With my hands-on of the first few missions of Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior left me impressed, and I couldn’t wait to get into the rest of the game. But, did the full game live up to the first few missions?
Release Date: November 30th 2023
Developer: Rebellion and Just Add Water
Price: US $14.99 / €14,99 / £10.99
Reviewed On: Meta Quest *
* Code Provided For Review *
In the game you play as ‘the Partisan’, a form Italian resistance soldier, who is reliving his memories of uncovering Nazi ‘wonder-weapons’ that must be destroyed while banishing the forces from his homeland.
SNIPING DONE RIGHT
If you have played any Sniper Elite games from the flatscreen or the other VR entry, you will know what to expect from the gameplay. The main mechanic is the sniping, but you will get other weapons and be able to take on enemy soldiers with melee attacks from behind.
With the game being based around the sniping, the team at Rebellion had to get the scoping correct, and they have done this perfectly – which was no surprise as they got the correct on Sniper Elite VR. When scoping you are actually looking down the scope and it is not snapping to your face, giving the immersion you want when scoping in VR. When it comes to the actual sniping, the difficulty you play it on will alter the assist you get when aiming down the scope. This is matched with you taking less damage and the enemies aggression increasing, to make up the difference in the settings.
As well as the sniping, you will come across some more close-quarter combat areas, this is where you will find yourself using the auto-rifles, pistols and the aforementioned melee attacks. Although, these areas mean you will not see the fantastic x-ray kills offered by sniping, I found these sections to be just as enjoyable, as the more open areas that allowed for it.
Outside of the campaign it also offers two other modes, these are, Last Stand, which will see you gathering weapons, ammunition and traps, before finding the best location possible to fend of waves of oncoming forces. Then Sniper Hunt, which will put you up against expert Nazi Snipers in a game of cat of mouse, where you will take out a patrol to draw out the sniper, before relocating, collecting ammo and getting ready for the next opponent.
A FROZEN ITALY
I was really impressed with the visuals that are being offered by the standalone device for this game. With each setting looking detailed enough to keep you immersed in location you visit – be it inside a Villa or in the more open area air-strips. However, they are not perfect with my main issue coming from some antialiasing on edges in the distance that were quite noticeable, but this did not pull me out the experience at all.
Although, one area in the presentation that looked fantastic is those brutal x-ray kills. From watching a bullet fracture a skull or exploding a testicle, these kill-cams never get old, and the skeletal frame looks fantastic and detailed as it takes realistic damage from the bullet.
The settings in Winter Warrior are brought to life very well with the use of the audio, be it sneaking around indoors or the more blustery outdoors – each locations audio offers the immersion you would expect. Then listening out for the enemies talking and sounds to mask your sniper shots, with the final little touch being the inclusion of music at a low volume when in more action packed sequences or when your have been spotted.
Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior, left a solid first impression on me and this continued throughout the whole campaign. But, with its length it feels more like a DLC expansion, than the full fledged game it aims to be. With a story that keeps you engaged, but then also feels like it over way too quickly, and like it could have offered a bit more meat on the bones to keep you warm in these wintry settings, However, I feel it is priced accordingly with its length, so if you are a fan of the Sniper Elite franchise it’s certainly worth picking up, but if you want more playtime and have not played just Sniper Elite VR, I think that would be a better purchase for the little bit extra.