How difficult a fifth installment of an IP must be for a team of devs, with the constant challenge of keeping the bar high for quality and engaging an already established fan base. This problem was encountered by residents of Rebellion with the recently released Sniper Elite 5, the latest installment in a franchise whose last two installments had been particularly good and laden with laurels from critics and gamers alike.
Sniper Elite 3 took us to fight Nazism in the deserts of Africa, while Sniper Elite 4 did the same in Italy. In this new adventure, we will take our weapons to occupied France in 1944, where a high-ranking member of Hitler’s armed forces, Officer Moller, is working on the mysterious Operation Kraken, which is nothing more than a weapon secret that could change the course of the war and give the Third Reich victory in the conflict.
In this context, our beloved sniper, Karl Fishbourne, or “The Shadow” as his enemies call him, returns to learn more about the details of this new and dangerous weapon and put an end to the plans of its creator, a headshot, as a result. I hope your hand is steady and don’t be too loud because where we’re going we’ll have to be stealthy and extremely precise. The reward is great.
The Sniper Elite saga has always been an emblem of quality at the graphic level, it’s undeniable, even the first two parts, which may already seem old visually, hold up quite well compared to other games of the same era. Sniper Elite 5 continues this tradition, showing us truly amazing scenarios, where the developers have undoubtedly made very good use of the technical power of the latest generation consoles.
If you have already played the previous games and the presentation of Italy in Sniper Elite 4 seemed brutal to you, the French territory of this latest edition will blow you away. But it is not only the scenarios themselves, but also the details in the graffiti on the walls, or in the posters for and against the German occupation that will be found in various scenarios. Not to mention how it’s possible to zoom in at great distances using the telescopic sights of the various guns and binoculars, where I haven’t seen any out of place textures or anything like that in this review with my Xbox Series S .
When we talk about Sniper Elite, we cannot leave out the killcams which show us in detail how our projectiles pass through enemies, vehicles, structures or whatever we are shooting at. These have also had a huge improvement and now we can see remnants of teeth, more blood, different particles that come off helmets and uniforms when shooting at an enemy soldier and, a separate mention deserves the shots to the testicles , which now also have their own realization .
On the other side of the scale, just a bit of a counterweight to some animations, especially when enemies are hit with an explosion, which didn’t convince me, I still see them as a bit rough and with little to no of innovation with respect to previous editions.
The graphics section is crowned by the inclusion of a photo mode that allows you to capture key moments and enjoy Rebellion’s impressive work from different angles, with different filters, frames and a wide variety of resources for the more creative.
In terms of sound, the title continues to show excellent production. The shots, explosions, engines and alarms are a carbon copy of the real ones, as well as the cries of the enemies or the dialogues of the protagonists in the cutscenes. The fact that the soldiers speak German is, for me at least, a strong point which adds enormously to the immersion. The music accompanies the action with classic instruments that give the game a nice vibe as we enter the era and intensify when the on-screen action seeks to make our hair stand on end, for example when the enemies triangulate our position or they have sighted
The dialogues in German and English are subtitled in Spanish with an excellent job behind it, as are the rest of the menus and other game options. A detail that should not go unnoticed here are the options for impressive accessibility available to us so that everyone can enjoy the game, even players who have visual or hearing difficulties. Great job by Rebellion here too.
Normally, the number 5 behind a game title is a little intimidating to those new to a franchise. This is why it is important to specify that it is not necessary to have played the previous opuses to understand this one, far from it. We’re faced with a new story, and while the controls are easier to adapt to for the more veteran of the series, they aren’t that hard to learn either.
Our protagonist will have a series of weapons (many, many) to choose from before each mission with different customization options for each, options ranging from aesthetic to functional, which is also new in this installment. The equipment will change depending on how we want to approach the mission, either from a more tactical point of view, or by shooting left and right. During each of the missions we will also find other weapons that we can use briefly and we will have at our disposal grenades, anti-personnel mines, dynamite and distractors to lure our enemies and, with elegance, their feel the edge of our knife.
The selection of weapons is done through a very comfortable wheel to which we will have access by simply pressing a trigger. The rest of the interface will be divided between a viewer that will fill up more or less and change color depending on whether our enemies have spotted us or not, a noise indicator that will allow us to calculate our shots to hide them and not be discovered , a list of objectives and a map that will help us know our position (and that of our enemies depending on the difficulty level selected) at all times.
The already veterans of the saga will be surprised to see the size of the mission areas, much larger than in previous editions, and in particular in the way in which the secondary objectives are presented to us. Although we know them before before starting the mission, here we will discover them by collecting information and documents, which forces the player to explore and go through the scenarios in an enjoyable and fun way.
Other excellent novelty in the campaign mode are some particular murders that we must perform in each of the missions. Here we have to eliminate high officials and if we do it in a specific way we will get new weapons as a reward.
The RPG keys of the game are given as we add experience, we can increase our skills in three different trees that will allow us more physical resistance, more energy and more inventory capacity among many many other options.
For those who love the online mode, there is no shortage of modes and there is something for everyone. The survival mode places us in a group of four players facing waves of AI enemies. The idea here is to keep our base from falling into enemy hands for three waves, if you resist you win, if you lose you move on to the next one.
PvP modes are perhaps the weakest, not because of their structure but because of the dynamics of Sniper Elite. For example, the all against all mode leads us to face enemies in semi-open fields as if it were a third-person battlefield, which is not bad, but the fact is that the basis of the game lies in stealth and therefore makes this no lace.
The axis invasion mode is, in my opinion, the most interesting of the menu of proposals and allows us to invade another player’s game with the aim of eliminating him, in turn other players will be able to do even in our games if we have the option enabled.
Sniper Elite 5 will take us around 11 hours to complete the campaign, but we’re talking close to 35 or more to complete the title with all the achievements, something I highly recommend because it’s not wasted, not just because the he story develops at the level of the plot with letters and plans that we will find, but because it is very rewarding to be able to obtain all the weapons available.
With five more installments, the Sniper Elite saga continues to stand at the top in terms of quality, an achievement that few franchises keep and that speaks volumes about the love and effort the developers put into creating it.. Sniper Elite 5 is a title that IP fans will love for its novelties and for not deviating from the essence that makes it great, and in turn it will fascinate those who put themselves at the controls of Karl Fishbourne for the first time. A combination that speaks of excellence and is available to all Xbox Game Pass subscribers.