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Friday, December 09, 2005

Game of the Week: Sniper Elite (Xbox)

I love the sniping component of games like Halo, Battlefield, Quake (come on, a rail gun is just a glorified sniper rifle anyway), and have often wished for a game that was solely sniping. Well, I found it, and it was alot harder than I thought it would be.

In Sniper Elite, there is no such thing as 'camping'. You can't remain in the same place and just pick people off as they run past. After a couple of shots from one place, the enemy can - and usually will - pin point your location, and come hunting. So the name and the game? Aim, Fire, and Run.

You are an American sniper, planted in the German Army by the OSS with the sole aim of stealing the German nuclear secrets, before the Russians can take them. This is the start of the Cold War, and you, the player, are deep behind enemy lines.

Armed with a simplistic looking Rifle, a pistol, and some grenades, you must stealth your way around the war zone to find informants, kill important people, save important people, and sabotage German And Russian efforts at world destruction. Along the way you pick up some pretty fantastic weapons including some big machine gun thing that's the same height as you, tripwire grenades, dynamite, and, ofcourse, the various sniper rifles available to the German and Russian Armies. The great thing about this is that nomatter what gun you have equipped, a simple click of the right thumbstick will bring you back to the sniper rifle in a second.Controls in this game are great and easy to use, but changing weapons takes an age. Once you've selected your weapon with the Dpad, expect the actual change to take long enough for your player to pull his bag off his back, pull his guns off his back, put the other guns back on, and the bag, and reload the chosen weapon. Meanwhile the enemy is firing with his fully loaded machine gun type thing (hey man, I'm a chick, don't ask me to name the guns), and you're being blasted six ways from Sunday.

Gameplay can be quite frustrating, specifically in having to sit in the same place staring through the scope waiting for the enemy to pop his head out again. This game will not appeal to the quick shoot 'em up game lovers among you, and to be honest, as much as I love sniping, the urge to just pull out my machine gun and open fire on whoever my auto aim landed on, was overwhelming to say the least. The worst part of the game is that each mission only allows you a certain amount of saves. The first mission allows you 7 saves, however there are at least 9 objectives, so you have to pick your saving carefully.

At the time of writing this review, I played upto the 8th objective, and I will continue the game right through till the end. If you're a person that likes strategic games, and have lots of patience, then you will love this game. If you are into fast, action-packed, blast 'em type games, don't bother even renting it as you'll die from boredom or frustration.