Rebellion sends you again as a sniper on Nazi hunt. The protagonist is more agile than ever and other players can chase you. Does this successfully set new accents in the French setting?
All screenshots and video scenes are from GamersGlobal
Once again, English developer Rebellion sends you out to sneak behind enemy lines with sniper Karl Fairbanks, throwing sticks at the Nazis’ feet and, more importantly, putting bullets through vital organs.
to North Africa Sniper Elite 3 (in the test, grade 7.5) and Italy in Sniper Elite 4 (in the test, rating 7.5) France is now the scene of the game in the fifth part of the series. In 1944 the Nazis were already retreating and trying to establish themselves in occupied France. Actually, sniper king Karl is only supposed to support the landing of British troops, but then he stumbles across the mysterious project Krake with French resistance – a last ace up the sleeve of the Axis powers. Of course she’s getting to the bottom of it. But the story is rather patchwork in terms of staging and, like in the predecessors, rather a minor matter in the campaign. As for the single player experience of Sniper Elite 5 has anything else in common with the previous parts and what innovations Rebellion scores with, this test will tell you.
On the screenshots and in the video you can see the PS5 version. Xbox Game Pass subscribers can look forward to the title being included in the game subscription library upon launch.
|Not only infantry stands in your way. You’ll also need to dodge – or sneak past – armored vehicles with scatter bazookas, weak point attacks with armor-piercing ammunition, and mines.|
Live la France
At first glance, everything is the same: on the standard levels of difficulty, help functions make direct hits with the sniper rifle child’s play despite the wind and bullet physics, the killcam (which can be switched off) celebrates the dissection of the enemy in such an exaggerated way that the orgy of violence makes me feel like in Mortal Kombat just make you laugh. You usually act more stealthily, because you don’t survive a charge in the crossfire for long. If, on the other hand, you deactivate alarms and anticipate opponents, you can theoretically reach your goal even with a smoking machine gun – although the stealth approach was much more fun for me, with free saves and auto-saves also being easy on the nerves. Optionally, you can tackle the missions in co-op with a friend. You will find files and other collectibles along the way, but also useful equipment or weapons. However, the latter are only supplements and cannot go into the holster instead of the guns you have brought with you.
Of course, the locations are new: Eight expansive maps are waiting to be explored in nine missions – the pre-order DLC with another map of the Alps, on which you kill Hitler, is already available at launch. The start of the campaign even offers a bit too spacious boring arable land, but there is already a lot of visual variety here with a beach, an orchard, a radar system and a small town. Later maps go further in terms of level design. Also thanks to Karl’s new climbing skills, there are a number of routes through the areas. The secrets of a chateau are also among the highlights, as is the town in mission three, whose immensely winding streets wind up a mountain, where a cathedral, which is also not small, awaits. Even if the later missions and maps remained fun, the mentioned chateau and the mountain town were honestly the visual highlights.
|First the approximate position of the targets and later their specific position are drawn on the map. If you find files or overhear soldiers, other points of interest will be drawn.|
Motivating optional goals
More often than not, you have multiple options when completing main quests. For example, you can blow up a prototype facility by manipulating faulty pipes to set off an explosive chain reaction, but there are two other ways to blow everything up. If you don’t mind noise, you can blast open many doors and safes with charges picked up in the level instead of looking for the keys.
In addition, each map has one or more side quests (usually something to sabotage or steal) and an optional target to eliminate – including special conditions for bonus weapons as a reward, such as a snitch with a rat phobia by a kill mined dummy rat. But the implementation is mostly very straightforward, it’s not like in hit man some planning needed to force special deaths. There are also medals (without any other reward) for other special achievements that are tailored to the specifics of each map. In general, you get experience points for kills, collectibles and completed missions, which you can use to improve your hero – rewards such as more life force, additional item slots on the belt or greater range for the focus, which shows nearby enemies through walls, are useful but not exciting.
A nice detail that I remember positively: Although the story doesn’t matter much, I had a lot of fun with the background information that is displayed next to the names and inventory of marked soldiers. Sometimes in combination with documents and fluff dialogues, they result in funny little stories. The sentence “I would kill for a woman like your sister-in-law” takes on a different dimension when I look through the binoculars and read “He hopes that his series of murders in Munich will never come to light”. As silly as it may seem, that bit of background was actually enough to affect the way I played. With a conscript farmer who was worried about his parents, I chose the option of silently stunning him rather than slitting his throat. On the other hand, the knife automatically flew into my hand when I read things like “Boasting to everyone that they were at Kristallnacht”. There’s even a pop culture nod to the anime in the test video above JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
|In the Axis Invasion multiplayer campaign feature, you will be notified of each other’s actions, such as when the other player locates your position over the phone. If you camp, your position will also be marked.|
In addition to climbing is an innovation that is now similar to in deathloop (in the test, grade 8.5) a single player can invade your world during a campaign mission and pursue you as an Axis sniper fighter (whether you choose to do so at the beginning of the mission). Telephones distributed around the world serve both sides to locate the approximate position of the enemy, but then of course you also have to be able to get roughly to the corresponding spot or have a clear field of fire at it.
The enemy player has a several-minute cooldown before they can use the phones (which they can mine directly, though). Also, he doesn’t have a focus that Karl uses to see enemies through walls. In return, he can increase the alertness of nearby troops and he immediately notices when soldiers he has marked with binoculars hear noises or discover Karl. I only played a few rounds as the aggressor, but that was too much of an aggressive wait for me. At least as Karl, I continue to carry out my regular mission while being paranoid about the human enemy. Harder is almost the limitation that I can’t create manual quick save points during the invasion.
|The x-ray killcam is back in the game. You can set the frequency or turn it off entirely.|