A Look Back at the Sniper Elite Series

A Look Back at the Sniper Elite Series

By  Mike Crewe - 11th Apr 2022

Which has been your favourite entry?

A Look Back at the Sniper Elite Series

It won’t be long until Sniper Elite 5 is upon us. With a confirmed release date of 26th May 2022, there’s still plenty of time to jump into one of the older games and take control of OSS Agent Karl Fairburne to perform some of the most brutal kill cams in gaming history. So, let’s look back at the history of the Sniper Elite series!

It doesn’t actually matter in which order you play the games, there is little in the way of an overarching narrative; they’re all set across various points in World War II, just in different settings. However, for continuity's sake we’ll start with the original 2005 release: Sniper Elite. This game began the foundations for what the future of the series would build upon, with a slow-motion camera that followed your bullet’s path as it hit (or missed) your enemies and realistic ballistics — with things like wind strength and bullet drop affecting every shot.

Sniper Elite V2 was not a true sequel, but a reimagining of the first game. Set during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, V2 was the first in the series to feature a mechanic that would become one of the main selling points of the franchise: the “X-ray kill cam”. Yes, if you hit an enemy’s vital organ — or another, more sensitive area — you were treated to a gloriously visceral (and anatomically correct!) X-ray view of your bullet travelling into, through, and oftentimes back out of your now deceased foe. There was also a remastered version released back in 2019, with improved graphics and an additional photo mode.

The much more vibrant Sniper Elite III was next to follow in the mainline series (more on these spinoffs later!) and saw Karl take on more Nazis in the arid deserts of Africa in 1942. The levels were much more open, offering players a wide range of ways to pick off unsuspecting soldiers with a kill cam that now featured muscular and cardiovascular systems. Nice! The X-ray camera also triggered when a vehicle's engine was shot, giving players a gratifying look at the engine expanding into a fireball in slow-motion.

Sniper Elite 4 expanded upon everything that made III great by adding X-ray kill cameras for melee attacks and shrapnel kills. Not only had these cameras never looked better, but the levels themselves were stunning, wide-open areas that were just begging to be explored. Despite not being a huge departure from its predecessor, Sniper Elite 4 is the most well received game of the franchise.

But let’s not forget the spin-off games! The Zombie Army titles are a huge amount of cooperative fun that have you facing off against hordes of Nazi zombies in increasingly surreal levels. Stealth is of less importance here, but that shouldn’t stop you from gathering up a few friends and jumping in. Just don’t take them too seriously!

So there we have a brief history of the Sniper Elite series (excluding Sniper Elite VR); we can’t wait for the next one in the series!

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