The Sniper Elite series has earned a strong reputation as of late with its easy-to-play format and iconic “bullet time” deaths introducing players to a new way to take down Nazis during WWII conflicts. With a handful of sequels and plenty of material to work with, the team at Rebellion has now set their sights on virtual reality with Sniper Elite VR. Let’s see just how it stacks up against its non-VR brethren.
Because Rebellion is no stranger to VR after having worked on Battlezone and Arca’s Path, they’ve included a variety of ways to play Sniper Elite VR. During my time with the demo, I had the option to play with either the traditional teleportation method of movement, or a smoother approach with the PS Aim Controller’s analog sticks.
Calibrating your gun on the fly is a breeze too, and should definitely come in handy. Unfortunately, the demo units available at PAX East suffered from some very poor tracking, which was explained away as the bad lighting in the convention center. It’ll be something to watch out for when the game launches later this year, but did seem more like a PAX East specific issue, thankfully. We didn’t have those problems when trying the game at E3 2019.
The level that I got to play at PAX East was a simple one, placing me on a rooftop that was under siege from various Nazi soldiers. In typical Sniper Elite fashion, I had to make my way around the level, taking out enemies until everything was clear. While you’re able to use either the DualShock 4 or the PS Move controllers to play, the demo at PAX East came equipped with a PlayStation Aim Controller, and it seems like the best way to play on PSVR.
When given the option of using the PS Aim Controller, that’s usually the case. It just helps make things feel way more natural. Instead of simply running around and using a controller to aim, you handle the gun in every way including when it comes time to set up a shot on an enemy. Bringing up the gun and staring down the scope isn’t a revolutionary thing in VR, but it does help to further immerse you into the game, and there didn’t seem to be any problems in quickly getting off multiple shots.
The Sniper Elite series has become well-known for its ability to focus in when aiming, allowing players to get a much more accurate shot and also watch exactly how the bullet enters an enemy, with an x-ray style killcam showing just how much damage you do. This function also shows up in Sniper Elite VR, and is incredibly useful, as it helps slow down the action and emphasize the big impacts. The aforementioned x-ray killcam returns, too, but doesn’t have any sort of VR functionality. Instead, it’s just like a watching a quick flat 2D clip of bones and internal organs exploding.
While many might play Sniper Elite simply to take down some Nazis in different ways, there is a storyline that runs through each game. For Sniper Elite VR, there will be a campaign as well, although the exact details of it have yet to be revealed. For those who just want to have fun with the game, though, you’ll be able to replay the missions in order to try and get a better score at the end. Because many of Sniper Elite’s maps are so big as well, you’ll have plenty of time to try and become the best sniper you possibly can be.
Sniper Elite VR will also be launching on PC VR headsets too, although we only got to try it on PSVR at PAX East. If you’ve ever had the chance to check out a more conventional FPS in VR, you’re likely ready to take on Sniper Elite VR when it launches later this year.