Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 PS3 preview – Aim, breathe, scope & shoot

Sniper ghost warrior 2

Right, let’s clear something up immediately. This spooky combatant doesn’t have a USP to match exploding X-ray balls à la Sniper Elite V2. With an extremely vanilla bullet cam, dialogue ripped straight from The Ultimate Almanac Of Gaming Clichés and currently broken checkpoints, City Interactive’s sneaky shooter feels like it’s been teleported in from 2006. What we wouldn’t give for some ruptured testes.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 PS3 preview

That said, our hands-on with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 starts smoothly enough. We squat down on a clifftop, spot our targets through the scope of a stonkingly powerful .50 cal rifle, then pull the trigger until all the mean men go deady-byes. Pity things then go south more quickly than serving a fried panda platter at a WWF rally.

Take a dash of CryEngine 3, add a pinch of rubbish cooking metaphors… then incinerate the whole thing with all the fire, because Ghost Warrior 2 is pretty dang ugly. Really, we don’t know how City Interactive has seemingly managed to churn out a fugly mallard when its game is powered by such advanced graphical tools. As we’ve seen in the Ryan Gosling-handsome Crysis 2, the engine is capable of incredible results. But here, playing through a level set in the Philippines, we’re treated to environmental objects that look like they’ve been composed from crayons, prayers and textures printed on Post-Its.

Sniper ghost warrior 2 bIt’s a shame, because mechanically, the process of lining up a dude in your sights, slowing time with a click of the left stick and mowing down his entire squad is satisfying. The stealth owes much to Metal Gear, with Ghost Warrior 2 encouraging you to observe enemy patrol patterns before taking out individual goons in isolated areas. Sure, the visual impact of your bullets whacking men in slo-mo looks dated next to Max Payne 3’s brand of flesh-shredding bullets, but firefights remain tactical and sturdy.

Well, until the game hits you with some of the most borked checkpoints I’ve ever seen. Over a few hours of play I repeat near ten-minute sections half a dozen times because the auto-save kicks in so infrequently. If this can be fixed, a date with semi-solid shooting can be salvaged. If not, we’re looking at one mucked-up marksman.