The second in the reinvention of the Sniper Ghost Warrior series is here, and Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 continues the adventures of Raven, a sniper for hire. The first game launched way back in November 2019, and since then it appears that the development team over at CI Games have been beavering away to deliver more of everything. Quite a lot more, as it happens. So, let’s grab a rifle and see what we can see through the scope…
The setup of the original Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts carries on here in the second. The mask that allows you to have various different views of the world is present and correct, and the range of goodies at your disposal has now been expanded. There are more sniper rifles than you can shake a stick at, and along with a range of secondary weapons and pistols, there is a whole host of weapons and gadgets to buy. These gadgets range from the ordinary, such as med kits and grenades, to the all-singing, all-dancing drones and remote turrets. The drone even allows you to fit it with a poison needle, allowing you to fly to places that it may be too dangerous for you to set foot in, and still kill the intended target. Once you’ve chosen the loadout for your mission – and taking the right kit does make things a lot easier – it’s into the game itself.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 features a mixture of sniping missions and styles, both up close and personal, and from a million miles away. But even with all the sniping in the world, there is a bit of narrative to enjoy and this time it revolves around a mythical middle eastern country, where the leader is being influenced by a group of powerful figures in the criminal world to start a war with their neighbours. Obviously, this would be bad for business, and so we, as Raven, are sent in with a laundry list of people that need rubbing out, along with a list of side objectives to accomplish.
The second mission, to use it as an example, sees you going after a hacker who is used to blackmailing firms for cryptocurrencies; a guy hiding out in the country as there are no extradition treaties. We have to first disable some jamming devices to allow outside media into the country, then take out the main satellite uplink antenna. From there it’s a case of finding and disabling the water cooling pumps for the mainframes, taking out the target and finally uploading a virus to the computer systems. It’s a very in-depth mission, taking me just over three hours, taking into account the obligatory exploration and trying to find secrets and collectibles. But as you can see, there is no shortage of things to involve yourself in with Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, and this was just one level.
A new feature this time around is the introduction of extreme range sniping, where you have to make your way to a sniper nest, clearing enemies along the way, and then set yourself up with a huge rifle and take even more baddies out. You are able to adjust the range on the scope and zoom right in – up to 40x magnification – and these shots take so much planning. Wind, gravity, and more need to be taken into account, and even hitting an enemy at this range feels like an achievement, never mind pulling off a headshot. Tagging targets with your binoculars is vital, as is spotting the enemy snipers; they can ruin your whole day. Of course, if you raise the alarm, even the guys with AK47’s can still hit you a kilo away, which is annoying and not awfully realistic.
Completing missions and bounties (which can be found in game if you go into the correct area), and also taking on challenges and fun little diversions that you have to achieve in particular levels, gain you money and research points. The currency you earn is then used to pay for new weapons and gadgets, and to unlock new attachments for said weapons. For instance, a rifle can have many different scopes, sights, extended magazines and so on fitted, and even the ability to shoot armour piercing or EMP bullets, which make short work of the heavy armoured enemies and the automated turrets you have to face respectively. The research points are used to expand one of 12 skill trees in four sections, so there’s lots to unlock as you play through. Another big tick has to go to CI Games for the amount of content that is included.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 looks very good this time around, with an updated version of the game engine from last time around providing much better performance. Sitting on a hillside, looking through a scope at a bloke going about his business, more than 1000m away, gives you an amazing feeling of power. Knowing that with one squeeze of the trigger the contract can be completed is a great feeling, even if it isn’t always that straightforward and easy to complete. I’ve been mighty impressed with the audio too, and the big .50 cal rifles really do sound like the end of the world, while the lighter rifles, with silencers fitted, are as discreet as you’d hope. And need.
All in all, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 provides one hell of a sniping experience. With so many different ways to approach your targets, multiple challenges to take on and some excellent gadgets to make use of, you’re not going to get bored easily. On the higher levels, the psychic enemies can be a bit wearisome, but this does encourage careful planning. In fact, it’s so good that Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is a solid entry in the sniper genre, and finally the Sniper Ghost franchise is worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Sniper Elite.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 brings more sniping goodness to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One