Sniper: Ghost Warrior Impressions
Focusing solely on long-distance sniping, it showed plenty of promise when it released in June to the Xbox 360 and the PC, yet it ultimately fell flat. Bugs and glitches crippled the game, an uneven AI made the game sometimes too hard, and the assault missions – in which the game would switch over to a more traditional first-person shooter – felt like a third rate Modern Warfare. Small wonder we gave it a 4.5
Talking with City Interactive, one gets the impression that the team is very aware of the complaints leveraged against their game. After all, they were the ones who had to release the patches to fix the game, and they were the ones to feel the brunt of criticism. To be fair, and they'll admit it, they had a fairly aggressive deadline to make the game, and they'll be the first to say that the game came out too early. Thankfully for them, Sniper: Ghost Warrior was a financial success, making enough money to place City Interactive's CEO on the cover of Forbes Poland.
So it's a fairly positive sign that they are porting the game to the PS3 for release on February 8, 2011, with intents to make this the best version yet. City Interactive has done a lot of editing to the game to make it more appealing and bug free. While these were hands-off impressions, it's clear that the developer is putting a lot of time and energy into this title.
First and foremost, those unloved assault missions are now gone. No longer will players be forced to run and gun through levels that felt wholly different from the rest of the game. Instead, these missions are now sniper assist missions, so players will play as the sniper watching over the assault troops. The AI has also been tuned so that enemies no longer have eyes like eagles, and the stealth elements are supposed to be more realistic. All of the DLC from the Xbox 360 and PC versions will be built into the game at no extra cost, making this an ultimate edition of sorts.
Additionally, more high distance shooting opportunities will be available, allowing for those moments to shoot across the map. Bolt-action rifles have also been added, and while they have a longer reload time, they are also very satisfying to perform. Two new rifles have been added, the Cheytec M200 Intervention and the WELL L96, and they will have slightly different dynamics than other guns. The grappling hook originally had some cumbersome issues, and it's been made easier to use. Generally, the gun play has had more time for finesse, and the general impression is that it's all better to use.
As far as multiplayer goes, the PS3 version will also have exclusively Capture the Flag. While we were not shown how this mode pans out, considering the game is focused on sniping, this could bring some interesting dynamics to versus. Additionally, there is now a Hardcore Multiplayer campaign, allowing for co-op on the harder difficulty setting.
In the end, it looks like this could be a promising reboot for a game that released just a little too early. By trimming the fat with the assault missions, fixing the AI, and bringing more of those satisfying sniper moments, Sniper: Ghost Warrior could be a great game to pick up this winter.