Test – Sniper Elite 5 – The Desert Shadow is back | Xbox One

At the beginning of the release of its fifth episode, we no longer present the Sniper Elite saga. Rebellion’s infiltration title draws its return after five years of absence and immerses us again in a sniper’s shoe in the heart of World War II. As a reminder, Sniper Elite 5 will be available on May 26, 2022 on PC via Steam and Windows Store, PS4 / 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S and will also benefit from an immediate release in Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass …

Operation Kraken

After a passage in Africa or even more recently in Italy, we take this time to France in 1944 just before D-Day and the famous landings of Normandy. Always in the form of the sniper Karl Fairburne, also called The Shadow of the Desert, our mission will be to thwart Operation Kraken and neutralize its mastermind, Abelard Möller.

Without being a work of art, the proposed scenario holds up and takes us to several regions of France and even to the British Isles of Guernsey. Count about ten hours to complete the campaign more or less in a straight line, and a few extra hours to recover all collectibles and reach all the secondary objectives. The various missions retain the format already adopted in previous episodes of the license, namely a large map where main and secondary objectives are arranged. These playgrounds, which are more or less large, all offer different landscapes and a completely unique atmosphere. If the first region did not inspire us much, on the other hand, we really appreciated the Château de Beauregard or the verticality of the island of Beaumont-Saint-Denis.

Overall, the level design of the places is a success and offers very interesting things. It allows for many different approaches and ways to reach a goal, through discrete or discrete means. Tall grass, high vantage points or a number of exploratory buildings, our sniper is spoiled for choice and also has a hell of an arsenal to carry out his mission.

One-man army

This is not new in the license, Karl is not only equipped with a sniper rifle. He also has a submachine gun, a handgun and a host of gadgets, including first aid kits, mines (personal or anti-vehicles) or grenades. This package can be customized before each mission and in the available workshops at each level (you must find them in advance). On the other hand, a little news not least, you can now customize your weapons by changing the accessories (barrel, bezel, handle, etc.). Each part will have its advantages and disadvantages in handling the weapon, making it possible to adapt it to its way of playing.

Note that it is also possible to retrieve enemy weapons or retrieve ammunition. The latter will also be a valuable resource, as Möller’s forces can be numerous in the event of an alarm being triggered.

In addition to his package, you can also award skill points in three different trees, so you can, for example, benefit from more life, being able to carry more equipment, holding your breath longer. For this it is necessary to level up by regaining experience. This is achieved by validating targets or by killing enemies (the size of the reward varies depending on the method used).

Before talking to you about the gameplay, it is important to talk about the level of difficulty and especially its customization, as this can have a direct impact on the way you play. The difficulty level is adjusted according to two scales, either globally, by choosing between several levels (very easy, easy, normal, etc.), or by adapting the different aspects of the gameplay. Thus, for example, we have the free time to adjust independently, the aiming system, the level of AI or regeneration of health. The most important and influential is the aiming system. In fact, if we withdraw all the aids, it will be necessary to take into account the wind, the distance and the fall of the ball to hit its target. While in lower difficulty, these notions will not be present and a simple marker will turn red to signal that the target will be hit.

Everyone will find their account and we can only welcome the developers’ efforts to offer these accessibility options.

A faint odor of milk balls

No big revolution, the sniper rifle gameplay is still as good as in previous games. The X-Ray Killcam is still as satisfying as ever, especially since it’s also shooting with the other weapon types now. It has also been adjusted to be even more realistic. In fact, the trajectory of the ball at the end of the body is directly affected by the bones or organs that it will encounter.

Unfortunately, despite the very good level design, the title Rebellion shows its age in terms of technique and animations. Our movements remain very stiff, especially when we open doors, use ladders or change position (standing / sitting / lying down). Although the levels are large, they are filled with invisible walls and we encountered a few collision faults that stuck us in the landscape. Finally, if the game visually manages to offer us some beautiful panoramas, it still shows a lot of delay and does not really flatter the retina (especially the faces). Hard besides noting a true development with the previous opus of the license at this point. It’s a shame, no doubt that with a slightly larger budget, the Sniper Elite 5 could get rid of these technical glitches.

Stealth games require the question of the level of the opposite AI to be asked. Half fig half grape, we do not escape some grotesque situations during the infiltration phases. Yes, at times we can almost face an enemy without the latter noticing, but in other cases we will be spotted more than 100 m away while shrubs and other plants separate us. Also note that the enemies still do not ask questions about their colleagues lying on the ground once the alarm and the alarm is turned on. On the other hand, during the preparedness phases, we were pleasantly surprised to find formidable enemy forces, without hesitation to circumvent ourselves intelligently, while others continued to suppress fire.

With more, the party is more crazy

The promotion can be played solo, and the promotion can also be played with a friend (online only). Everything works quite well, it is possible to share ammunition and items, revive each other or place markers to signal a point of interest. Unfortunately, this last option is not available once the eye is in binoculars. It’s a shame, because suddenly the game lacks a real coordination opportunity, forcing the two players to try to describe to the other which enemy they want to kill and systematically count down to coordinate. We’ve also seen a couple of issues where player 2 had a black screen during intermediate sequences, but the issue should be resolved quickly by the developer teams.

Just like in the previous section, the Sniper Elite 5 offers a survival mode where you will have to withstand waves of opponents. The game also gives us a Versus mode for clashes with up to 16 players. This last mode is divided into several types, including the classic All for itself and Match for team, Squad match, where players are divided into 4 teams of 4 and a final, unique for the franchise, where the two teams compete on long distance. while they are separated by an impenetrable barrier. Like competing games, multiplayer allows you to level up, customize your weapon class, your skills, or even the appearance of your character.

But that’s not all. For the first time in the license, the Sniper Elite 5 also brings Invasion mode. Here, a player plays as an Axis sniper and infiltrates another player’s campaign. His goal then is to find the player who is playing Karl and eliminate him, and vice versa for the other player. Then follows a real game with cat and mouse, where the ingenuity of the level design becomes even more important with the many places to place yourself. Both players can use phones located anywhere on each card to get information about the other’s position, but be careful not to misuse it will also reveal our position. Similarly, if the invaded player is detected by the game’s AI, the attacker will also be notified. If this option can be disabled at any time in order to enjoy the campaign quietly, we can not advise you to leave it active as it adds some exciting excitement as soon as we are tracked. In return, if invasion is allowed, the reward of experience increases. To the attacker, each defeated player provides new weapons and clothing for subsequent invasions.

Tested on Xbox Series X (optimized).

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