Sniper Elite 5 Shoots To Thrill

Rebellion Zeroes In On Another Successful Hit With Sniper Elite 5

 

Sniper Elite 5 preview

 

The latest offering in UK-based developer Rebellion’s long-running stealth shooter series, Sniper Elite 5 once again puts players in the combat boots of Office of Strategic Services sniper Karl Fairborne as he undertakes a daring mission to overthrow a Nazi scheme, one gruesome testicle shot at a time.

Sniper Elite 5’s campaign takes place in the year 1944. Following the allied invasion of Normandy, Karl finds himself behind enemy lines, where he must work with the French resistance to uncover details about Operation Kraken:  Germany’s latest project that could change the tide of the entire war. Earlier this month, I had the chance to go hands-on with the game at a preview event hosted by Rebellion. And since then, like a 6.5×52mm round punching between the eyes of some Nazi scum, I’ve had a hard time getting the game out of my head.

During the hands-on preview, I got to experience Sniper Elite 5’s second mission. It took place in and around a massive chateau located in the French countryside. It was a deadly playground teeming with murderous opportunities to explore, featuring a mix of dense forests, rolling hills, and the labyrinthine estate itself.

 

Sniper Elite 5 preview

 

Right from the jump, Sniper Elite 5 invites you to experiment with how you approach your objectives. For example, the mission begins in a small clearing where the Resistance has set up shop. There are three main paths you can choose from as you work your way to the heavily-fortified castle, where you have to search a high-ranking officer’s office and recover vital intelligence. One path is protected by a heavily-guarded watchtower that hides a powerful sniper rifle that you can use to pick off patrols to make infiltrating the fortress a bit easier. Another path takes you to a side entrance but is teeming with guards, so you’ll need to utilize the tall grass the stealthily make your approach. Finally, you can also go loud if you want and storm the main gate. However, this is ill-advised, as the enemy AI is super aggressive and will likely gun you down in seconds once you’ve swatted the hornet’s nest.

After a few failed attempts to dispatch the guards at the main gate with my silenced, single-shot Welrod pistol, I decided to rethink my strategy. Combing over the bridge leading to the chateau’s main entrance, I noticed a busted ledge I could use to drop down and shimmy across the bridge unnoticed. With a squad of trigger-happy fascists congregated just feet away, I felt my heartbeat in my throat as I carefully made my way to the opposite side of the bridge and quickly sneaked into a nearby guard shack. Unlucky for me, it wasn’t unoccupied. However, after quietly gutting the guard with a stealth kill, I was able to stash his corpse in a conveniently-placed crate and make my advance into the fortress via a window by climbing up some helpful overgrowth.

The Sniper Elite series has always emphasized exploration and experimentation. Still, after spending a few hours with Sniper Elite 5, I can’t help but feel Rebellion has turned the dial to 11 this time around. With so many ways to plan my approach and take down my targets, the game feels more than a bit like IO Interactive’s Hitman series, albeit with an emphasis on dealing death from a distance.

 

 

That’s not to say long-range kills are the only area where Sniper Elite 5 hits the mark. Close quarters combat is more punchy and satisfying than ever in this installment. Whether you’re going loud and riddling enemy forces with lead from a “borrowed” MP40 or driving your combat knife into the throats of nosey guards as they approach your hiding place, murdering Nazi scum has never felt so good.

Of course, while this polished gunplay may make it tempting to do your best Rambo impersonation, doing so seldom ends well and is usually best for clearing your path as you rush towards the nearest extraction point. So at the end of the day, stealth kills and sniping will still be your bread and butter in Sniper Elite 5.

Thankfully, even after 17 years of stomach-churning x-ray kill shots, watching your bullet carve its way through the guts of your targets is more gruesomely gratifying than ever. Eyes explode in skulls, testicles pop like smushed grapes, and hearts burst like meaty pinatas in a gory spectacle that would make a seasoned butcher blush. Maybe I’m a little more sadistic than I’d like to admit, but I never get tired of these watching these grisly payoffs unfold in all of their gory glory. Then again, if you happen to find yourself on the squeamish side, then chances are you need Sniper Elite 5 in your life about as much as you do a hole in your head. But if you’ve read this far, then chances are you probably know that by now.

 

 

As I said earlier in this preview, Sniper Elite 5 is all about exploration and experimentation. With this in mind, sometimes, you’ll need to change your equipment on the fly to adapt to what the game throws at you. That’s where workbenches come into play. Found peppered throughout each environment, these allow you to outfit your current arsenal with various attachments. Of course, customization has always been a staple of the series. And from what was available in the preview build I played, players will have plenty of options for crafting their ideal loadout with various scopes, stocks, and ammo types to complement their playstyle.

After sneaking my way through the chateau and getting my grubby mitts on some top-secret Nazi intel, I’m dying to get back behind enemy lines and see what awaits Karl Fairborne in Sniper Elite 5. From the ability to play the through the full campaign with a friend in co-op mode to a new Deathloop-inspired asymmetrical multiplayer mode where a player assumes the role of a rival Nazi sniper, it’s the content I didn’t get to experience that has me most excited to dive into the full version of the game. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait much longer to do so. Sniper Elite 5 infiltrates consoles and PC on May 26, 2022.

So, are you looking forward to making your mark in Sniper Elite 5 when it launches later this month? Or have you had your fill of bagging virtual Nazis for now? We at Hey Poor Player love to hear what you think. Be sure to sound off in the comments below and let us know.

 

 

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Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Currently playing: Chorus (XSX), Battlefield 2042 (XSX), Xeno Crisis (Neo Geo)

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