E3 2019 Preview – Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts is the newest title in the Sniper Ghost Warrior franchise and during my E3 2019 hands-off presentation, the developers made it clear they want to make the best sniper game. Despite how you felt about Sniper Ghost Warrior 3‘s open world nature, I personally enjoyed it despite a few issues, Contracts is doing away with that. Apparently, the developers got enough negative feedback that they explicitly stated they heard our complaints and are going back to open areas instead of open world. I’m okay with either, but if concentrated areas helps them create a more focused and polished experience, then I’m all for it.
It’s hard to show off a stealthy sniper game in only 30 minutes, so there was quite a bit of content they had to gloss over or skip through. What was immediately apparent when the map was opened is that even though there is no open world, the maps are very large, or at least this particular one was. While picking your contract there is a list of traits and a bio for the target, a general whereabouts, and various other things to look over. There are specific drop off and extraction sites, so you’ll need to keep in mind some exit routes. In this particular map there were three main areas and facilities that you can explore. I’m assuming some missions may use the same map, but different sections, but in this demo the other areas were used as side missions or side contracts. It was unclear if each main contract would get their own map or if some may be recycled.
Once we got dropped in, they had to fast forward to a location since the travel time would take too long. But once we got into place, the stealth action begun. Right away we got a taste of various bullet types. Switching to armor piercing rounds allowed us to kill two enemies by shooting through the first and into the second. You will also be able to set up devices in locations that will alert if a guard is coming, which will be helpful if you hunker down in a spot, but missed a wandering guard. The one thing i did notice about this part was that the stealth is extremely basic. As long as you’re crouched or prone in tall grass, enemies will walk inches from you and not see you. Perhaps on a harder mode this won’t be so easy.
Back to spotting and trying to find your target. If you get a chance to take someone hostage, you can interrogate them for various information. Perhaps you’ll get the exact location of your target or a tip that there is a land mind field nearby. There are also a lot of extra gadgets like a spotting bullet that you can shoot at a location and it will map any enemy within a certain radius. Luring bullets that will be helpful to distract enemies from a location as well. There are so many things that you have at your disposal that approaching a mission could be different every time. You can go full stealth or guns blazing if you want. When you load out your character you can choose between stealthy weapons, items, and gadgets, or go in full armor with grenades and AR’s.
One feature that wasn’t exactly explained all the way was the Rival system. During the demo and additional side-op target popped up where you can break off from your current target and earn additional money. However, you need to move fast otherwise a Rival will get there first and claim your bounty. It was clear whether this was a real player, and AI player, or just a way to say you ran out of time for this side-op and your “Rival” got to it first.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts looks like a fantastic entry to the franchise offering a more focused experience. The big expansions in the gameplay options have me excited to experiment in these large map areas. From the demo it looked like it had a lot more polish than Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, and a whole lot more toys to play with. The full sniping experience with the bullet drop and wind speed is still all there as well. As well as climbing to vantage points and various H2H stealth kills. My only gripe with what I saw was stealth may be too simple or easy, but hopefully there are additional difficultly options to test your stealth sniper skills.
Release Date: TBD 2019
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC