Last year, I splurged on a gaming PC to help me through lockdown, and aside from the breadth of titles available, I couldn't believe how cheap some of them were.
One month I raided the Steam sales seemingly every day, almost to the point where I wasn't even really looking at what I was buying - I was just building my library. Still, one game did catch my eye - Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts.
I'd heard that the series had always been a solid one, but decided to install it on a whim and jump in and you know what? It's fantastic.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts Is Criminally Underrated
There's something so satisfying (and strangely evil) about popping the head of a bad guy when he's two postcodes away, and Ghost Warrior Contracts nails that feeling.
The sniping here isn't some painstakingly accurate recreation of marksmanship, either. The game tasks players with keeping an eye on the wind and bullet drop, but your player's high-tech visor essentially does much of the calculation for you - and that's no bad thing.
While I expected a shooting gallery of sorts, what's actually here is much more impressive. Contracts' maps are sizeable, and while you can take out enemies in the order you choose, you can drop the sniper rifle and charge in with assault rifles, pistols, and more.
An early mission tasked me with eliminating a target that was well guarded. After working my way through a path, silently knifing enemies as I went, I was able to find a spot where I could hit my target through a window of a building.
It's satisfying, sure, but it's not all pot-shots from a mile away. Some missions task the player with collecting data from a target, meaning you'll want to take them out, and then make a beeline for their body. These moments are tense, but getting to an extraction point by the skin of your teeth always feels exciting.
Sure, it's no Metal Gear Solid V when it comes to tactical options, but Ghost Warrior Contracts is undeniably worth a playthrough for fans of stealth and tactical shooters.
For more on the franchise, check out everything we know about the sequel here.