The design document to Sniper must be one of the most well designed, most thought out, and over all inspiring pieces of gaming literature that has been attached to an FPS in over a decade. In many of the levels, the game focuses heavily on stealth, but if they player is discovered it is still possible for them to find a way through by shooting it out. Likewise, conflicts that are played out from different perspectives seem like a sure fire approach to leave a lasting effect long after the game is completed. Too bad none of it seemed to make it through the design phase.
The large majority of the levels are played from the perspective of a sniper, which the name would imply, and focus heavily the stealth mechanic of the game. Unfortunately the NPCs in the game don’t seem to agree with this as they can spot a player completely covered, crawling, making no sound, and that is also behind them. The entire failure as a stealth game means that all of the levels that are played as a sniper end up being massive shootouts with the player’s best weapon being a slow firing sniper rifle.
Although not all of the levels are played with a sniper rifle, as not all playable characters are snipers. These levels only seem to be different as the avatar can no longer hit anything with any degree of accuracy and are accompanied by immortal AI teammates that will stand in the line of fire doing nothing. These also seem to be the levels where the design was stolen out of a better FPS game, expect when it was ported all forms of reason and thought simply stopped. Don’t worry though, because the insanity of these levels can just barely be noticed over the random and pointless story of the game.
Although just issuing a passing complaint on the AI seems unfair to just how poorly designed it is. This is one of the few games that I have ever played that the AI itself seems to be bored with the entire concept of being in the game and simply stops playing it. Watching AI teammates, and sometimes enemies, simply stop what they are doing and refuse to respond to stimulation is inexcusable in any game. The worst happens when the game decides that a group of enemies are simply going to have infinite health and bullets, a problem that is only solved when the entire game is restarted.
Sniper does do one thing amazingly well, and that is looking good. Upon first installing the game I had to stop and find out what engine the game was built on as, after patching it, it ran rather smoothly on my PC while having some of the best graphics I have seen in a long time in a game. This doesn’t stop the game from having random invisible walls to stop the player from progressing one way or another, but the mist that is created from falling water is enough to make one stop and look for a couple of minutes.
Calling this game “broken” might too nice of a describing word. But if you can ignore the flaws for a few minutes, Sniper might be worth checking out just to witness the high graphical qualities. If you really need the urge to play through a game as a sniper just pick up any other FPS game and only play it with a sniper rifle, or play Modern Warfare’s sniper stage, or experience the sniper dual in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater.
Not As Good As: Most other FPS games
Also Try: Modern Warfare 2
Wait For It: A Steam sale when it is 90% off
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