While the sniper rifle is a standard issue in almost every first-person shooter, few games managed to capture the challenge and cold-blooded thrills of being an actual expert marksman.
At its best, sniper ghost warrior Contract 2 does an excellent job of satisfying the Desire to splatter bad guy brains with a buzzer-beating bullet from way downtown.
But it all too quickly unravels into an average action game the moment your cover is blown.
What is in the Contract 2
In contrast 2, you slip on the augmented reality equipped mask of a raven, a super-soldier in possession of steady aim and a passion for a particularly deadly form of social distancing.
Raven may be a newcomer to the series, but his mission will be eminently familiar to anyone who has played the previous game.
Since it centers around a very familiar tale of international espionage and political upheaval told very loosely by forgettable flurries of mugshots and confidential documents that put the brief into pre-mission briefings.
Mission Structure of the Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
The mission structure, however, is slightly different from that of 2020s contracts. Whereas the last game presented you with a series of sandboxes to sneak around in contract 2, bring some welcome variety by alternating between two traditional open mission areas and three concentrated long shot contracts.
The latter restricts your movement to smaller maps. But task you with eliminating targets that are in some instances over a thousand meters beyond your perimeter.
Long Distance Sniper shots
I found these long-distance executions to be the most substantial sections of contracts 2.
Zeroing your scope, adjusting your aim for wind and bullet drop, and then nailing a headshot in another postal code remains thrilling long after the novelty of the skull-shattering slow-mo gore shots has worn off.
But the annoyingly accurate return fire from humble enemy assault rifles at such long ranges admittedly shatters the sense of realism somewhat.
Enemy soldiers might be blessed with supernatural levels of precision, but their actual smarts aren’t nearly as sharp.
At times they show some signs of tactical nouse, by tossing a smoke grenade to mask their movements or bombing your last known position with a mortar strike, for example.
But mostly, they’re far too quickly dispatched. Either with a long-range headshot or should you miss and therefore raise the alarm by simply hiding in the nearest bush with a silenced weapon and calmly picking them off as they form an orderly queue, like it is an all-you-can-eat night at the hot lead buffet.
Since I only faced the same handful of recycled enemy types throughout contracts 2’s 12-hour campaign.
- I found myself becoming increasingly cavalier with my infiltration methods.
- I knew that no matter how many CCTV cameras were alerted to my presence.
- I could always fall back on the old conga line of carnage method to comfortably reduce each area’s enemy numbers down to zero.
This gave each objective air of predictability.
It didn’t help that the bulk of contracts 2’s key targets and optional bounties lacked the flexibility and flair of the more devious assassinations in io interactive’s hitman series.
I certainly didn’t go in expecting to be able to disguise myself as a sad clown or sushi chef. But I do wish there were more exciting ways to snuff out each mark.
There are also non-assassination objectives at most levels.
They typically involve the planting of explosives or the uploading of viruses into mainframe computers.
Much of this is pretty stock standard. Although I did enjoy the rare occasions, I was able to use my sniper skills for non-lethal means.
Like when I had to take out three sets of revolving gears situated around a massive satellite antenna.
It does seem like a bit of a design flaw, though.
Who built this thing, the guy who installed the exhaust port on the death star?
Speaking of design flaws, contracts two features a skill tree for the raven along with an expandable arsenal of rifles, sidearms, and gadgets.
But it all feels decidedly non-essential given that the missions don’t scale in difficulty, nor do they feature any objectives that demand experimentation with alternative weapon load-outs.
Aside from adding silences to my weapons early on, I actually forgot about the progression system entirely until I got to the very last mission.
At which point I just spent all the cash and skill points I’d racked up in one go. Purely for the sake of it. Some of it would have been useful in retrospect, such as the motorized gadget that allows you to use zip lines in reverse. But the bulk of the health and armor upgrades I was very quickly able to do without.
This largely unnecessary upgrade system also makes the optional level challenges seem redundant for anyone who isn’t an absolute completionist.
How to earn points of the Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
There are cash and skill point bonuses to be earned for killing five enemy snipers with melee attacks or eliminating a key target without raising the alarm, for example.
But I wasn’t compelled to retry any objectives to complete these challenges both.
- Because I didn’t need the rewards
- Because none of them seem particularly imaginative, there’s clearly been a lot of work put into crafting each of the contracts to settings.
- But I passed through all of it once, never to return again.
Sniper ghost warrior contracts 2 blows off a heck of a lot of heads. But never managed to blow my mind.
Its long-range sniper shots feel genuinely satisfying to pull off. But the enemy ai so dim-witted it almost seems cruel to kill them.
With an upgrade system that’s largely skippable and mostly uninspired mission challenges.
Sniper ghost warrior Contract 2 is a competent sniper sim that lacks the edge required to be a real sharpshooter.