Sniper Elite 5 Hands-On First Impressions

Sniper Elite 5 Hands-On First Impressions

By  Luz Victoria - 25th May 2022

Find out how my experience was!

Sniper Elite 5 Hands-On First Impressions

The highly anticipated Sniper Elite 5 has just opened its embargo gates, and we could not be happier to share our thoughts and experiences with the title!

As the latest entry to the critically-acclaimed Sniper Elite series, Sniper Elite 5 has a lot to live up to. Taking place in 1944 France, players will once again take control of sharpshooter Karl Fairburne. While engaging near Axis borders, Fairburne gets stranded behind enemy lines and must help the French Resistance to stop a ploy from the Nazis that could end the war in their favour.

So how was the plot?

The story feels very comfortable, even as a newcomer to the franchise. Relationships were clearly established between Karl and the few other characters that are present throughout the campaign, so even lacking the context from the other four titles, I was able to piece everything together. That said, the story doesn't take up a lot of your time in Sniper Elite 5, and that's a good thing! What little there is feels straight to the point and properly done, with great attention to small details, making the world feel alive. I particularly liked a part where two French Resistance soldiers went from speaking to Karl in English to speaking to each other in French once they were done with him; it was silly but added a lot to the world.

That wasn't the only part that felt lively in Sniper Elite 5, and that's because each of the nine campaign missions made the world feel full of both life and threats. Nazi patrols occur seemingly haphazardly, as players will be able to see the Axis forces riding around in cars with little warning; the patroling in both cars and on foot made the environments feel real, and the threat even more so. As I embarked on my quest to complete my main objective, I had to choose my path carefully to avoid roads lest I wanted to be caught by a patrolling car.

Each campaign mission contains numerous objectives to complete; you'll be able to finish secondary objectives varying in quantity per campaign, along with a personal kill list by Karl Fairburne, and finally, find 19 collectibles per campaign. The secondary objectives felt as lively — if not more so — than the main ones, as they often included infiltrating an area and destroying some defences to weaken the Axis forces. Meanwhile, the kill list quest felt exhilarating to play; you'll only have an estimated position for your target, and they'll often be smack in the middle of dozens of other Nazis, making stealth an arduous task. Whether you go in guns blazing or try to get there stealthily, the quest felt rewarding. 

Getting to grips with the Gameplay

Getting to grips with the Gameplay

In fact, Sniper Elite 5 gives full rein to the player by offering them customisation for a lot of options in the campaign. You can choose how life-like your gunplay is, if — like me — you suck at calculating trajectory; you'll be able to enable or disable numerous assists, like slow motion in Empty Lung mode; you can even change enemy intelligence and resilience, making them either easier or harder to kill. With the staggering amount of options that the game offers, virtually any player should be able to pass the game and have an enjoyable time with it.

Even systems I thought would be bothersome — like the heart rate (which is basically a stamina bar) or the use of enemy weapons with limited ammo — I quickly grew to love. Not only were the enemy weapons extremely powerful and exciting to use, but the heart rate system works as one of the most innovative stamina bars I've experienced thus far. 

Exploring the different ways to play

Exploring the different ways to play

You can experience Sniper Elite 5 either solo or co-op with a friend, though those two are not the only options that the game has in store. You can also experience DEATHLOOP- and ELDEN RING-esque invasion PvP, where a player can join your campaign as an Axis sniper in hopes of taking you down. If you dislike this, you can opt-out, though I heavily recommend at least giving it a try, as you'll be able to summon a second player to help you against your foe, and it is a gratifying experience in and of itself. 

Finally, Sniper Elite 5 has numerous game modes to experience and enjoy; you can play the survival co-op mode where you and up to three other sharpshooters must coordinate and face off against numerous waves of foes. If PvP is more up your alley, you can participate in four different modes: No Cross, where it's a fight of the best snipers with an uncrossable barrier in-between; Free-For-All, which is 16 players trying to kill one another; Team Match, which sets two teams of up to eight players against each other; and Squad Match, where teams will be instead split into four teams of four players.

Seemingly, Sniper Elite 5 is the game that can do it all; you have numerous collectibles to find, dozens of areas to explore, countless weapon customisation to make the game feel yours, co-op, invasion PvP, and normal PvP. Anyone interested in the title will find at least something to love about it; I know I sure did!

If you’re intrigued, make sure to check out the game and see some of the information for yourself!

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