The Sniper: Ghost Warrior series from the Polish studio CI Games has been released since 2010 and all this time has been in a state of "neither here nor there" - and not a typical Polish shooter from the 2000s, but not an absolute hit either. Although in any case, along with the Sniper Elite series, it remains the main sniper simulator today. And now in Contracts 2, this simulator has become even more difficult - for the first time in a series we shoot from such great distances.

Again an American against a dictator

In almost all Ghost Warriors, the plot is cranberry - we often fight against evil Russians, and the main characters, of course, are elite American snipers who, using the most modern weapons, bring democracy, freedom, rights to fictional third world countries (or even real Georgia) person and other American values.

A special game happened just in the first Contracts, where the action took place in the Siberian Republic, which had separated from Russia. In the sequel, in this sense, the degree of tension is much lower - in the role of a professional sniper with the callsign Raven, we must destroy another Middle Eastern dictator and his henchmen from all over the world, which are part of a large criminal conglomerate.

The tasks are usual - to eliminate the target, turn off the radio towers that jam the signal, load the supervirus into the supercomputer, disable the cooling system, save and cover the captured journalist, and arrange some other sabotage. There are purely sniper missions, there are, let's say, mixed missions, where we alternate shooters, stealth, and aimed shooting from long distances. Against this background, the cranberries from the original looked brighter or something - there are clearly not enough non-trivial tasks in the spirit of when it was necessary to find out which of the female scientists is a clone, and who is real.

The game looks great even in mask mode, which still helps to navigate the terrain.
The game looks great even in mask mode, which still helps to navigate the terrain.

I'm sitting far away - I'll put everyone!

Although you still don't have to get bored. There are only five-story missions in the game, but they all take place on large open maps, where there are also side contracts for the elimination of particularly important (and unpleasant) goals. Plus, the test system is in place - kill two enemies with one shot, destroy five combat vehicles, send five to the forefathers, hitting fragmentation grenades on their belts, and so on.

But most importantly, there is non-linearity in how to destroy the main villains, and therefore, replayability. The options reflected again in the tests, as a rule, exclude each other - quietly hit the target or, conversely, detonate it; kill while riding the elevator or use a special ability.

Most often, it is necessary to eliminate from very large distances (from a kilometer or more), without being able to get close. And the target is either in a building or is constantly moving, so passing such tests is like a puzzle - you need to figure out how to lure or force a person to stop. It is possible, for example, to destroy the communication antennas or the shield regulating the lift on which the BMP stands with aimed shots.

It is also important that changing equipment for a specific contract or test is now allowed right at the location. And if you have not completed the task, then there is always the option to return with new equipment and abilities later.

Contracts, as in the first part, bring money for the purchase of new guns and attachments (silencers, optics, compensators, hybrid sights, and so on), as well as tokens for the discovery of new skills.

Abilities are also divided into four branches - "Disguise and Reconnaissance", "Stealth and Stealth", "Drone and Turret", "Equipment and Gadgets". Yes, we are still free to take a drone with us on a mission, which not only scouts the area, attracts enemies, and hacks electronics, but also shoots poison darts.

Plus, there are proximity sensors, decoy traps, decoy mines, bullets that attract or mark enemies even through walls, and armor-piercing ammunition that pierces the same walls.

Bots for slaughter

All this is intended to make our sniper life easier, which in Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, on the one hand, has really become more complicated. To hit the target from such great distances, when it is necessary to make corrections for both the wind and the range when any miss is almost guaranteed to mean that the target will start to run away, an alarm will be raised and dozens of opponents, unlike sniper rifles, but from "Kalash"!) - this is really not easy.

You either have to practice to understand what principle ballistics works here (and this is not always clear!) Or turn on aiming assistance, which is not available at the highest level of difficulty.

On the other hand, when you get used to it and understand, the game, on the contrary, may seem easy even on the Liquidator. You will defeat it almost without the help of drones, turrets, and other fancy gadgets. Because AI behavior remains the Achilles heel of the series. Yes, enemies know how to detect, surround, fire and strain. But at the same time, they are often still stupid, they do not notice the danger under their nose and go out to the sniper in single file, so that their heads burst one after another, like ripe watermelons.

Well, and purely technical problems. Opponents (as well as the main character) get stuck in textures. With such an AI, the game is still not very interesting as a shooter, even though this segment of the gameplay was clearly trying to improve.

Yes, the Poles in  Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 failed to make an ideal sniper simulator. But the work on mistakes is visible to the naked eye. And the appearance of shooting from very long distances and many ways (sometimes very nontrivial) to eliminate targets are good for the gameplay.

Pros: quite addicting sniper gameplay; the appearance of shooting from very long distances; the game looks and sounds great.

Cons: banal plot; weak AI; there are bugs.

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