A brilliant revival for Sniper: Ghost Warrior series
Game review: Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts (PC/Xbox One/PS4), 8/10
The Sniper: Ghost Warrior series has never enjoyed more than lukewarm praise since its inception in 2008.
Facing stern competition from the always-popular Sniper Elite series seems to have finally given the developers the impetus to pull out all the stops and deliver on the potential of a series that has been long promised.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts tasks you with carrying out twenty-five contract assassinations on each of the five absolutely enormous sandbox-style maps provided in the game. The story is about as predictably vague and uninteresting as you'd expect from a game in this mould - something about oil companies and dodgy political manoeuvres - but once the meat of the action begins, the need for context disappears.
Contracts isn't unnecessarily complicated, nor is it trivially simple. Most of the objectives are spread out wide enough that there is little overlap, generally allowing you to approach your targets from a large variety of angles. Sometimes just killing your target isn't enough and you will instead be tasked with picking up a dropped item from your mark after you've taken them out. While sometimes frustrating, the act of putting yourself directly in harms way is often a fun twist on the status quo of Sniper games.
Of course, with just one main weapon type available, if the gunplay wasn't anything short of sublime then there would be serious questions raised over the quality of the game. Thankfully, the gunplay is indeed nothing short of sublime. So many factors are taken into consideration before you can pull the trigger that making a tough shot can be one of the best feelings in gaming. Aside from the intangible reward of dopamine release, the developers have included their own reward for making tough shots in the form of the notorious slow-motion "killcam".
Aside from your trusty rifle, there are a number of gadgets available to aid you in your gory quest. Upgrades can be bought for your suit, visor and rifle and there is a generous assortment of other gadgetry to choose from. Everything from explosives to drones and even remote-controlled sniper turrets that can be used to line up and time double kills that can be very satisfying if done correctly.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts is a brilliant revival for has been known to be a somewhat disappointing series. There are long stretches of tedium, but overall this is a game that rewards the patient gamer.