If you were living in the 1940s with the Nazis present, being invaded, and had the skill to help out an end to the war, would you do what you could or stand by and see if anything would possibly change? If the skill you possessed was the ability to have amazing accuracy with a sniper rifle as you looked down the sites, would you hesitate for a moment or take the shot knowing without even thinking knowing that the future you and so many others wanted would come true as that bullet fired and hit the target that changed history? It’s interesting how we can think about what we would do now knowing what we know of the past and try to incorporate those skills at such a wild time. But developers, Rebellion, Just Add Water, and Coatsink bring the Sniper Elite franchise and improve it by immersing us in VR? Yes…yes they do. Let’s find out more with Sniper Elite VR for the PlayStation VR.
Sniper Elite VR has us grabbing a rifle, gazing down the scope, and taking aim in a stealth-action WW2 first-person shooter with an explosive campaign, immersion, authentic weaponry, and signature gunplay that is built exclusively for Virtual Reality. Now before you go in thinking you can just snipe any enemy without being detected, you will want to decide on a couple of things. First, your controller preference. You could go in with the trusty DualShock 4 controller or even go in with the Move controllers. But you want to get that sniping experience. You want this to be as authentic of an experience as you could legally not be charged for pulling the trigger and as safe as possible. Then if you have the Aim controller, it’s time to lock and load with it, because I will say that using the Aim controller felt as natural as you could have hoped for.
Once you have the controller of choice, you will want to decide on the comfort settings. I do like how there are some options from max presets from comfort to intense. Max comfort allows for teleport movement and snap turning, and all the comfort assists are on. Moderate will give you free movement and snap turning along with all the comfort assists on. Intense is free movement, smooth turning, and all comfort assists are off. So if you are new to VR, go with Max comfort or you can try the intense preset, but it may not be the best outcome for new players to VR. This is just a friendly warning of advice. So select carefully. You then will need to select the difficulty setting from Cadet that gives you reduced damage and simplified ballistics but is story-focused. Marksman gives you a fair challenge with simplified bullet ballistics but unforgiving enemies. And then there is the Sniper Elite difficulty that is only sniping purists are welcome to give you that authentic challenge.
The story of Sniper Elite VR is not the same character as what you may be used to. Here, you are stepping in the shoes of an Italian Partisan playing through a series of events of their life as they are trying to defend their homeland from the Nazie invasion between 1943 – 1945 and taking the genre-defining features of Sniper Elite all from a new perspective. The game starts 40 years after the war and realizing that the events that you went through in the past, were actually for the greater good. From the start of the first mission, ‘Siege of Pazzano’, and seeing how the developer made it seem as authentic Italy from the 40s as possible and having the narration speak as you progress through the mission is something that you can tell took time, dedication, and love to all bring it together.
Once you get into the action, pulling the Aim controller up to look through the scope does really bring a new perspective to the series and gameplay that works amazingly well in VR. But it’s not all sniper rifles you get to use, there are other weapons such as pistols, grenades, SMGs, and shotguns, all the weapons felt good with the Aim controller. Each of the missions is not long and they don’t need to be. Not saying you have to rush through them, you can take your time. But after each mission, you have your book with the title of the mission, your scores, and you get stars for completing the mission if you did certain goals of the mission like getting a number of headshots to even go and not getting detected (to name a just a few) to even getting a certain score and finding certain items. But what is included and I really like this, is the leaderboards for each mission. here you can see the top scores for the different difficulty levels, your position, your friends, and even global. The boards consist of Best Score, Time Taken to complete the level, the number of kills, accuracy, and the longest shot. So there really is plenty to try and accomplish and a reason to keep coming back to see how high you can get up on the boards.
But one of the features that I have always loved about the series and so glad that it was brought here in Sniper Elite VR, is the X-Ray Kill Camera feature. It’s when you pull off that one shot where the bullet will go in slow motion and hit different parts of the enemies’ body organs or bones. And when you can do it multiple times, it is just so satisfying in Virtual Reality. If you find this feature disturbing or you want to increase the times it can happen, there are options for this.
Let’s talk about the graphics and the sound. Graphics really do look good and as I mentioned earlier, you can tell a lot of time, dedication, and love was put into the game. Seeing the shadows of different objects to even having the night levels as you try and stealth your way around and look down the sights and focus really looks good in VR. Sound-wise, hearing the different weapons and the sound they make to hearing the rounds hit the floor to even hearing your own breathing as you are trying to make that shot to even the vocals of an older Italian Partisan who is trying to tell his story, sounded good.
If there is anything I would love to see here is just more missions added. I love how different collectibles are found throughout each of the levels and even the leaderboards for each of the different missions. I just hope that somewhere down the line there is either some DLC or bringing the entire Sniper Elite series into VR. Second, we have the different controllers to be used from the DualShock 4, the Move controllers, and the Aim controller, but I think it might even be an added experience is the 3Drudder was added. Being able to move around with your feet would just add another level.
Sniper Elite VR brings what we love about the franchise and steps it up with the immersion of VR. It shows that sometimes we all have choices in life, some that are good and some that are bad. But it’s these choices that we have that can help define who we are even though we may have not asked for it. But sometimes the choices we do make, regardless of what some people can and cannot see, may actually be for the greater good in life.
Sniper Elite VR is out now for PlayStation VR. A review code was provided. To learn more about Rebellion, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Coatsink, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Just Add Water, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some leaderboards to climb and more collectibles to find.