The title of this game given away exactly what it is about. You can be a sniper, a ghost and a warrior in the expanse of Georgia. Plenty of missions await you and your choice how to complete them is actually left in your hands. The sniping is good, testing your ability to lead a target, measure the wind and place your shots on target. The question is does the rest of it work as well.
It would be easy to start with the shooting in this game, but to do that would be to ignore the open world it takes place in. The areas of Georgia you can explore are quite open. This is far more than just one big forest or swamp. Old Soviet sites, structures are scattered throughout, villages on the side of lakes and villages as well. They are on the sparsely populated side but they are populated.
The same is true of the many hostile outposts out there. Guards are on patrol, routes that intersect giving you opportunities for shots, taking down the guards easier than if they were apart. Or if you’re unlucky, more able to react to your presence. They have mortar, mines and grenades at their disposal too, which can quickly send you back to a loading screen. Even assaulting a small patrol is full of risks on the higher difficulty settings. Your armour might stop the first burst, but the second or third will stop you.
Your sniper rifles aren’t your only weapons in this game either. From hand to hand, the knife you carry and pistols, you can take the fight right up to the enemy. A variety of carbines and assault rifles are present too, giving you options for when your sniper rifle is just too slow, too sluggish. The sniper rifles themselves are solid. From semi-automatic rifles like the Knight 110 through to many different bolt actions, there’s a calibre and action you’re going to like.
Gadgets are another part of your arsenal, smoke and fragmentation grenades only the start. Mines, the old Bouncing Betty are another part. Throwing knives and medical supplies keep you alive and give you that chance to get away when things get a bit too difficult. It’s one of the few games I can think of that give you a good bit of freedom in your arsenal, your play style.
Like many open world titles you’re given a location and an objective. Navigating the wider part of Georgia is easy except on the hardest difficulty. Entering a mission is not so simple either. Depending on your route in, you might be able to find a little nest for your early shots. Despite my initial concerns in my missions to date I’ve seen a shot in the area of four hundred metres, even six hundred metres. If later missions also give me this opportunity I will be quite happy.
The story kicks off with a raid to destroy a stockpile of chemical weapons that ultimately goes wrong. From there, Jon North is sent back into Georgia, with the goal of finding out what happened to his brother and where he was taken, went. When you’re not in the mood for those, you can explore many points of interest, collectibles await as well. Also, plenty of civilians who need to be rescued from Separatists, more.
Audio and Visuals
Discussing the visual style of the game is easy next to that of its sound. The game takes place in the state of Georgia, the one which shares a border with Russia. The mountain ranges and areas I’ve seen so far range from dense to desolate. Beautiful forests to ugly, where old Soviet structures wait eternally for some care, repairs. Graffiti is easy to find and one of the nicer touches in the game. The same is true of the markings on vehicles.
Unfortunately, the characters you interact with and the Separatists don’t seem to have that same level of detail. They seem to lack the same variety as the locations. Even more unfortunately on Lydia, I spotted floating pouches, clearly detached from the main body. Raquel as well seems to be almost entirely a stereotype. No real depth to anyone I’ve encountered so far.
Stereotype is also the word I want to use for the voice acting as well. The accents of both Raquel and Lydia seem to come from a person who’s never heard those accents before. While the rest of the NPC’s are alright, it can feel clunky, odd. Just that bit odd, if you’ve heard the real thing. With the almost total absence of music there’s little to hear but the basic ambient sounds of your location. This is where you can tell if you’re being hunted by the enemy. At times, you can be immersed into the game world, others far less so.
Multiplayer is in the words of CI Games is coming later this year. The stated reason is to focus on the single player experience. Another thing I must also hold against this game.
It’s unfortunate that everything I’ve seen and played to this point just feels so imprecise, apart from the shooting. While I was able to get a good few shots in the area of 400 metres, I was hoping that it would the shorter side of the ranges. There’s a negative quality to the models, both friendly and hostile that just can’t go away. The same is true of the story unfortunately being rather bland as well. Shooting is where this shines and it’s not so bright either.
The version reviewed here was the Xbox One version.