Sniper Elite VR
Sniper Elite VR Images:
Sniper Elite VR delivers a meaty campaign, authentic weapon handling and impressive audiovisuals to create a solid FPS experience.
Whilst it might not break any new ground for the genre, it does do a good job at putting you in the shoes of a WW2 sniper, and for that, it's earned a position as one of the better shooters for the Quest.
I'm knelt behind debris and can hear soldiers shouting in the distance. I've been spotted. I frantically load a bullet into my sniper rifle and pull back the lever which makes a satisfying 'click-clack' sound. The shouts are getting closer.
I take one final moment to steel myself and pop my head out to quickly scan the battle field. A solider has broken cover and is coming straight for me guns blazing, I have seconds to make my shot. I line up the scope and literally hold my breath to keep the rifle steady, then squeeze the trigger.
The bullet connects and takes me into the game's trademark x-ray kill cam view showing the soldiers insides as the bullet obliterates his skull in a gruesome but satisfying explosion.
It's moments like these that make Sniper Elite VR a solid entry into the Quest's FPS library.
The fast-paced and intense firefights amidst the war-torn landscape will get your blood racing. The gameplay is simple and reminiscent of games like Medal Of Honor.
At its heart, Sniper Elite VR is a standard shooter with a basic story and linear level design.
A basic shooter with linear levels and a run-of-the-mill story, that's bad, right!? Well, yes and no, it all comes down to expectations.
If you're like me you are probably more interested in the action than the story when it comes to a game like this. And whilst levels are linear, the level design is quite good and gameplay reasonably varied.
For example, there are different types of missions, in some you will be staying mostly stationary and acting as a sniper, in others you will need to be stealthy, whilst other missions will require you to be a bit more Rambo in your approach.
There is also a range of satisfying and authentic weaponry to choose from that will help you mix it up when it comes to the combat. The realistic mechanics of the sniper rifles in particular make them feel great to handle and add immensely to the enjoyment of picking off the enemy.
Another fun part of the game was trying to complete all objectives in the level or trying to beat your score on a stage to get a good rank on the global leaderboard.
Still, Sniper Elite can get a little repetitive with it's similar environments and enemies. There is also the occasional dumb AI move or glitchy item that you try to use in the midst of a gunfight only to have it not respond or do something weird leading to your instant demise.
There is also the issue of the unrealistic melee combat which isn't on par with the authenticity and quality of the gun mechanics.
Sniper Elite is definitely up there with the better looking Quest games.
Rebellion have managed to somehow keep things looking sharp and crisp despite environments containing some fairly open areas with large draw distances.
There were some questionable textures here or there but overall, the visuals hold up quite nicely and do a great job at drawing you into the chaotic and gritty war-torn world.
The sounds were also of a fairly high quality along with the visuals.
Explosions and gunshots sound as loud and as deadly as you would expect, and weapons make a satisfying 'click clack' whenever you lock and load.
The voice acting of the protagonist and Nazi soldiers were also on point, without a dodgy accent to be heard. There is also an appropriate soundtrack to match the pacing of the gameplay.
Sniper Elite is a game set in world war 2 where you play as an Italian Partisan protecting your homeland from Facist forces.
The story certainly isn't the most memorable thing in this game which is fortunate as a deep and engaging story is not really needed but it would have been welcome. Instead, we get a light narrative inserted between the different stages which ties things together but doesn't do much else.
The single player campaign focuses on 18 replayable missions that will take about 6 hours to complete (or more) depending on the difficulty and your ability.
The campaign also feels like a legitimate campaign made up of thoughtfully designed levels and objectives. In other words, it doesn't feel like a wave shooter dressed up to be something more than it is.
Depending on the stage you may be tasked with taking enemies out on the quiet, covering an ally or clearing an area.
In an attempt to expand the gameplay, levels require you to earn stars to unlock them. Stars are earned by completing varied objectives during a level. For example, to earn a star you may need to complete a level under a certain time or to get five enemy kills using grenades.
This will mean that you will probably need to revisit some of the prior levels to get the stars you need to progress.
I didn't mind revisiting some of these prior missions, particularly since I got to play these older stages with some of the newer weaponry I had unlocked.
There is also different difficulty settings that offer more replay value if you play on one of the easier difficulty settings first time around. Added to this are the competitive global leader boards where you can see how your score on each stage compares to others. There are also hidden items and artifacts in each level which adds a bit more padding to the game.
Whilst the settings, missions and enemies can become a bit monotonous after a time, I felt I got a good amount of gameplay from Sniper Elite VR before it started getting too samey.
Some of the most immersive elements of Sniper Elite VR were the weapons. It was a joy to lock and load the different rifles, SMGs and shotguns throughout the game.
Shooting also felt authentic. For example the machine guns became unstable and jittery if the trigger was held down too long, and good luck hitting anything if you try shooting them using just one hand!
There are other parts of the game with impressive attention to detail such as the large black area which would appear in your sights if your eye and sniper scope were misaligned. Similarly, lining up a sniper shot and literally needing to hold your breath to stabilise your shot before pulling the trigger all lent itself to the feeling of authenticity.
Equally however, there were some elements that worked to break this immersion.
There was also the odd moment where the screen went black to say I was out of bounds when it wasn't the case. Other glitches happened sometimes when picking up an item or trying to store something on my belt. Thankfully, these glitches seemed to be the exception.
The way the game was broken down into levels, taking you back to a kind of menu screen after each one, also broke the continuity of the experience.
Despite these issues, the great audiovisuals and the (mostly) realistic gameplay mechanics still made for an immersive quality VR experience.
Motion Options: 9.5
I played with smooth locomotion and no comfort options enabled throughout the entire campaign without motion sickness being an issue. There is also the option of smooth or snap turning depending on your preference.
For players who are more susceptible to VR motion sickness than myself, the game does include blinders that can be adjusted in strength.
There is also a teleport locomotion option which I found to be very comfortable but so slow that it sucked a lot of the enjoyment from the game.
Sniper Elite VR can be quite physical as you will be moving to duck behind cover, picking up items and manually reloading your weapons. However, there is an artificial crouch option and you can 'force-grab' items which eliminates the need to duck and bend down. It also includes an option to automatically reload the gun so manual reloading no longer becomes an issue.
So there are plenty of options here to tweak in order to get the game to where it's comfortable for you.
Learning Curve: 9
Sniper Elite does a great job at easing you into the action with an in-game tutorial. Even when you are further into the game, any new and unfamiliar weapons or items are clearly explained.
Sniper Elite VR also offers the kind of straightforward gameplay that doesn't need too much explaining so I would expect most players will be up and gunning in a matter of minutes.
Value for Money: 8
Sniper Elite VR will set you back $29.99 and for that you get a fun and polished shooter with fair amount of content.
Sniper Elite VR
Summary: Using stealth, authentic weaponry, and your skilled marksmanship as an elite sniper, fight for the Italian Resistance in this exhilarating first-person shooter.
Game Modes: Single User
Genres: Action, Shooter
Platforms: Oculus Quest
Release Date: July 9, 2021
Version Reviewed: 1.0