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E3 2010: Venturing Outside The City With CITY Interactive



June 24, 2010
- My first meeting of day three was with City Interactive. Their list of titles is incredibly varied and ranges from murder mystery puzzle solvers to first person chicken hunting action!

Today I met with them to discus Sniper: Ghost Warrior and also get some brief hands on time with Combat Wings: Battle for Britain.

Combat Wings was unfortunately brief but it seemed your typical mid-air dog fighting game. The controls were a bit sloppy- especially since they relied solely on the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii Nunchuk. The environments were relatively last gen, but the amusing dialogue between your wingmen was pretty enjoyable.



As far as first person shooters go, Sniper seemed interesting enough. The graphics were almost on par with other huge FPS titles and it was clear they made better use of the Chrome engine than many other programmers. The game attempts to balance fun and realism and provide and enjoyable challenging sniper experience. The balance of course comes in the fact that a real sniper may have to wait 4 days for a single shot, and this entire game can be beaten in about 9-11 hours.

The game is played by sneaking toward waypoints as they appear on screen. This is accomplished by ducking, walking, crawling, and hiding whenever possible. There is also a handy alertness meter on the screen to let you know when you are getting a bit too noticeable. Unfortunately in my experience the bar is only so useful (especially at closer range) – it may as well be an on/off switch because they either see you or they don’t!

For good or for bad, but unarguably for realism, once spotted, the enemy guards will never forget you are there. There will never be a Solid Snake moment where you leave a pile of corpses in a room, hide in a locker, and 15 seconds later everyone goes back to business as usual.



As you move from waypoint to waypoint, you stealthily take out guards along the way, eventually placing yourself in a position to recover your objective or assassinate the main villain. Unlike the comparable title, Hitman, there really seems to be only one way to beat each mission. If you get caught and try to go guns blazin’ you will be punished mercilessly and slaughtered instantly. Thankfully, to switch up what would otherwise become painfully stale game play, there are varied mission types (16 in all) including a chance to be an assault rifle wielding gunner to blow off some steam, and a strategic spotter that actually tells a sniper who to shoot and when.

From what I saw though, once you figure out what to do, the game is practically over. It could be enjoyable for a playthrough, but once you know the motions to avoid detection and complete objectives there is nothing else to do. No Rambo mode, no alternate puzzle solving methods, just a straight metaphorical path. The difficulty settings just remove the assisted aim dot to show bullet drag and make enemies hit harder and chase more fervently (but trust me, once you get caught even on the lower difficulty, it’s pretty much over!).

All things considered, it was still pretty cool going in to “focus mode” and watching that bullet sail in slow Matrix style motion right into the skull of those decidedly evil men…

Written By: Anthony Cara


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