Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts was a game that may have alienated some fans of the franchise, but I found it to be a highly enjoyable shooter.
Taking players to a variety of sizeable sandbox areas with multiple objectives, the game eschewed the long-range shooting gallery for the most part and instead leaned into exploration and emergent gameplay opportunities.
Developer CI Games has wisely stuck to that path with its sequel, while also adding in new long-range missions that'll really test your trigger finger and scope adjustments in equal measure.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Preview:
In our preview, the game's protagonist, Raven, remains a pretty nondescript, gun-for-hire type with a knack for sniping.
This time, however, his targets are much further away. That may sound like a pretty simple adjustment, but it brings with it an entirely new gameplay layer.
You see, while approaching your sniping post, you'll stealthily knife guards, interrogate them for answers, or just fire your way through. Get to the designated spot, though, and Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 gets tough.
With your targets literally thousands of meters away, there are new considerations. It's not just bullet drop anymore, it's travel time, too. When you're staring down your scope and can't relocate, it becomes a matter of perspective, too.
With that in mind, these long-range missions become complex puzzles to solve. See that container, hanging precariously? Shoot the rope and it could fall, crushing anyone underneath while simultaneously revealing the room beyond. That guard? You'll need to wait until his buddy moves away before taking the shot.
In our preview, our target continued milling about a series of shipping containers until one misplaced shot raised the alarm. I dropped the aforementioned container, blocking his escape route (and narrowly missing the chance to squash him), before shooting out the fusebox of the gate he'd need to escape through, prompting him to stay still for just a few precious seconds to allow me to hit him with a shot through the chest.
Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is at its most enjoyable when things don't go your way, forcing players to adapt, something CI Games is acutely aware of. That's why the game will autosave into multiple slots to promote experimentation, but it won't allow you to manually save and reload as a crutch.
Challenges have also been expanded in the sequel. With the aforementioned kill, I earned a bonus for killing my target as he attempted to escape, which in turn offered additional currency which I used to upgrade my assault rifle to allow me to progress towards my next target with a silencer.
While the first target was a very mobile fish in a barrel after I removed his means of escape, the second target is entirely different. This ex-sniper will run to grab his rifle at the first sign of trouble, and he got the better of me more than once.
These "war stories" of assassination attempts gone awry are what have me itching to jump back into Ghost Warrior Contracts 2.
For everything we know about the game, be sure to check here.