Contract Killer: Sniper

Contract Killer: Sniper is the latest instalment in Glu's Contract Killer series, and I must confess that, even though I wasn't a massive fan of the previous entry, this new one has me intrigued.

I assumed that the focus would be much more on pure sniping, but as I've already seen in my hands-on video, that isn't the case - Killer comes with assault weapons and a base building element too.

How will Contract Killer: Sniper last over a full seven days of scrutinous investigation? What else does the game have up its sleeve? Find out as I play it over the course of a week and report back to you, dear PG readers.

First impressions

So yes, Contract Killer: Sniper is not, as you might expect, all about sniping. But there's sniping to be found.

Within minutes of loading up the game you're firing assault rifles into baddies, and pretty soon you'll start playing with futuristic electric weapons, chucking throwing knives, and shooting LAWs.

Maps reflect the weapon you're using, so where sniper rifle stages are set over large levels, areas where you're firing a machine gun are much more confined and contained.

You can jump from cover to cover, but it only seems to matter in the more close combat-focused scenarios.

So far I'm enjoying myself. Hunting for targets is super fun, the controls are responsive enough to get what you need to do done, and there's a neat slow motion effect that occurs whenever you put the last bullet into an evil-doer.

If there's a downside that's present after just a little while with the game, then it's that the story is already a complete write off - something about a shadowy NGO delivering justice when the law cannot because something something blah blah blah.

It's tripe, and the characters are one-dimensional, but I very much doubt anyone's coming to Contract Killer looking for narrative.

Day 3: Diamonds and guns

As you continue to play Contract Killer: Sniper, you begin to realise just how important your base is for your continued advancement through the game.

Your base gradually mines Diamonds, and these can be used for a number of different things. The first is to purchase specific upgrades for your weapons.

Without these Diamonds you won't be able to pass certain upgrade thresholds which, along with the other currencies in play, will keep you from progressing through the game.

Upgrades are essentially keys to new areas, but even though you may be improving your clip size or fire rate or whatever, you rarely notice the difference.

Perhaps more interesting than this is that Diamonds can also be used to upgrade your base itself. Increasing Diamond output in this manner is a no-brainer, but you should also think about installing better defences too, as other players will attempt to invade your base to steal your precious loot.

You too can go invading, via the asynchronous PvP mode. Here you enter another player's base, have to destroy any opposition, and fight the player in a sniper battle.

It's a cool idea, and though it's not quite as developed as I might like - I'd love to be able to dictate exactly where all my defences are positioned - it's a neat addition that further deepens the core gameplay.

As I enter the final half of my week with Contract Killer: Sniper, I've fought my way out of the USA, taken down area boss Big Mac, and am now starting to explore what Asia has to offer.

Day 7: Seeing sights

Asia really isn't all that different to the US, at least it's not in Contract Killer: Sniper.

The scenery has changed - I'm now fighting in ancient Asian temples and such - but the action and progress within missions has remained the same.

You enter a stage, the first bullet you fire alerts everyone in the area, and you shoot at them until they're dead. Sometimes you go into a new section of that area, but yeah, that's about it.

I don't want Contract Killer: Sniper to suddenly turn into a puzzle game or whatever, but there's no real variation to proceedings.

Thugs hide behind cover, pop out every once in a while, and fire oddly accurate shots at you, even if they're waving an assault rifle at you from half a mile away.

I want these dudes to try and outflank me or change up their tactics.

Maybe I could be shooting from a helicopter and have to deal with an unsteady base of operations? Perhaps I could be in a sinking ship and have a very tight deadline to make it off the vessel while blasting goons?

Contract Killer: Sniper is ultimately unsatisfying in that it never does this, but the process of getting your character to shoot said goons is in itself totally fine.

This sameness is ultimately the issue you'll have to deal with if you plan on playing Contract Killer: Sniper long-term, but if you're just up for an occasional blast, or want something with an action flavour to tide you over for a few days, this will fit the bill.

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Contract Killer: Sniper

Contract Killer: Sniper adds some new elements to the series, and refines on what has come before. This may not be quite enough to stop the game feeling repetitive at times, but it is very welcome, and makes for a fun yet flawed shoot-em-up
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.