Sniper Elite 4 ‘Deathstorm Part 1: Inception’ Review – Ice, Ice, Navy

Rebellion /

Can Sniper Elite 4 build on an impressive launch with the first part of its DLC campaign? All signs point to…maybe?

Developer: Rebellion Developments

Publisher: Rebellion Developments

Platform: PlayStation 4 (version reviewed), Xbox One, PC

Release Date: March 21st, 2017

“Deathstorm Part 1: Inception” – which is quite the mouthful for the name of a DLC pack – takes place immediately after the events of Sniper Elite 4’s main game. This isn’t saying much, considering that it’s hard to remember what those events even were (the Germans lost, I remember that much). The point is that Fairburne is a far cry away from the paradisiacal plains of Italy’s southern coastline, having been dropped headfirst into a naval base situated in the chillier climate of the country’s northern region.

Assigned with taking out a German destroyer boat and recovering a package known as Deathstorm, the mini-campaign places a focus on the role of nuclear development during World War II. If you’ve played Sniper Elite 4, however, you’ll know that Rebellion isn’t concerned with telling a touching or poignant war tale, as instead the narrative is designed to do nothing more than to contextualize the playground for killing additional Nazis.

Sniper Elite
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The stark environmental contrast was a good move on Rebellion’s part, as it’s been a good while since we’ve seen Fairburne trudging through ice and snow. The base itself is a recent victim of an allied bombing run, turning the entire place into a boat graveyard that lends an eeriness to the atmosphere. Mechanically speaking, “Inception” doesn’t bring any new ideas to the drawing board; you’ll still be marking enemies, masking your gunfire and enjoying the kill cam as you bullets decimate the various limbs and organs of the patrolling Kriegsmarine soldiers.

But the terrain is tastefully arranged, taking all of the elements taught to you throughout the campaign and bringing them together for a true test of good marksmanship. For those who have already played through the campaign, have unlocked most of Fairburne’s guns and gadgets, and are familiar with more advanced tactics, this also makes “Inception” an extremely fulfilling mission. One is empowered to play about with every gameplay system that Sniper Elite 4 has to offer; from booby traps to suppressed ammunition. There’s even an explosive payoff for completing the main objective, providing the opportunity to unleash carnage on a scale that imitates and then raises the bar for some of Sniper Elite 4’s most ridiculous moments.

It’s certainly one of the more memorable environments to show up in Sniper Elite 4, and considering that the environmental design tends to make or break the quality and replay value of a Sniper Elite mission, this first chapter in Deathstorm is something of a series highlight. And yet, it’s still just one mission, which can be completed within about an hour. Though this is the first chapter in a three-part campaign, the brevity does leave us concerned about the value for money offered by Sniper Elite 4‘s Season Pass, which is priced at the comparatively low but still significant cost of $35.

Sniper Elite
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At least the new multiplayer mode, Elimination, is free to all players, but this also might be a case of adding salt to the wound for Season Pass owners awaiting the rewards for their investment. Elimination is essentially a giant game of dodgeball, except this time you’re firing fatal rounds of shrapnel instead of chucking health and safety-approved foam balls below the shoulder-line. If you die, you become a spectator, but an ally can bring you back in if they manage to kill an enemy player.

This back-and-forth dynamic, wherein even the last man standing still holds a chance of reviving their entire team for a comeback, works surprisingly well as a mode to bulk out the already unique set of multiplayer experiences in Sniper Elite 4. Elimination excels when played out in the new map, Night Woods, which awards players with the cover of darkness for pursuing stealthier, patient tactics as a means of outlasting the enemy.

Ultimately, however, purchasing the priced content itself nets you one mission and a few cosmetic extras, which just isn’t enough for “Deathstorm Part 1: Inception” to really satisfy as a piece of DLC.

6.5. While it’s nice to see that Rebellion is making good on its commitment to free updates and content drops in Sniper Elite 4’s post-launch phase, Part One of Deathstorm doesn’t yet justify going all in the game’s Season Pass, or indeed even buying it separately. That could change in the future, but we’ll just have to wait and see whether Deathstorm turns into something significantly more than the first of its three parts.. Rebellion. . Sniper Elite 4

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.