Rebellion, the same company behind VR games like Battlezone and Arca’s Path, are back with a VR take on their popular non-VR shooter franchise in the form of Sniper Elite VR. As the name suggests in the Sniper Elite games you play as a sniper that’s armed with a long-range scoped rifle and you must take out enemies from a distance.
Sniper Elite VR was my very first demo appointment of E3 2019 and the team at Rebellion told me that I was the first person outside of the company to ever try the game. Luckily I put on a good show completing the demo level without dying and hitting on 80% of my shots — not too bad!
You can watch the interview above for more insight into the game’s development. My demo was played on a PSVR using the PS Aim Controller, but we’ve been told that the game will be perfectly playable on DualShock 4 or with the PS Move controllers as well. Plus it’s not a PS4 exclusive so it’ll be coming out on Oculus Home, Viveport, and SteamVR as well.
Using the PS Aim Controller in Sniper Elite VR felt great. Actually cradling the back of the peripheral in my shoulder as I aimed down the sights was natural and translated to the game extremely well. All those hours of playing Farpoint and Firewall Zero Hour are starting to pay off.
While the concept of building an entire game around being a sniper could sound a bit boring, that’s not the case at all here. For starters, Rebellion drops you into large maps that encourage you to explore and move around to various vantage points. Sniper Elite VR will offer both smooth stick movement or teleportation if needed, as well as other comfort options. Plus, there’s the iconic slow-motion x-ray vision death cam that the series has become so well-known for.
Sometimes when you get a killshot on an enemy the game will slow down, teleport your view over to the enemy, and show the x-ray vision view of what the bullet looks like entering the body. You can see blood splattering everyone, bones and organs exploding, and just some of the most gruesome visuals that feel incredibly realistic. It might make some people a bit queasy in a VR headset though, so that feature can be turned off if you’d prefer.
I only got to see one short level during my demo since this is an early build, but they’re designing Sniper Elite VR to be a strictly single player experience. Stats at the end were detailed with a ranking system so leaderboards seem likely, as does replayability on missions to get better ratings. It would be nice to see specific secondary challenge objectives as well on each mission, similar to Robo Recall.
Since my demo was only on PSVR I can’t speak to what it feels like to play the game on other platforms, but if you’ve ever held a two-handed gun in a VR game before then you know what to expect here too basically.
As of now there is no release date set for Sniper Elite VR, but it will be coming to PSVR, Rift, Vive, and Windows VR headsets for sure. When prompted, Assistant Head of Design Steve Bristow said a Quest version is being considered for the future as well.
Let us know what you think down in the comments below!