Whether you’re a firm fan of the adventures had by our favourite sniping protagonist Karl Fairburne, or you have been enjoying the open-world run around found within Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, it’s fair to say fans of all things stealth and tactical have had plenty to be happy about this year. As for me, I’d probably lean more towards Sniper Elite 4 for my sniping game of the year in 2017, and that’s probably down to just how much content we have seen added to an already awesome game.
Since the arrival of its first major DLC piece, Sniper Elite 4 has had us taking veteran Karl Fairburne on yet another adventure through the darkest corners of Italy, this time in a bid to foil a Nazi plan that would ensure pain and suffering for all, Deathstorm. After intercepting the original Deathstorm package, we found out that there were plenty more plutonium parcles inbound. After capturing the research papers for Deathstorm, we have been left waiting for the final part in the mini-saga and with Obliteration arriving a little while back, finally the time has come to get stuck in and put an end to the Deathstorm once and for all.
So, what are you doing this time around? Well, as expected we step back into the shoes of the famed Karl Fairburne once more. But this time round it isn’t another outing to the outskirts of Italy, rather a return to Nazi Germany, with a trip to the small town of Steigerloch. With news that the Nazi’s secret atomic reactor that’s said to be creating the all-powerful Deathstorm weapon is hidden within the town, it’s your job to destroy it once and for all.
Deathstorm Part 3 – Obliteration – to give its full name – doesn’t exactly play out like a story finale as much as you would expect, at least not in the traditional sense. This time there’s little in the way of the big comic book style entry that we have become used to with previous missions, and there isn’t really much of a big plan involved as to how we are supposed to achieve our goals. In fact, if I hadn’t already played the previous parts to the Deathstorm story, I could be forgiven for thinking this was just any other mission.
Just a few minutes into the playthough and there are a few notable changes.
The first one is just how wide and open the new mission area is. Part 2 saw us pushed into close confined areas with little room for stealth when compared to the main story, but the small town of Steigerloch certainly isn’t something you will be remembering like the back of your hand. Whilst the size is far more impressive this time around, another notable difference is in the setting. Of course, with players making a return to Nazi Germany for the first time in the series since Sniper Elite V2, you would expect things to look different and that’s something that is indeed very noticeable. This is mainly due to the various buildings within the mission, with the cobbled buildings seen throughout the game now replaced with impressive looking wooden ones that really help add to the feel of the new setting.
As for the mission itself, things are pretty much the same as usual, and actually that’s quite a disappointment. See, anyone who has followed the Deathstorm story will easily realise the importance of the mission; but the way the protagonist reacts towards the situation makes it feel like your typical scenario. And the mission isn’t exactly presented as something of major importance either. This could be a deliberate move on the part of Rebellion to give some kind of experienced personality to the veteran, but it would have still been nice to have seen at least some kind of emotion on Karl’s part given the importance of the task at hand.
Just because the mission isn’t exactly hyped up on importance however, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great ending to the story. Throughout the story players have one main goal – to eliminate Professor Wilhelm Bosch, the man in charge of the whole Deathstorm operation, and destroy the reactor. As with other objectives in the game, there is indeed a bunch of optional extras for players to get involved in, but these only really prepare you for the sheer craziness you run into when you start getting closer to the reactor. To be honest, whilst I enjoyed the entire mission – at least after the rather plain opening sequence – the primary objective was what truly brought the enjoyment, with everything you would expect finally making an appearance too.
From explosions to countless enemies swarming my position, and even running out of ammo and being forced to make a dash across open areas, there was nothing I would have expected any different, except for maybe its length. Whilst difficulty and skill will surely factor in how long any of the missions in the game will take you to complete, it’s fair to say that anyone with a relatively good aim will be finishing up this mission in next to no time. Across a couple of attempts of the mission, I found myself completing it in thirty minutes on my first attempt and no more than ten on the second. For content that’s costing on a par with some of the classic games on the store, that certainly doesn’t feel like the best value for money.
Now before you go shooting me down, I’m not criticising the quality of the expansion, at least other than those exceptionally dull cutscenes, but when you look at something that’s costing more than £5 a go, it’s fair to expect a little more than half an hour of content.
Overall though, Sniper Elite 4: Deathstorm Part 3 – Obliteration is certainly a better showing than the previous entry, and is a fitting end to the Deathstorm storyline. It brings plenty of room in and around the map to make your own path, and a rather exciting end to the mission. It seems fair to say that Rebellion have got the gameplay side of things perfect once more – it’s just a shame that it is over so quickly.