Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 returns as a silent warrior with a killer new look thanks to cryENGINE 3 purring underneath the hood. Be prepared to hold your breath and squeeze the trigger once again. As a marksmen just looking to stay alive, you’ll need to know when to stay in cover and when to take the shot. With the assault missions left behind in the previous title, Ghost Warrior 2 strikes out as the new silent killer built from the ground up.
Having listened to the fans from the previous title, the good gents over at City Interactive know what you want from a sniper game. You want every shot to count, and with the return of the kill cam, you can practically feel the lead tear through bone. The new engine allows for enemies to fall in just the right way or even body parts to rip apart with a well-placed bullet. Destruction never looked so good.
Don’t think for a second that this will just be another pretty shooting gallery. Enemy AI now looks to use cover and get as close to you as possible before taking the kill shot. Don’t depend on anything more than your sniper rifle, a knife, and a couple of bullets to carry you through to the end of the mission. This is a sniper game, not long distance Call of Duty.
For our demo, we began in the urban jungle of Sarajevo circa 1993, right in the middle of the war. You start off looking for evidence to the atrocities happening in the region before things get a little crazy. After getting kidnapped, we revert back to our own ways of hunter-versus-hunted with little more than a knife and a good head on our shoulders.
Broken walls and debris are a welcome change to the jungle environments of the previous title. As we crawl on our belly to find a rifle, a visibility ring tells us when we move out of cover and the direction from where shots are fired. This helped us tremendously while we moved between overturned desks and broken chairs as we searched for our gun. It only takes a couple of shots to take to you out of the game.
Another addition to the gameplay comes in the form of stealth kills. Get close enough to an enemy and you give them a quick knife to the kidney or snap their neck before alerting anyone else in the area. Know where your adversaries are looking. Even the most silent kills won’t help you if a scout is staring right at you.
Along with the rifle, we find binoculars and a med bag waiting for us on the table in the ruined building. Don’t expect your health to regenerate if you get shot. You’ll need to find cover to bandage your wounds. Long-range sniper fights puts your ability to find that piece of cover to the test. The last thing you need while bandaging your wounds is another bullet to the head.
Binoculars let you mark your targets from a distance with little white flags over their heads. You can mark a couple of men at a time just to make things easier for you, so you don’t have to constantly check on them while you try to find that perfect spot to take your shot; just pull up your rifle and take your aim. Reloading takes a little longer this time, but you can keep your eye in the sights while waiting for that next bullet.
Our demo took us on a bloody, intense tour around the war-torn city. At times, we found it better to avoid the fights all together by crawling or hiding in the bushes. We ended the section with a sniper fight as we ran from room to room in order to hide to find the lone shooter across the way. Towards the end of our demo, we got a glimpse of the jungle sections as well. We watched as our precision killers moved through waist high water in the lush, Crytek-y foliage to find the perfect shot. The variety of environments in the game will help to not only break up the visual pallet but will also influence how you approach engaging with enemies, since jungles look and feel quite different than rubble-filled cities.
In the end, it’s clear that the Ghost Warrior team has listened to fans and is hoping that their second outing will hit the mark.