Think you’re good at sniping in games? Happy to sit in a sneaky spot and pick off unsuspecting suckers on your battle royale game of choice? Well, it’s time for a challenge, and what better way than to bring gravity, weather and weapon variety into the equation? Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 has arrived on the Playstation 5, and with it comes the same brilliant sniper challenge we’ve had before, but this time with added shine and full use of the ever-amazing Dual Sense controller.
The structure of the game is pretty consistent throughout – you have targets to kill, and you need to kill them from a distance. Some of these might be more straightforward – if they’re standing around in the open for example – but others might require you to scout out the enemy’s locations, work out where in a building they are, or make sure there’s no way for them to sound an alarm. Working out how to ensure your targets are taken out in an effective manner can feel like a bit of a puzzle, but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. The game would be pretty samey if you just turned up, took aim and finished it within seconds – having to scope things out, mark your enemies and figure out the best path through the ensuing carnage is a very satisfying way to play, and give plenty of reasons to replay missions to nail all of your side objectives.
There’s plenty of options when approaching the missions too, with no single “correct” way to complete any particular objective. You can utilise drones, mines, turrets and other gadgets to protect yourself or gather better information as to the whereabouts of important enemies and areas. You’ll often need to find ways to encourage the bad guys to get out of cover and give you a chance to take a shot, or coax them into a trap you’ve cunningly left and watch on from a safe distance as their loud and unfortunate demise brings another out into your line of sight. It feels great when it all works, and gives a hearty nudge towards wanting to do things “properly” with all of the stealth tools you’ve got available to you.
The Dual Sense controller is used to great effect here as well, with the adaptive triggers giving you a crystal clear idea of just where in the trigger pull the shot will fire, and the wider range of haptics giving a suitable kick whenever you fire a shot, as well as other subtle effects to engross you in the action. I’ve seen the PS5 controller as a game changer from day 1, and things like this only go to enhance that opinion; I really can’t imagine this being anything like as fun with a standard controller. The sound design too is something of note, as the quietness of your surroundings contrasting against the crack of your rifle and distant explosions when things get slightly louder.
There were a couple of things that bugged me, although whether they’ll irritate you depends on how much you like feeling like a badass. Enemies can be incredibly dim at times, giving you plenty of chance to take out crowds of people without too much concern about them figuring out exactly what’s going on. Weirdly despite their less than stellar intelligence, they can sure as hell shoot well when they want to, pinging shots at you with incredible accuracy. There’s also some weirdness in terms of armour, with the game seemingly unsure as to which parts should stop bullets and which bits are wide open for a beautifully aimed round to fly through an open visor. That’s not the end of the world, you can just see all armour as protected even if it looks open, but it’s a shame when the whole game is based on millimetre perfect shooting and doesn’t reward you for being cheeky with a badly worn helmet.
But really, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is a very good sniper game. The stealth works well, the use of the controller is excellent for a 3rd party title, and the challenge is enough to make every successful shot feel brilliant. If you’re after something with a slower pace while still featuring a brilliantly violent bullet cam, this is for you.
Reviewed on PS5