Five games in and sniping Nazis still hasn't gotten old. Whether it's a well-placed bullet in the back of the skull, a shot right through the iris of an unaware enemy, or a 200-yard peach that collides with a pair of testicles, Sniper Elite's schlocky long-range action remains gloriously fun. It's in the moments outside of the sniper's scope where the series has previously struggled to compel, but that all changed when Sniper Elite 4 arrived with refined stealth mechanics and massive, open-ended maps. In picking up where that game left off, Sniper Elite 5 doesn't feel quite as revolutionary in comparison, but with some smart new additions and a more ambitious emphasis on player agency and experimentation, this is another thrilling Nazi-hunting adventure where sniping is king.
Once again, you're thrust into the mud-caked boots of American marksman Karl Fairburne, this time deep behind enemy lines in occupied France. Sniper Elite 5 is set in the weeks and days just before, during, and after D-Day, when Allied forces launched a joint sea-based and airborne invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Your initial mission is to covertly disrupt enemy operations in preparation for the French theatre of war, destroying AA guns, disabling communications, blowing up fortified coastal positions, and so on. It doesn't take long, however, before you unearth yet another dastardly Nazi plot that could turn the tide of war, so it's up to Fairburne to put a stop to their plans and save the world from catastrophe.
You'll do this by sniping, blasting, and stabbing your way across various locales in northern France, from a picturesque chateau in the middle of the verdant countryside to the obliterated coastal town of Saint-Nazaire, where the Loire river heads inland. These environments are often gorgeous, especially early on, with the colorful scenery providing a stark contrast to the violent bloodshed happening all around it--bloodshed that most frequently bursts forth from the barrel of a sniper rifle.
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