Since 2005 Rebellion Development’s Sniper Elite series has perfected the sniper gameplay with detailed bullet physics and a happily bloody killcam. While these games lend themselves to some intense sniper shootouts, they could often feel too linear and restrictive for a game about sneaking behind enemy lines and taking out Nazis as you see fit.
Sniper Elite 4 has taken the first step in making levels richer and emphasizing player freedom. Now, Sniper Elite 5 takes these ideas a step further than a WWII sandbox that sits somewhere in between hit man 3 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in its structure.
i have to play Sniper Elite 5 second level and see the more open level design and weapon customization in action. While it doesn’t reinvent the series’ formula, the level I played showed that Sniper Elite 5 has refined that experience into intense sniping Immersive simulation I always wanted to be Sniper Elite.
During Sniper Elite 4 Taking place in Italy, Sniper Elite 5 takes the series’ protagonist, Karl Fairburne, to the Normandy region of France where he attempts to take down Nazi Abelard Möller. Rebellion says the events of D-Day will play out during gameplay, but I played a mission that takes place much earlier.
This level, titled Occupied Residence, challenges the player to sneak into Möller’s office in an occupied French castle to retrieve documents revealing a secret Nazi plan to invade America. Occupied Resident didn’t actually require me to murder anyone, but it still managed to make an impression as one of the best levels in the series thanks to strong design and some of those Sniper Elite 5 new game elements.
At the start of the level I was dropped off at a French resistance camp not far from the chateau. Resistance members highlighted how I could get to the castle by charging through a heavily guarded main street, taking out a German patrol around a shallow river crossing, or crossing a nearby bridge after taking out the patrol around them.
I first attempted to use the river crossing path and shot some of the patrol soldiers from afar. However, I forgot to equip a silencer, so I was spotted and decided to run away. While previous Sniper Elite games may have punished me for this weakness, Sniper Elite 5 Let me successfully escape and reassess the situation. This is where the game’s excellent level design came into its own.
As I escaped and looked for a place to hide, I noticed how closely connected this map was. Various streets, gardens, houses and more could serve as great hiding and sniping spots. I could also change and customize my loadout at a workbench if I wanted to change my approach.
Sniping-focused missions in video games can get frustrating at times, as they instantly punish the player if they screw up a shot or reveal their position. As a series about a sniper, Sniper Elite has had this problem in the past. But because Sniper Elite 5 Having such an open level design and allowing players to change their gear during missions doesn’t look like this will be an issue here.
Now knowledgeable and confident Sniper Elite 5 Structure and systems, I decided what to do next. I chose to take out the soldiers around the bridge and cross this path. I killed the soldiers at the south end of the bridge, then climbed around the side of the bridge and up some lianas to avoid the Nazis at the north end.
I was near the castle now, so I climbed over the wall surrounding it and snuck in through a window without being spotted. From there, I snuck through the house, secretly doing takedowns on everyone I encountered, until I found a secret room that belonged to Möller and contained the documents I was looking for. I was then able to exfiltrate but was caught by a soldier before I could fully escape. This caused an insane rush towards the objective where I managed to defeat enough soldiers to buy myself enough time to exfiltrate. It was a uniquely exhilarating experience that I created and one I won’t soon forget.
Moments like this show the magic of games, giving the player the feeling of being in control of everything that happens to the game’s world and characters. Rebellion fully embraces an approach that has worked for games like hit man 3 and Metal Gear Solid vand the series is in top form because of it.
Sniper Elite 5 will be released on May 26th on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. It will also be available in Xbox Game Pass at launch.