City Interactive is planning to release a direct sequel to its original game, Sniper, in the projected release window of Q2 2012. Running on CryEngine 3, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 picks up where the original game left off and takes you to such exotic locales as Antarctica, Bosnia, the Himalayas, and other urban and jungle environments. Though the environments are large and detailed, the heart of the game still revolves around reaching out and snuffing someone who ideally never knew you were there. This time around, you have even more ways to get that done.
One new feature is the ability to perform stealth kills on the enemy. At certain points, there are scripted events where you or both you and your spotter will lie in wait for the enemy before slitting their throats. However, any enemy unaware of your presence is a potential candidate for an up-close-and-personal meeting with your blade, and that gives stealthy players another option in dealing with enemy units.
Unlike other games, your spotter seems to be useful, as he relays tactical information and occasionally takes out enemies that you've missed. At certain points, you and your spotter will synchronize shots against pairs of foes, or he will bet that you can't take out those two enemies with a single shot. Barring a few small enhancements, the ballistics model is largely unchanged from the original game and builds upon the successful modeling used in the original.
As you hold your breath and steady your shots, the game slows down, allowing you to have that much more time in lining up and taking a killing shot from an arguably ridiculous range. For some shots, the game shows a cut scene of the bullet flying in for the kill — a nice touch for those long-distance shots. Once the kill has been made, it may be prudent to escape the area as quickly as possible — a feat made easier with the inclusion of drivable vehicles, such as ATVs and trucks.
Other times, your escape may not be possible due to the small matter of an enemy gunship hovering overhead and raining down gunfire on your position. With the lack of an antiaircraft gun, you and your spotter must come up with the plan of getting an angle on the cockpit and shooting the pilot. Though the encounter was certainly heavily scripted and a work in progress, it was entertaining to have your spotter draw the chopper's fire while you go into aiming mode and put a bullet into the unsuspecting pilot, causing the whole bird to plummet to earth.
Upon release, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 should have around 16 missions spanning 10 hours of gameplay, and that should give people plenty of time to get in their ranged combat early next year. While details in the multiplayer offerings were a bit scarce, it appears that a lot of effort is being put forth to make the single-player experience a memorable romp of long-distance headshots and close-combat stealth kills. Look for more information on the game as it gets close to its release date.
Greg Hale also contributed to this preview.
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