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Saturday, May 8, 2010

647 Grains of Diplomacy: When you care enough to send the very best.

Sniping. Snipers. Often the most despised activities and roles in online FPS games. Myself, I seldom play the role: I find it rather boring. In games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 it is so easy to get frags as a sniper while remaining basically untouchable, a trained monkey could do it. Not my style.

That said, a few years back, having played all of the FPS games that interested me until my fingerprints had worn off and facing a dearth of new FPS games, I came across an unopened copy of a game I'd not heard of at a local discount bookstore. The game was called Sniper Elite. For nine bucks I figured what the heck, even if it's a dog of a game it would be something new to play. Much to my surprise, I quickly became a fan of the game. The well modeled bullet ballistics and challenging single player missions kept me amused for some time, highlighted with the slow motion bullet's-eye view of a 1000+ meter head shot.

The online play was equally rewarding, and made me appreciate the tactics and strategy involved in the hide-and-seek game of sniping. For those that appreciate this kind of play, it is the best of the genre. The game still has a small but fiercely loyal following. At times, copies of the game were selling for over $100.00 on eBay. Recently, the game has become available on the most excellent Steam system of Valve Software. It's ten bucks. If you even have the slightest inkling you might enjoy a sniping game, it's well worth this meager price. You too might become addicted! For certain, you will either love it or hate it - I've not seen a reaction between these extremes yet. Be forewarned: the graphics are a bit dated (they were when the game was released), and the controls can take some getting used to, but it really is a great game.

Sadly, once I was hooked on a proper sniper centric game, I found that the few other games that shared this bent were but shadows of Sniper Elite. It looks the five year drought for quality sniper centric games may be over soon. City Interactive, the largest producer of video games in Poland (home to some of the greatest mathematical minds of history) is set to release Sniper: Ghost Warrior. From the information available and the videos and screen shots at the game site, it looks like a game that could be a worthy successor to Sniper Elite: Properly modeled ballistics and environmental effects for shots, free exploration and non-linear game play, with a variety of mission types. The environments shown remind me of the original Far Cry's lush jungle scenes.

The game is scheduled for release in Q2 for PC and Xbox 360.

I for one can't wait!


  1. Sniper Elite rules!
    This one looks pretty cool, I haev been looking for a new sniper game, especialy since the on line servers for Sniper Elite may go away - at least that is what keeps getting posted.

  2. LOL - I just caught that the mouse cursor turns into an aim cross hair for this article. Well done!

  3. I was thinking the same thing about the mouse cursor, nice job!

    I like playing Sniper in BFBC2, just because of the dang mortar strikes. I kept getting killed by them when I started playing, and it pissed me off. I decided I wanted to learn the art of mortars if only to understand how it was they could be used so effectively. I usually use the faster firing rifles rather than the M24 style rifle though, and get close to the action.

  4. @thejeep:
    I've yet to figure out the mortars - they always seem to land way beyond my aim, or at my feet! I like BFBC2 though, bugs and all. If you like sniping games, do check out Sniper Elite - it's cheap now, and watch the video (it's actually 2 - when it ends, just wait a bit and the new one starts, it looks really good!