I know I am late to the review party, but I really enjoyed Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2.
This is the first Sniper Ghost Warrior game I’ve played, first-ever introduction to this series let’s say and well, it seems that I might have been missing out on quite a lot of fun.
Contracts 2 is a first-person sniping simulator game where you play as Raven, this semi-futuristic badass special ops operative. You are contracted by an agency and deployed in the fictional eastern country of Kuamar with one simple job, take out the leader and his top followers and prevent a global economic crisis.
Yeah, it’s not an original story and frankly, not a good one overall. You don’t play this game for its story as it’s only there just as a reason for you to visit and snipe the hell out of everyone in your path in this “exotic” location. However, I did enjoy a lot the excellent mission briefings videos, like the ones Modern Warfare popularized a few years ago, great voice acting, and fantastic production value.
Before deploying in a region, you can upgrade, change and customize all your gear. Being a Sniper game, your best tool is the sniper. There are quite a lot of them to choose from and try out ranging from low, medium, and high range snipers. You can choose between different scopes, magazines, silencers or muzzle breaks and special ammo, more on those later. Other than the sniper, you can also take another secondary weapon like SMGs, assault rifles, etc. for when things get hairy close range and a trusty sidearm. These can also be customized and outfitted with different attachments that increase stability, power, and other stats. Last, but not least, you can choose what gadgets and throwables you can take on a mission, more on those soon.
Once you are happy with the gear, you can start your contract. Contracts can be one of two types, normal contracts, and long shot contracts. In normal contracts, you deploy in a region that includes different missions you can complete in whatever order you want. Missions range from kill 2 or 3 top enemy leaders, sabotaging something, stealing something, planting a virus, saving a hostage, etc. Occasionally, bounty missions appear where you have to take out an HVT before a rival sniper does for additional rewards. These regions are quite big and each mission is contained in a “smaller” unique location.
How you complete a mission is up to you. Sure, you can go in loud and try to mow down everyone with your AR and high-range sniper while throwing grenades left and right. That’s, of course, fun, but not as fun as you know, playing the game as a sniper. Each location is surrounded by elevated places you can position yourself and scout out each location. You can use your binoculars to tag enemies and objects of interest like fuse boxes, cameras, explosive barrels, etc. The augmented reality visor which can automatically tag enemies, show their paths and have a thermal mode is also a really helpful tool. When you are done scouting and planning your attack, that’s when you start sniping.
Sniping is really good. There are a couple of difficulty options in the game where in the highest difficulty all of the assists are turned off so you have to manually zero in your targets and calculate the bullet drop while also taking into consideration wind speed and direction. It’s quite challenging I am not going to lie and well, I tried it a few times, failed miserably so I switch to the “game journalist” difficulty mode. When you are sniping in this mode, you can see a small orange/red dot of where the bullet will hit. Yes, that makes the game extremely easy but does not mean that the game stops being fun.
It is so incredibly satisfying pulling a headshot. Every so often, when you shoot, there’s a bullet cam that follows the bullet flying and as it connects with the enemy’s body, it’s gory as fuck. The bullet penetrates the body and as it exists, a stream of thick red blood spurs out of the hole in glorious slow-mo. Headshots look even more impressive as a medium to high range sniper rounds will just explode the head turning it into a mushy goo with skull fragments flying everywhere. Ah death, you never fail to amuse me.
The bullet cam is more impressive when you score a headshot from close to 1500 metes away in the lang shot contracts. In these types of contracts, you perch up in an elevated positing more than a kilometer away from your targets. Seeing that insane bullet cam is uber satisfying. Normal shots are also satisfying as after you. take the shot, it might take a second or two until the bullet reaches the target with a crazy amount of bullet drop. The cherry on top? Pulling off a headshot on a moving target from 1400 meters away.
Usually, these locations are meticulously designed in a way that feels like combat puzzles. Enemies have set patrol routes. More often than not, if there are two of them, they will talk and stay close to each other so you can easily drop them with one bullet. Additionally, there are interactable objects in the environments that when shoot, will get the enemy’s attention opening up the possibility for a clean shot. You can easily clean out an entire location by snipping off enemies in the correct order. There are also tons of challenges in each location that might require you to kill the main target without raising an alarm or by dropping something on top of them or kill two guys with one bullet and so on. Apart from the normal ammo, you can also equip special ammo ranging from EMP bullets that can disable CCTVs or scanners, tag bullets that can tag enemies inside buildings, lure bullets that lure enemies, armor-piercing ones, smart bullets that just fly straight, and explosive bullets that are meant for armored vehicles, but we all know you’ll just shoot dudes in the head with those ones. All of these help a lot with the replay value of the game as each situation can be tackled in many different ways.
In normal contracts, where the range for the targets is usually 200-400 meters, gadgets can play a bigger role. For example, you might use a drone to fully scout an area, tag enemies which are beyond your visibility, find hidden tunnels, entry points, etc. You can also poison unsuspecting enemies, destroy equipment with EMP and cause distractions using the drone. You also have a remote-controlled sniper that can be placed anywhere you want and you can use it to kill up to three enemies while you shoot at the fourth. Mines, different types of grenades, distraction tools, etc. open up room for experimentation and possibilities.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is built with CryEngine and well, that engine is a great engine for FPS games. Sniping and the gunplay are super satisfying. The weapons feel heavy and real, the bullet impact and physics are just great and everything sounds so so good. It also looks really good. The desert areas are big and expansive with a lot of details and beautiful lighting. The same can be said about the forest areas and the massive indoor locations. The performance was really good too. While I encountered a frame drop here and there, the performance mode delivered a very smooth 60fps while the quality one ups the resolution to a stunning 4K/30fps. When I started playing the game, it felt and looked like I was playing a new Crysis game, it’s that impressive.
The only complaint I have with the game is the enemy AI. I am not going to say that the enemies are just plain stupid, as rarely they can be smart and throw smoke to cover their tracks as they try to flank and rush you, but most of the time they will just run straight towards you, in a straight line, where you can just headshot them one by one without any challenge at all. Also, they seem to have godlike aim as they can shoot you from 1000 meters away with an AR. Yeah, this part kinda sucked, so keep that in mind.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2. Sniping dudes is a lot of fun, gory, and extremely satisfying in my 10 hours or so of just exploding heads, it never got old. It’s an easy recommendation from me, don’t miss out on this game. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a PS5 using a review code provided by the publisher. Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is out now for PC, Playstation and Xbox.