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Cult Heroes: Sniper Elite

Cult Heroes: Sniper Elite


Format: PS2
Released: September 2005
Reviewed: 134
Score: 88%

It’s hard to believe that just five years ago Rebellion were a critical darling; developers who could do no wrong and released (cult) classic after (cult) classic. What went wrong, we do not know, but the company that made Rogue Warrior is not the Rebellion we remember and love. That honour falls to the previous version of the company: the one that developed Sniper Elite.

Set at the tail-end of the Second World War, Sniper Elite placed players neatly in the shoes of a US operative working in Berlin, tasked with keeping the ever-advancing Red Army from obtaining the Nazi’s nuclear secrets. His employers, you see, think the Yanks would be better off getting them – being American as they are.

It’s actually quite an interesting set-up for a WWII game, but the really interesting part comes with the game itself. Rather than the usual ‘one man army versus everyone who isn’t a western capitalist’, the game takes a subtler route. Charging in all guns blazing will actually get you nowhere, and players are instead expected to be more methodical, casual and generally slower with their approach to each level. A target has to be found, stalked and thoroughly researched before you can take a shot, and when you’re about to pull the trigger a whole host of other elements have to be considered: wind strength; the arc of the bullet’s trajectory; your character’s breathing – all of these elements play a massive part in simply shooting a man in the face.

It might sound like a bit too much but it never is. In the face of an onslaught of World War II games, Sniper Elite stood alone, proud of its detail, the level of respect it showed the subject matter and its realism. That’s the Rebellion we loved.

Sniper Elite can be had for around the £15 mark – not super cheap, but still worth it.

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