The Sniper Elite series is a series that has been met with quite the critical acclaim. The first three have gone down well with fans and press alike, and the excitement for Sniper Elite 4 has escalated in the last couple of months. Before I give you my overall verdict, I am going to admit something to you. I have never, yes never, touched a Sniper Elite game. I’ve heard good, no great things about the series but never really got involved as such. Shooters are not my favourite genre. However, Sniper Elite 4 come into my thoughts too much for me to stay away from this latest iteration. My god was I glad I finally got involved in the series….

Yup, I’ll say it outright now. Sniper Elite 4 is absolutely brilliant. I’ve spent numerous hours on the game now and it honestly one of the best shooters that I have played, in terms of having complete strategic control and freedom to complete missions however you see fit. Want to go through the whole campaign as a stealthy rogue? Maybe you want to go in like a mad man and cause havoc everywhere? Sniper Elite 4 allows for all types of play styles, not limiting you to a single one at any time.

The first thing that you’ll notice when playing Sniper Elite 4 is how gorgeous the game looks. The team at Rebellion have truly done a fantastic job in embracing the power of the PlayStation 4. The missions that I have played through look absolutely stunning. Forests, outposts, cities and towns all are a sight to behold. The amount of times that I just took a screenshot of the background or the sea at the back of me is unreal, but that was how much I appreciated the graphics. On a side-note, the game also supports the PlayStation 4 Pro, so those with a 4K TV will benefit even more from the power of Sniper Elite 4.

One thing that I was worried about not benefiting enough from was the story. From research before playing, the story in Sniper Elite 4 is set straight after the events of Sniper Elite III in 1943. You take on the role of Karl Fairburne, an Office of Strategic Services agent, with the campaign setting out for you to help the Italian resistance against the Nazis. To be honest, I may go back and play the first Sniper Elite games to get a better understanding of the back story as I didn’t really connect with the story as much as I would have hoped. However, that indeed could have been due to me being a novice of the series and I am sure Sniper Elite veterans will more than love the story that the 4th installment puts in front of them. Hey, the story allowed me to kill more than a few Nazis so I’m more than cool with that….

On to what really excited me about Sniper Elite 4, and what will keep me coming back time and time again in the future; the gameplay. Everything I wanted to do, I was allowed to do it. It was like the game puts a map (which is absolutely massive for each mission) in front of me and just said: “Hey, do what the hell you like, just make sure you end up here at the end of it…..”. If like me you are a little worried about getting to grips with the game, there is a tutorial of sorts, whilst small, does let you get to grips with the main control scheme of the game.

Before each mission, you are allowed to edit your armoury of which you will take into the battlefield. I tended to stick with the default which always gives me the range of weapons I needed. A Sniper Rifle, a Shotgun and my trusted pistol. You also get handed a couple of medkits and bandages for when the enemies DO hunt you down and shoot at you. I have emphasised the word ‘do’ there because 9 times out of 10 in Sniper Elite 4, you will find yourself in a shit load of trouble, with your skills the only way out. One disappointment I did have was that missions did get quite repetitive after a little bit. The outcome may be different, but the means always seemed to the same at points.

Kill Cam, the best feature I have seen in Sniper Elite 4, period! This isn’t any normal Call of Duty or Battlefield kill cam. Oh no way, this is Kill Cam with detail! Get a headshot with the Sniper Rifle, you’ll see in slow motion, the bullet travel, enter his head and go through his brain, literally! It really is so awesome to see. I’ve managed to get 2 kills in one, bust someone’s rib cage open, destroy a liver and kill a soldier right through his lungs. I’m a good person, though, really I am. Honest…..

I tended to try the stealth approach for the most part. Binoculars were key in me tagging my enemies, which in turn left them open for a long range kill with the sniper rifle. One thing is for certain, do not under-estimate your opponents. I put the game on ‘Easy’ mode due to being….. yes a noob I get it…. but even then, the AI’s overall intelligence was better than I could have ever expected to see. Make sure you also tag structure weak points, or vehicle weak points with your binoculars, as they will be very handy when trying to deal with multiple enemies at once.

Sadly, I’ve not had the chance to have a proper go online as of yet. All of my searches for any types of games ended with no results. I will, of course, be trying this again once the game is out on Tuesday as there are some fantastic looking modes that I want to try out. Survive looks amazing, letting you and your opponents survive countless waves (I hope my allies are good!) as well as the ability to play the whole campaign with a friend online. The fact that the maps are so big will allow for some brilliant online missions, as maps can be split up between you and your friend.

Sniper Elite 4 is available on February 14th for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam

A PlayStation 4 Review code was provided by Rebellion.