Sniper Ghost Warrior is a saga of FPS developed by the Polish studio CI Games which boasts a trilogy of titles, released between this generation and the previous one.
Contracts, which we had already had the opportunity to try this summer in Cologne, it is one spin off of the main saga that offers different mechanics than in the past.
It is in fact not a linear title, but a game structured in levels in which we will be immersed in large sandbox maps. The game puts us in the shoes of a extremely skilled sniper who is hired by a mysterious organization, which will ask us to eliminate a series of targets and complete missions for them.
CI Games took us this time to the icy lands of Siberia, a hostile territory in full geo-political unease. Our targets will in fact be mainly prominent positions within the country's political organization chart.
All this information will be mainly useful in order to create a credible context for the player, given that the game does not follow a real storyline and he's not even going to.
In short, the development studio gives us the right amount of news to get a general picture of the situation, so as to understand who and why we are called to assassinate, all through interesting videos that will present the various objectives.
Quiet and deadly like a real sniper
As already anticipated in the introduction, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts offers us a sandbox level system in which we will be called to complete different objectives (the same system used by the Hitman games, in order to understand each other).
In total they are present 5 zone, in which we will find both primary and secondary objectives, collectibles to collect and additional bounties. The game, as the title suggests, revolves around the use of our sniper rifle and incentives the player to complete missions completely stealth.
Don't get caught, be patient, find the right moment to shoot the target, use gadgets to distract enemies, they are all key elements to be able to complete missions efficiently. This is also why when the enemy alarm goes off it will be really difficult to survive and resorting to hard ways may not bring us the desired result.
Thanks to the large game maps, the title finds its greatest strength in the variety of possible approaches, paths to be taken and strategies to be adopted to complete the contract.
In fact, each map allows you to move freely and to reach other areas via secret passages, shortcuts, climbing points and so on. Often and willingly we have in fact happened to die and try again, perhaps positioning ourselves in a different point that allowed us to have a different view of the area.
Being able to finish the missions without ever being discovered is rather difficult and requires a lot of patience, but it is equally satisfying.
The equipment used by our predator is made up of his trusty sniper rifle, an assault rifle, a pistol and various gadgets.
It goes without saying that the weapon we will use the most will be the sniper, which will allow us to hit enemy soldiers even from very great distances. The protagonist is also equipped with a futuristic mask which has several features.
The first and most important is the possibility of using the mask as binoculars and marking the enemy targets, so as to be able to keep them under control and view the distance that separates us from them in meters.
This last information is particularly important, since before firing our shots it is important to keep in mind distance, wind, the dish of the projectile and possible displacement of the enemies. The mask comes to our aid by providing a preview of the direction that the shot fired will travel, but it will still be necessary to be very precise before firing.
In the sniping sections, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts manages to give its best, resulting satisfactory and very appreciable. The best shots are also accompanied by a cinematic footage that will show us the bullet reaching the enemy's head (which will blow up without too much trouble).
As for the shooting sections with more traditional weapons, we unfortunately find a system woody and cumbersome. Assault rifles are awkward to use, not very precise and generally fail to give good feedback of shots (unlike what happens with sniper shots).
The various gadgets, including a drone, gas grenades, mines and throwing knives, can be used in the way that suits us best, allowing the player to add an additional piece in the strategic possibilities dates from the title.
As you progress through the game and complete the various contracts, we will be rewarded with dollars and other points that will be expendable for enhance our character. The various skill trees will improve the functionality of the mask, our bulletproof suit, our gadgets etc.
Also with the acquired dollars it is possible buy new weapons, accessories (such as better sights, larger magazines and the like) and camouflage with which to customize your paraphernalia.
Technical sector not at the forefront
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts boasts a good art direction, since all the environments in the game manage to be suggestive and certainly very pleasant to explore. Too bad, however, that the title is unable to stand out practically in any juncture from a technical point of view.
Starting from the graphics, the title presents a good general glance and the models of sniper rifles are certainly the most cared for in these terms. Too bad, however, that everything else is absolutely not up to date and most textures are only of sufficient quality for current standards.
Bad work done on the shadows, which unfortunately absolutely fail to reach an acceptable level for a similar title on PlayStation 4. In some moments there are also some noticeable drops in framerate, nothing that prevents you from fully enjoying the game but it is still unpleasant anomalies.
We enjoyed the colonna sonora, which has some well-made motifs that blend perfectly with the game context. On the other hand, the sound sector is barely sufficient as regards weapons, equipment and vehicles which unfortunately disfigures compared to other recent FPS.
La quality of animationsi is instead shaky and inconsistent, since it alternates between good quality works and others that are decidedly less good (as in the case of the animations for assault rifles).
Beyond that they are also present several small bugs scattered here and there within the game, which unfortunately dampens the game immersion in some circumstances.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts is a title that offers gameplay mechanics that work, have fun and are definitely suitable for all lovers of stealth games.
Unfortunately the title suffers from several technical gaps that do not make it shine as it could and this shows how much the development team still needs to improve in this respect.
The title is quite short, even if it presents a good degree of replayability given by the challenges present in the various game areas, but the development team has well thought of maintaining a lower introductory price than the current standard. The game was in fact launched at a price of 40 Euros for the console version and 30 Euros for the PC version.
We recommend the game to all those who want an experience dedicated to stealth and who are able to appreciate a gameplay that in some moments can also be very slow. If you are a lover of this genre and are able to move beyond the technical deficiencies of the game you will find a stimulating and satisfying experience waiting for you.