Sniper Elite 5 Review

When I was given the chance to review Sniper Elite 5, there was no way I was saying no. I enjoyed the previous instalment in the series, Sniper Elite 4, so much it made it onto my honourable mentions list for games of the last generation, so suffice to say I was very looking forward to SE5.

I’ll be honest, it didn’t get off to a great start. I jumped straight into some co-op with fellow Xbox Tavern contributor Ian and was greeted with a few bugs, glitches, jumpy cutscenes and invisible walls (more on those in a bit) as well as the AI’s seemingly uncanny ability to be able to spot you from impossible angles. There was also the fact that when one of us was spotted the AI seemed to instantly know where the other one of us were, so one mission down and I was a little worried I might be writing a negative review.

The following night I went to start the single player campaign and found that single player and co-op are not separated, you can just jump in when you wish so long as the host has completed the level you want to tackle. I re-did the first mission as I wanted to see if the difficulty changed or scaled down now that I was on my own; it hadn’t, which isn’t a bad thing, just more of a challenge. I also tried to play more stealthily as anyone who has played a multiplayer game with Ian with attest to how gun-ho he is!

Unfortunately, I ran into the same jumpy cutscene, (there was also another one later on) as well as those damn invisible walls. There are many ways to complete and traverse a level, but it can still feel like a very linear experience. At one point I almost put the controller down as I couldn’t hide behind a rock as it was behind one of those damn walls in the water which was ankle deep at most, so I thought, “Ok fine, they don’t want you going into water”, but then in a later level you walk under a bridge where the water is almost knee high!

I mentioned earlier about enemies being able to spot you from impossible angles, which can be incredibly frustrating. Your view is blocked by a bush yet they can spot you, but then it goes to the other extreme as well; as with most stealth games you can hide in “tall grass” to stop you from blowing your cover, however if they walk next to you, they spot you. Which is fine, that’s how it should be, but if you go fully prone laying on the floor then they just walk over you without batting an eyelid.

I was a bit worried as the next 2 levels were very “anti-sniper”. Despite the stunning location of the “Spy academy” mission, I felt like I was playing a Metal Gear game, sneaking through the tight and narrow streets, shooting off my silenced pistol trying to not get seen whilst moving their bodies around so they wouldn’t be found and potentially give me away. Then it hit me, “you’ve got 3 types of guns Peter, what’s the point of having these available if you’re just running around trying to find a spot where you can pick off your enemies” that completely changed my perspective on the game and I really started to enjoy it. I started to hardly use my guns and just started to try and take people down with the stealth melee kills, although some CQC would have been nice as without that you can sometimes just be standing there like a lemon being shot if you’ve messed the stealth part up.

And don’t worry, there are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of Nazi’s to kill, sometimes too many (if that’s even a thing). If you get spotted, within a second you’re surrounded by what feels like an army of Nazi’s trying to flank you and blow your brains out. I often found myself in a gun fight for long periods of time, and when low on ammo, it’s very handy that you can pick the enemy gun’s up, take the ammo for your own gun, or turn the tables on them with their own weapons – key if they were carrying an anti-tank rifle or a Panzerfaust when you’re trying to take down a tank or an armoured vehicle.

The story is neither here nor there, but once I was over my own short comings, I was able to really enjoy the beautifully made levels and how slick the combat is. The “x-ray” kills never get old either. There is a skill tree of talents for you to unlock, and although there’s nothing to really get excited about unlocking, it’s useful to be able to unlock extra health bars and extra ammo slots.

There are 9 missions in total (or 10 depending on whether you pre-ordered), and each level has a set of main objectives and side objectives for you to get your teeth stuck into as well as a “kill list” – pay attention to these as some of the deaths are hilarious! As I briefly mentioned earlier, you can restart levels and complete any side objectives you may have missed. It doesn’t affect the story if you don’t  however, make sure you manually save often as the auto save can be inconsistent. I once had to start a level again despite having done around 75% of it, and it can also throw you back into the heat of battle so be prepared!

Away from the single player, multiplayer makes its return with different modes on offer for you to try. There’s also a “survival” mode, which you can play online with others or play offline by yourself.

The last mode I’d like to mention is the new “Invasion” mode. I turned this off during my single player experience but it’s a feature I find really interesting, if you have Invasion mode enabled then a real player can drop in to the level you’re currently playing and try to take you out as an Axis Sniper. If an Axis Sniper enters your game then it becomes an extra objective for you to complete. This Axis sniper can choose their build and can use the AI to help them find the player; when I dropped in to a match I just followed the gunfire! So I’d also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from Axis sniper duty and bow out with a 100% win record!

Conclusion

Despite starting off negatively (the bugs and glitches can easily be fixed with patch), overall I had a good time with Sniper Elite 5, I’d highly recommend every Game Pass member download this and give it a go, whilst fans of the series will also be happy with the new content and Nazi ball-busting opportunities.

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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Good
  • Invasion Mode
  • Beautifully crafted levels
  • Lots of longevity
  • Lots of Nazi’s to shoot
Bad
  • Invisible Walls
  • AI vision
  • Inconsistent auto save
  • Lots of Nazi’s to shoot
7.8
Good
Written by
I first got my hands on a gaming console in ‘91 with the NES and haven’t looked back since, playing on a variety of consoles and PCs over the years. Once a year you will also find me doing a trilogy play through of either Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

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