SNIPER: GHOST WARRIOR / City Interactive / PC
So "disclose your biases" is the big thing now. Fine. I hate Soldier Man games. I think it's the most unimaginative theme going in gaming and has been for a decade now, especially when it's a game clearly meant to cash in on the Call of Doody phenomenon slapped into a pre-existing engine. In this case, the engine used for Call of Juarez and Dead Island.
Yeah, bold stance, I know. But you never know when some 13-year-old will stumble through and be shocked and confused as to why you don't share in his enjoyment of fatigued power fantasies (and let's be real here, it's going to be a "he" and he probably also has a deep love of screaming homophobic racist epithets from behind the safety of a headset mic).
But there was an opportunity here to make a game that actually simulates the experiences of a real military sniper, which would not only be a fresh take on the genre, but actually legitimately intriguing to those of us who generally don't care for the OOO-RAH. Well, OK, there was an opportunity had this not been from a small Polish developer/publisher who probably didn't have the budget for that sort of thing. So we didn't get that, of course, and instead we get a "sniper" experience cobbled into a standard and fairly generic military FPS package.
Long story short, they shouldn't have even bothered. I know small publishers gotta stay afloat somehow, but there's got to be better alternatives than this. Sell smut or something. Seems much more dignified at this point, as long as it isn't that Japanese underage stuff. Anyway, cobbling Stealth into Stock Military FPS just leads to a lot of slow, clunky movement and inconsistent enemy AI.
So honestly I wasn't paying much attention to the story, but we're in some Latin American jungle and some tin-pot dictator is up to no good startin' trouble in the neighborhood and etc. Generally snipers work in teams, hit one target from a distance and then skedaddle, but our definition of "sniper" here is for two guys to run in like Bill and Lance from Contra and take on the whole army by themselves. But slowly! And quietly!
Your inventory is mostly restricted to knives, silenced pistols and sniper rifles, with only the occasional assault rifle in a level in which the game decides to Dudebro it up for a bit just for a change of pace. There's a bunch of glitching and just inexplicable variations in AI, and that whole "see the enemy from a distance before they see you" thing you're supposed to be doing often gets reversed on you unexpectedly and you get a grenade in the mouth without really understanding what you did wrong. If anything, because I'm pretty sure enemies were literally seeing through walls at points.
Aside from weird AI, getting inexplicably spotted while under cover, acting almost nothing like an actual sniper and the general slow boring genericness of everything, I guess it's basically a solid FPS. About the nicest thing I can say is that the jungle environment is fairly detailed and well-realized and the draw distances are appropriately long for sniping.
* Gameplay Video