I have been a big of fan the Sniper Elite games on flat-screen, so when Rebellion announced there was going to be a VR game released I was instantly excited for those bone breaking and ball busting shots. Now I have taken this step into the shoes of a sniper, what did I think?
Sniper Elite VR is based on the Italian resistance, through the eyes of the survivor of World War II recalling his assistance in helping the Italian partisans during the war. Living the story through someone who was trained by his family to be the sniper he had become, as you defend against the Nazi’s and Mussolini, and live each intense battle as you eliminate the incoming threats.
As you would expect from the name of the game, and all the previous entries in the series, the games main mechanic is sniping the enemies when possible. With this in mind getting the scoping right was going to be the most important element of the game, to make it not only authentic but to keep you immersed. I am glad to report the scoping element of the game has been done correctly in VR, with how it works when holding the scope up to your face. Then comes one issue with the scoping it seems to be slightly offset, which can mean a number of missed shots.
When it comes to the sniping, depending on the difficulty you play it on changes how the assist you will receive when aiming down the scope. Then the only other change the difficulty effects is how much damage you can take and how accurate and aggressive the enemies are.
You then get more close-quarter-combat areas, where you will find yourself having to use the auto-rifle, pistol and in some cases stealth kills – although, the latter really doesn’t feel that great. The auto-rifle can also come in very useful when missing shots and the AI closes in on your position.
Now to the AI, it really isn’t all the smart in the most cases when you are sniping at them. They can move into cover when shots are missed, but in some cases they just stand up and look around, Also when moving in on you, they really don’t take their own lives into account and move out in the open quite a lot.
The last thing I was really interested in seeing, was how they were going to handle the x-ray cams in VR, mostly the movement that follows the bullet – as this could have been tricky to get right. But, this has been done very well, and although the camera travels to the x-ray shot, I don’t think it will cause too many issues for people without their VR legs – but, will still affect some.
The PCVR version of the game, the visuals look nice inside of the HMD, but in some areas they do come across a little bland, but, this does not take you out of the experience. The game represents the locations and timeframe very well, as you come to expect from the Sniper Elite series, and you do feel like you have been taken back to that time.
Sound wise the game is very well narrated telling the story from the you older main characters point of view, from sitting in the garden to narrating the missions. The guns all sound like they should, and the environmental ambience is set well.
Sniper Elite VR comes with a number of motion options, that will make it comfortable for anyone. From full free locomotion to the teleport systems needed for this who struggle with motion sickness.
You get what you expect when it comes to controls for a shooter, analogues to move, grab to pick things up and the trigger to shoot. The game does come with a crouch button if you don’t want to do this in person, but the button does not allow for you to go prone – meaning getting on the floor if you are wanting to do this. It also comes with the manual reload system that you come to expect on the shooters in VR, and given the time the game is set in be ready to have a manually cock the sniper after every shot, as of course this is inline with the rifles at that time.
Overall the game comes with eighteen missions, that will take you around five-hours depending on the difficulty you play it on. Each mission comes with three challenges to complete, which you can to go back and aim to get if you miss them. However, I think some people may struggle to want to go back once they have completed the story. Although, those who like to collect everything in the game, there is a number of collectables to locate around each level – so, if this sounds like you, there will be more reasons to go back into the levels.
Reviewed using Vive Pro Eye & Index Controllers
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.