The Sniper Elite series has been going strong for close to 17 years now. While the core gameplay loop has remained the same, there were lots of revisions over the years. For example, Sniper Elite V2 introduced the now-famous X-Ray Kill Cam. Can you even imagine Sniper Elite without it?
Sniper Elite 3 and especially Sniper Elite 4 expanded the size and verticality of each of the game worlds. Now that Sniper Elite 5 has arrived, this raises the question: What has been changed or remained the same this time? What are the things that only players of the previous games will notice?
10 Weapon Customization
What is new in Sniper Elite 5 is the ability to customize your weapons. You can change various parts of a weapon such as a scope, magazine, receiver, barrel, and stock. Each of these modifications comes with both positive and negative effects.
You can see the stats of your weapon at a glance, with power, rate of fire, control, and mobility being the four most important ones. However, you can also expand each of these, to see even more in-depth stats such as vertical recoil, reload time, or time to aim.
9 Ammunition And Equipment Changes
While previous Sniper Elite games already included suppressed ammunition, Sniper Elite 5 comes with new types such as armor-piercing rounds and even non-lethal bullets (more on that later).
There is also content that has been removed. The so-called 'S-mines' and 'trip mines' are no longer present in the game, making it more difficult to protect your sniping location.
8 More Detailed Maps
While Sniper Elite 4 already featured some interesting and highly-detailed maps such as Regilino Viaduct, Sniper Elite 5 takes this up a notch.
There is a lot more variety, a lot more detail, and much cleaner graphics to boot. The best showcase of this is the map based on Mont-Saint-Michel. It is stunning to approach the fortress island and realize that you can go up there. Just like visiting the island in real life.
7 New Invasion Mode
An entirely new mode for the series is called Invasion Mode. This allows other players to enter your campaign at any time as a hostile sniper. Needless to say, this adds a lot of tension to your campaign, so this may not be for everyone. You will get a notification once someone joins though, so at least you will be forewarned when to be especially careful.
Of course, you can also play as the invader yourself, and simply have fun invading other players' games and trying to defeat them. The additional experience points and unlockable items certainly make it worth it. You can even invade co-op games, which means you will be facing two player-controlled snipers.
6 X-Ray Kill Cam Changes
Sniper Elite 5 keeps refining the famous X-Ray Kill Cam. For the first time, submachine guns and pistols can also trigger this slow-motion camera, provided that you hit a vital organ of an enemy. The visuals and sound effects of the kill cam are also better (and gorier) than ever.
In addition, killing someone with a melee attack can now trigger a slow-motion camera. Altogether, the Hollywood factor of Sniper Elite has been ramped up, without losing any of its challenges. If you wish, you can now play this game as a James Bond or Solid Snake lookalike, rather than a sniper.
5 You Can Unlock New Starting Locations
A great new feature, possibly inspired by the Hitman games, is that you can now unlock new starting locations for each of the maps. This significantly improves the replay value of this game. It incentivizes you to replay levels and try them again with a completely different approach.
The new traversal options such as zip lines make this even more varied and fun. Like in Hitman, it is now possible to replay a mission and approach it completely differently.
4 The Expanded Skill Point System
While Sniper Elite 4 featured a bare-bones skill system, in Sniper Elite 5, a more sensible system is in place. There are now three skill trees: Combat, Equipment, and Body.
Improving your combat skills can allow you to improve your weapon handling, equipment will allow you to carry and scavenge more items, and body will increase your survivability and endurance.
3 You Cannot Change Reticles
While Sniper Elite 5 has a lot more customization options in general, there is one area where its predecessor offered more: scope reticles. In Sniper Elite 4, you could choose your favorite reticle independent of the weapon that you were using.
In Sniper Elite 5 though, reticles are based on your scope. While this may be more realistic, it is still a bit of customization freedom that is now lost.
2 You Can Now Aim In First-Person
Of course, the sniping in Sniper Elite has always been in first-person mode. What is new is that you can also aim weapons with iron sights in first-person. This applies to your submachine guns as well as your rifles. There is even an achievement called Out of Scope that you get for killing 150 enemies with a rifle while in iron sights.
So, if sniping where you have to take into account noise, wind, and gravity is not enough of a challenge for you, you can now make it even more complicated by ditching the scope and using iron sights. Good luck with the pixel-hunting.
1 You Now Have Non-Lethal Options
In a game series that is all about sniping enemies, it may be surprising that Sniper Elite 5 has added non-lethal options. You can use stealth knockdowns, non-lethal ammo, and even non-lethal mines.
The game even rewards you for using these tools, by giving you bonus experience for not killings your enemies. While this may be a somewhat controversial addition, you are not forced to use it, and having the option does add some variety to the game for those who are interested in it.
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