Despite a lack of ambition and content, Contracts is a very solid game and a comeback for the series.
the Chronique de Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts Carl sneaks into freezing Siberia to see if developer CI Games can shake off the bitter aftertaste of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.
Sandboxes and stealth form two hands on the stomach. From Far Cry 3 and especially Metal Gear Solid 5, it’s clear that tactics associated with stealth can thrive in combination with an open world. Developer CI Games also jumped on that cart by following the hugely successful Sniper Ghost Warrior 2. As you can read in the Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 review, it ended very badly. The series clearly needed a course fix and in last month’s Sniper Ghost Warrior contract preview, you already read that this new game is trying. With the final version behind, it’s clear: Contracts is a very successful but safe game.
However, Contracts aren’t a throwback to the tightly-directed linear missions of Parts 1 and 2. Instead, each level is a sandbox where you tackle a handful of targets however you want. Open levels bring back bad memories of Part 3, but contracts don’t fall into the same traps. Although each level offers great freedom of movement, the levels are so extensive that you always get from point A to point B easily and quickly. In addition, CI Games successfully guides you to your targets via rock walls that lead to convenient views, sewer pipes to infiltrate your bases and more. Exploring the levels with precision pays off, especially since you sometimes find camera systems that you can hack into to tag enemies. As with the competitor Sniper Elite 4, the levels in the contracts are very well designed and a pleasure to discover.
Once you have found an ideal sniper position, you can enjoy the extremely satisfying ‘sniper rifle’ feel that has characterized Sniper Ghost Warrior from part 2. You have to take into account the distance, wind and wind. cameras, as well as the very sound of a muffled gun. So that’s the message to wait for the perfect moment. When you finally pull the trigger, a dull pop ensues, your weapon recoils slightly, and very often your target’s head shatters. When the slow-motion camera shows the trajectory and gentle whistle of your ball in detail, it’s hard not to be impressed by the power over unsuspecting opponents that Contracts bestows upon you. The experience of a professional sniper is turned into real art here.
However, the contracts are far from a “forced journey”. Once the enemies have spotted and targeted you, you had better choose the hare trail immediately. While your inventory will include a fully automatic shotgun or shotgun, enemy bullets hit you hard and kill you within seconds. Due to this difficult difficulty, the wide range of weapon upgrades and learning skills are all the more welcome. CI Games offers here a very well thought out offer, which moves away from the boring clichés like “more health” and effectively proposes new tactical options. Investing in a drone as quickly as possible makes a huge difference to spotting enemies more easily, and there’s even a ‘sniper turret’ you can set up on the mountainside to control fire from a distance. Because skills really make a difference during missions, you can’t wait for the next skill you can acquire.
You make purchases with specific money and resources, you get them by completing challenges on each level. They encourage you to play in the foreground – for example, by interrogating your primary target with your throat knife – and encourage creativity. Like when you are asked to kill two enemies with one bullet. After a first part of a mission, you are often only 40% successful, which means that CI Games is clearly committed to fully mastering each level. Although this focus on depth is very deserving, you quickly run into a problem: the game only contains five levels. There’s nothing wrong with quality over quantity, but Contracts doesn’t have the level remixes or nearly endless detail that makes a game like Hitman so dynamic and endlessly replayable. Lack of content is therefore the main negative factor of contracts.
There are other negative points. The game is anything but flying graphics. While CI Games deserves the credit, the wayward CryEngine runs stably on consoles, and the lighting sometimes creates atmospheric levels (the last mission in particular). Contracts with its sloppy textures sometimes feel like a game from the start of this generation. The AI also drops, with enemies sometimes responding and sometimes not responding when you stab their nearby companion. One of the biggest irritations is the backup system. You cannot register manually, but you must rely on automatic registrations. However, these only happen when you move to a different area of a level or when you reach an objective. Although the lack of manual saves makes you play cautiously and with concentration, losing 15 minutes of progress is extremely frustrating due to a small mistake.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts is a comeback for the series after the whistle of Part 3. The choice of individual levels, each with a sandbox, turns out to be the right one. Thanks to a smart design and the great feel of your sniper rifle, it is a real pleasure to methodically spot enemies and take a photo from a distance of three hundred meters. However, there are negatives. AI and graphics aren’t thieves. In addition, the game offers far too little content. While the emphasis on replayability and upgrades attempts to emulate the Hitman model, Contracts has too little to do. In fact, it’s mostly a forced heading correction after part 3 which feels like the cautious first step towards a bigger game. The series has always had a lot of potential and Contracts partly lives up to it. Now it’s up to CI Games to turn this solid foundation into a complete package.
Carl reviewed Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts on PlayStation 4.