When it comes to scratching that Sniper itch, my go to game series has always been the Sniper Elite series with Sniper Elite 4 ticking so many boxes that I am genuinely hoping and looking forward to a possible new console generation version to utilize the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S Consoles. As always in gaming however, there is another option if you prefer a more stealth and tactical sniping experience for your shooter and in a case that is better late than never, Sniper Ghost Warrior Ghost Contracts 2 has landed on PlayStation 5, but is this PS5 upgraded version worth the wait?
That was has been a while for those on PS5 as it has been a long 2 month wait for the PlayStation 5 upgraded version to release, a version that makes use of the PS5 features with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback that really do add something to the sniping experience blended with improved visuals and loading times of the PS5, it is a step up from the PS4 experience but there are some elements that really hold it back but I can certainly respect where it is trying to take the player.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, which I refer to as SGWC2 from this point on, focuses on the Sniping but has tried to add a very HITMAN style gameplay style in offering multiple targets and multiple strategies to take them out. As the player you play the role of Raven, a highly trained super solider level sniper with the close to Iron Man level tech to help find the designated targets assigned by your handler and take them down for the usual reasons that you would be sent on a fully black ops style mission all CIA style.
While there is certainly an inspiration from the HITMAN Style of having multiple options and choices in how to complete the contract and I applaud the attempt to add that element to the gameplay, it falls short of having the variation that HITMAN levels have with seemingly random events or situations playing a factor in how you decide to tackle the objectives. This is something that adds so much replayability to the HITMAN games but here in SGWC2, where it would also have worked incredibly well, it is simply not quite there. Enemy AI can be basic for most of the time meaning each time you approach that contact they are doing the same thing in the same way keeping it very predictable. There are times when if you make a mistake and give away your location that they will alert other enemies and try to break line of sight by dropping smoke grenades or target your last known location with a mortar barrage so there is some element of punishment for making a mistake.
The game will also tempt you into making some mistakes as well the Bounties that pop up randomly during a mission which can give you bonus cash for upgrades however, seeking out the Bounty and making the mistake will trigger an alert that will make it harder when you return to the main target and objective. I appreciated the player freedom to take my time to plan my moves, checking and exploring the area to find a safe place for me to let my Sniper Rifle do the work. The rifle cannot do it all and this is more than your standard shooter and will require some precision and patience to setup your shot by using the scopes and adjusting to get that perfect shot. I did find this quite difficult at the start, being too used to the arcade style of just point, aim and fire to get a hearty kill with a sniper rifle, here SGWC2 makes you work for it which is where the PS5’s Dualsense controllers adaptive triggers and haptic feedback really brought this element to life.
I really enjoyed the gameplay and for those who prefer an additional challenge you can customize it to have less aim assist and other aspects to truly make it a challenge. It did take me a few practice runs to adjust to its gameplay but thankfully now upgraded to PS5 version, loading times made dipping in and out to try and get better less of a chose. Visually the game looks great, benefitting again from the power of the PS5 over the PS4 version. Sadly, the story is one of the weakest elements to the game and the voice acting and dialogue leaves a lot to be desired compared to other shooters trying to have a more dramatic and cinematic story telling experience. That and some technical issues which plagued my time with the game with several crashes to dashboard proving quite annoying right in the middle of a mission.
There is certainly a lot here if the slow methodical style of shooters is your go to gaming pleasure, and with some polish and more focus on the weaker elements, there is a lot to build on for the next entry in the series on the foundation of this on PS5.