Sniper Elite 4 is the latest offering from Rebellion’s WWII 3rd person shooter series, which sees your character dropped off in Italy and left on his own to dispatch a whole army of Nazis armed with his trusty rifle and other various bone shattering weapons.

During the campaign you will be introduced to various other characters and given missions and optional side missions to complete during the levels, but the sole focus is on you and you alone.  The levels are vast and sprawling but you will not be able to go too far without encountering a patrol or a makeshift camp crawling with enemies.

The game looks great and is much brighter than previous games or any other WWII themed shooters.  The buildings and surrounding areas all are well designed and look authentic as do all the character models.  The jumping animation of the titular sniper can look somewhat clunky but there is never too much of a requirement to be leaping throughout the levels so it doesn’t take away from the aesthetic.

The gameplay remains constant pretty much throughout the whole game – Go here, Collect this and Kill these and repeat.  Despite your goals being repetitive, the game gives you enough freedom to choose how you go about achieving them so each kill can be different to the next.

There is the option to “go loud” and attack with machine guns and rocket launchers which will alert any enemies in the area and lead to a messy but exciting gunfight which will see you outnumbered and outgunned.

However, Sniper Elite by it’s very name indicates that the focus SHOULD rely on stealth and using your surroundings to help you remain undetected – picking off your targets one-by-one as your progress.  This approach lends to a more realistic and satisfying experience, eliciting feelings of achievement but conversely causing moments of real tension when your position has been compromised and scores of Nazi’s are closing in on your location.  Looking through the scope, taking into account the distance, the wind speed and even how the bullet will react to gravity and then firing the perfect shot may sound like a chore, but it is immensely satisfying.

This franchise has become synonymous for its gloriously gruesome kill-cams.  These are triggered pretty much each time you execute a clean shot and will track your bullet’s journey from the barrel of your rifle, through bone and vital organs, before exiting your target in a slow motion, blood-splattered, orgy of violence.  The satisfaction of watching a Nazi soldier’s testicle explode due to a bullet shot from a 400 yards away, is something I never thought I’d ever have to describe, but it’s tremendous.

There are plenty of other ways to cause the demise of the German soldiers in Sniper Elite 4; shooting petrol tanks on moving vehicles, booby trapping the bodies of soldiers you have killed and leaving them in eye-shot of a patrolling guard, firing at winches causing rubble to crush the people below and many, many more.  This is something that ensures that the game remains fresh throughout the campaign.

Another great feature is the fact that the campaign can be played in co-op which allows a new layer of tactics to be deployed by you and your partner causing distractions for one another in order to get that perfect vantage point to make that perfect shot.  It also has a “survival” mode which sees you and your partner battle wave upon wave of enemies to see just how long you can last.

The multiplayer games can be frustrating depending on the type of players you are up against.  Sniping really only works when your target isn’t aware that he is being hunted so when you are placed in a multiplayer map with 7 other players, you know there is bound to be a cross-hair placed firmly between your eyes and takes away from the experience somewhat.  Some will love it but others will much prefer the single player or campaign modes.

Sniper Elite 4 is certainly the best of the series so far and I can highly recommend it to anyone who is a stealth fan, a shooter fan, or people who just enjoy watching organs being shredded by ballistic weapons in a graphic manner.