Season Pass 2 is here in Sniper Elite 5, and now the first content from that pass has landed. Roughly, as it happens!
Rebellion has not only released a new mission and weapon pack as part of this new pass, but they have also dropped a new free pack of weapons for all players. The question is, does the Rough Landing Mission and Weapons Pack keep up the high quality we have become used to, and does the free Trench Warfare weapon pack add anything worthwhile? Let’s strap on our best ghillie suits – we’re off to the woods to play hide and seek with the Nazis.
The story of the mission, Rough Landing, is a pretty interesting one. Allied airmen, while keeping an eye on what the Nazis are up to, have been shot down behind enemy lines, and so we are sent in, as seemingly the only capable soldier in this whole war, to get them out. One of the airmen is a high ranking officer with critical information, and obviously we need to keep this out of the enemy’s hands while getting them out. Set in a forest, with small farms and villages dotted about, and even an underground mine to explore, this promises to be action all the way.
The mission pack also contains a couple of new weapons, which is always nice. These are the Moisin Nagant sniper rifle, a famous Russian rifle that apparently has great stopping power and stability, making it ideal for use at extreme range. How useful that will be in a forest full of trees, where visibility isn’t usually that far, remains to be seen !Likely to be of more use is the new Swedish Sjogren Inertia 12 gauge shotgun, which was one of the first semi automatic shotguns developed in the world. This is more useful when treading on the bunions of a Nazi, and usually makes a mess of whatever it hits. I’m still not sold on shotguns in Sniper Elite 5 to be honest, preferring to keep the enemies further away.
While we are looking at new weapons, let’s have a look at what the Trench Warfare free pack brings to the table, shall we? Well, as you’d expect in a pack with the word “Trench” in the title, the first weapon out of the bag is the old faithful Trench Gun, a pump action, 6 round 12 gauge shotgun that again trades range for up close power. There is a new sub machine gun included as well, the Carl Gustav M/1945, which is more widely known as the Swedish K. Not a breakfast cereal, this gun instead can deliver up to 600 rounds per minute towards your enemy, while remaining reasonably easy to control; this is much more up my alley. Finally, the last weapon in this pack is a new pistol, weirdly a double barrelled one. The Double 1866, as it is known, was designed to be an easily concealable and quickly drawable pistol, and so despite the fact it has only a single action trigger to pull to fire both barrels, it does bring something different to the battleground. And for free, it feels churlish to quibble, does it not?
Anyway, back to the Rough Landing pack, and included is – shock horror – a new mission. Now, the first thing to say about this mission is that it isn’t massively long, even taking in all the optional objectives we have come to expect from the game. We must infiltrate a village, find three crashed aircraft and then the pilots, who may or may not be nearby. In addition, we need to find and kill a high ranking German officer in order to get back some critical intel that he has confiscated. The optional objectives are the usual, with a tank to remove (easier said than done, especially on Authentic difficulty) and some AA guns to destroy. The most interesting part of the mission is actually that of an optional area, taking place below ground in a claustrophobic mine. You’d best practice your close combat skills before you head down there, that’s for sure.
The map is nicely designed and looks great, with wooded areas and long grass to creep through; there are many areas to explore, and enemies to perforate. I have to say I did get a hint of deja vu from a mission in Sniper Elite 4, the Regalino Viaduct mission, with a large central bridge that seems to dominate the map. And this map does seem to have only a handful of enemies on it. In fact, whilst there is one section with a lot of foes, as for the rest, it is pretty much run and gun most of the way through the level. It felt almost like an easy mode, and when I tell you this is the first map I have finished in Sniper Elite 5 on Authentic difficulty, that should give you an idea about how easy it was.
The actual design of the map is good, don’t get me wrong, and finding where the airmen have gone to ground is pretty challenging, but it just feels like it could be a lot harder, and more challenging.
The Rough Landing Mission and Weapon Pack in Sniper Elite 5 does just enough to get a grudging recommendation. The map is well designed but small, and the objectives seem like a rehash of other missions. Other than that, the trademark Rebellion gameplay and gunplay is there is all the usual glory; one second able to pick a Nazi off from the length of the bridge, the next seemingly unable to walk up a set of stairs if you are crouching.
It is a mixed bag, this DLC, and while it is good to have new content, I really hope that Rebellion sit down and look at the things that made the missions in the main game so good, and bring us more of that rather than the cut down map on display here.
You can get the Sniper Elite 5 Rough Landing Mission and Weapon Pack from the Xbox Store