Sniper Elite 4 Impressions – Vast And Intense

By the fourth installment in a series, you usually know what you're getting, but that may not be the case with Sniper Elite 4. They've added a load of new features and other aspects that attempt to shake up Sniper Elite's formula.

While our review won't be out until next week (embargos and whatnot), here are some things we're noticing during our early playthroughs.

Map Size/Depth Is Considerable. We're talking absolutely massive sandboxes with paths left, right, high and low. You can spend easily a half an hour in total just planning your attack on each area, and a good stealthy playthrough of an entire level could easily last more than an hour on your first try, depending on how many optional objectives you do.

It has stellar custom difficulty options. I've made no secret of my love affair with custom difficulty, and that's part of the reason why I like a game like 2014's Thief, because it let me play the game my by making it more difficult. Sniper Elite 4 also boasts this ability, and, while not quite as prolific, still let's me add some more stipulations that otherwise wouldn't be there, such as making me discard unused ammo in a magazine upon reload.

Stealth mechanics aren't just thrown-in. I was definitely worried, especially when watching some other gameplay footage and trailers, that stealth would sort of be an afterthought, while huge, explosive confrontations would take center stage. That simply isn't the case with Sniper Elite 4, certainly not on harder difficulties, at least. Stealth seems to be the premiere mechanic or playstyle in the game, but you definitely have other options.

Side missions galore. Not only are there larger environments, but those environments are expertly populated with engagement opportunities. You have your side missions your tasked with at the start, but you can also come across more side missions through exploration, rewarding you for your troubles.

Tried and true progression system. We've seen this before: every five levels, you get to pick one of two skills. Killing Floor 2 did it. Battleborn does a variation of it. Honestly, though, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This also helps give you a better reason to pursue challenges (get 100 headshots, e.g.) because it vastly contributes to your level, getting you closer to the next benefit.

Co-op is going to be great. If you play through a level on single player and have a heck of a time, imagine how awesome it would be teaming up. You'll get to feel like Seal Team Six in 1943 Italy. Execute simultaneous headshot to take down multiple people, or divide and conquer, halving the time it takes you to complete a level. The possibilities are endless.