite 5 until the level cap from the rewards standpoint?
Replayability is something that is extremely important to us and all of the levels and maps within the game are designed with that in mind. We encourage the player to explore the map, discover the hidden gems, take on the side missions and find all the collectibles. Doing this will mean that they will discover all of the workbenches, for example, meaning that they unlock further weapon customisations that may well help them complete missions and objectives. There are also special weapons hidden at strategic points in certain levels that players may find extremely useful.
As you play you will unlock Medals and Achievements and you earn XP as you go for kills, collectibles, completing objectives, and earning medals and ribbons. As you earn XP you will earn Skill Points to spend on your character, unlocking skills such as additionally ammo slots for your various weapons.
It is worth noting that the Campaign and Multiplayer XP is now separated to enable a more level playing field.
You're adding a Souls-like Invasion Mode to Sniper Elite 5. Will there be a separate progression as the invading Axis Sniper?
There are a unique set of rewards and unlocks for playing as the Axis Sniper in Invasion Mode. For example, you can unlock new outfits for the Invader which in turn offer new gameplay options.
Perhaps you now look identical to a group of AI enemies enabling you to hide in plain sight by disguising yourself as an NPC. This is something we have had a lot of fun trying out in our playtests.
Would it be possible to add a split-screen co-op feature post-launch?
Split-screen is not in our roadmap.
From a tech standpoint, what are the main advancements of Sniper Elite 5? Did you look into adding ray tracing support?
Probably the biggest enhancement has been the inclusion of crossplay on all platforms. This is a very big deal for us and a big technological undertaking. We have already spoken about AI and vehicle navigation, which is a big tech step forward for the series.
However, we have also made a lot of advancements on the technology front that may not be immediately obvious to most players, but when combined make for a much better game. For example, we made improvements to our developer tools in the Asura Engine and made a host of advances in our materials, lighting, and rendering.
The water tech in the game is massively improved to make it appear more realistic and for Kill Cam the lighting, rendering, and blood effects have all been enhanced. We also added more realistic audio and audio detection for the AI. This adds more realism around which sounds they hear in the environments, such as when weapons are fired.
As for ray tracing, this was something that we initially looked at but decided to focus on other areas.
Will Sniper Elite 5 support AMD's FSR? If so, will it be the 2.0 version?
Sniper Elite 5 supports FSR version 1.0.
Are there different graphics pre-set modes available in the next-generation versions of Sniper Elite 5? Can you share the target resolution, settings, and frame rate?
We do not offer pre-sets. Players on PS5 and Xbox Series X will be able to enjoy the game at 60fps in a resolution up to 4K with much faster loading times while Xbox Series S users can play at 60fps at 1440p resolution. Meanwhile, the PS4 and Xbox One are capped to 30fps.
Is there anything else you'd like to add about the game?
The only thing left to say is that we hope that everyone enjoys Sniper Elite 5 when it launches on 26th May! We look forward to seeing you on the battlefield.
Thank you for your time.
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