PlayStation PlayStation 5

Contracts 2 Is Sniper Ghost Warrior's Lackluster Hitlist

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Title Screen
Courtesy of CI Games

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Elite Edition

Developer: CI Games
Publisher: CI Games
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Agent 47, Should You Accept This Mission---Wait...

In many ways, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 takes many of its cues from the Hitman series, even though one is a first-person shooter while the latter is a third-person action title. Both games feature assassins who are contracted by an outside voice with a British dialect to take out primary targets that are each connected to a larger target and plot overall. To do so, both assassins have to rely on a custom loadout that favors their specific, sprawling environments ranging from various locales. Stealth is also the most preferred method of taking down targets in creative ways, but both characters can go “guns hot” should the need arise. Also, both players go by codenames, Raven and Agent 47 respectively.

These are where the core similarities end, yet there is some overlap between the two on occasion. During my time playing Contracts 2, I couldn’t help but think of Hitman in its premise as a lot of the gunplay is exchanged with tactical planning well in advance. One of the targets in Contracts 2 for example is on a heavily guarded island in which Raven can snipe from a distance. 

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 gameplay
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Contracts 2 Offers Many Ways To Skin A Sheep

However, he can also gain intel on an exchange that would cripple resources from the enemy should something happen to the dealer. Raven could quickly eliminate the required target but he could let the target live long enough to reveal information about the dealer, which will net Raven a pay bonus should he eliminate both.

These kinds of situations give the player in Contracts 2 a bit of freedom in how to handle the targets in-game as well as random enemies. The player can pick off enemies one by one, risking detection as they notice their comrades dropping like flies or they can choose to ignore them altogether, relying on stealth. The player can even forego the rifle and stealth kill with a melee weapon, not before interrogating the enemy for sensitive information that could help Raven reach his targets easier.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 gameplay 2
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Break Out The Ruler And Protractor To Line That One Shot

The sniping mechanic is also realistic compared to other games like it, taking into account bullet gravity, wind speed, and wind direction, forcing players to align their aim for the perfect shot. Unless if it’s a specific kind of bullet, players will need to aim, ranging from radically altering their alignment depending on the distance of the target, to adjusting the density of the wind. Aiming straight at the target’s head will usually cause the shot to miss and potentially give away Raven’s position.

The graphics, for a game of this nature, are surprisingly crisp and realistic. Detail is shown in the animations specifically as landing a lethal shot on a target will net the player with a cool animation, complete with a close-up of the bullet as it scalps through the opponent’s head, damn near decapitating them. The animations are gory, with the option to limit the gore in the options, but they are satisfying to watch for the first handful of times. As someone who grew up with Mortal Kombat, I’ve seen worse.

SGWC 2 headshot
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Contract 2’s Gore Leaves Little To The Imagination

Sometimes, interacting with corpses can be a bit of an issue as I have to align myself perfectly to gain the option to loot from a corpse. If I’m even slightly off-axis, I have to find myself moving around like an idiot just for the prompt to show. This also goes for taking enemy weapons as the player can use a wide range of firearms including shotguns, assault rifles, and hand pistols as secondary weapons. 

The story is a typical “stop up and coming warlord in ‘Anytown, Middle East’ from rising in a seat of power” Call of Duty drawl and it’s obvious that the story is not the focal point. The communications and Raven’s relationship are not as intimate as Diana and Agent 47’s either, so players wishing to hear chemistry between Raven and his contractor will be disappointed. Perhaps it’s for the best as Raven isn’t much of a talker, opting to use his actions to speak rather than wise-cracking jokes.

SGWC 2 Headshot
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 - PlayStation 5 Direct Capture

Well Optimized On The PS5, Less Optimized Elsewhere

The haptic feedback capabilities of the controller also translate to the pull of the rifle as well, with triggers locking at the half-press and adjusting to full press depending on if a gun is aimed or if it’s on safety. These tiny bits of realistic details add to the immersion, as most games that properly use the haptic feedback of the DualSense tend to do. Overall Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is an interesting game by itself, opting for the player to strategically handle targets and the opposition rather than going into firefights. 

As this is a part of a long-running series, for veterans I’m certain is more of the same. For those like myself who aren’t too deep in the first-person shooting genre, it was a pleasant surprise although something I feel can wear out its welcome over time with its repetitive gameplay.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is available on the PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

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