Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts - Sorry about the last one

Wait for deep deep sale, but its fun!

All four of the Ghost Warrior games were released on GOG today (well, Friday actually), and everything is pretty deeply discounted except Contracts, which is only 10% off.

If you buy Contracts ($26.99), you get Ghost Warrior 2 for free ($3.99 separately on sale). The first game in the series is $1.79 and includes the DLC. Ghost Warrior 3 Gold Edition is $8.74.

And “Sniper Ghost Warrior: Contracts” has shot to #1 on GOG’s sales chart.
I’ve got it installed now, but the gf is here and wants to do something besides watching me play a game.

Finally got a chance to fire this up tonight.

First impressions:
It feels pretty good, control-wise, and runs nicely.
It’s not graphically stunning™ , but looks good.

I am appreciating the “Thief”-like sneaking around you can do. I was surprised at how I can throw a rock for a distraction to break up a group of bad guys, and then sneak up behind one and take him out with a knife to the neck. Then, quickly, before his partner returns, pick up the body and move it into tall grass (which actually does work for cover), and then loot for ammo, etc.

Now we’ve seen this kind of thing before of course, but I was surprised to see it work so well in a Ghost Warrior game. I could easily see myself falling into this sort of Thief-y gameplay for the rest of the game, except for one thing: No manual saves. Checkpoint only. I’m afraid I’m not patient enough to replay entire sections of a game when I am discovered/killed. Not sure how well running away would work (like you could do in Thief), but being that the enemy usually has an automatic weapon, I am doubtful. Anyway, yeah, a quick-save or even just a manual save would have helped a lot.

I’ve only just begun the game, but so far it is just slightly better than I had hoped.

I’m also having a good time with this. Enjoy the sneaking, how you can kill up close without too many problems, and sniping from multiple vantage points to take out enemies from afar. There are lots of fuel barrels to explode and once you down an enemy, you can pick up grenades and other weapons that you don’t have with you.

I also like that in each map area, there are a large number of objectives and many special challenge objectives to try and complete…so you can spend a lot of time in one area and not just kill the bad guy and move on.

The only issue I’ve had is when you are doing an animation for healing or hacking, an enemy can attack you and so far I cannot figure out how to get out of the full animation…so I got killed once while hacking and getting shot 4-5 times.

Other than that, I’m on the PS4 and have not noticed any slow down or bugs but have only spent 3 hours or so in the game. Didn’t think I’d like this but so far, really enjoy it.

Hey, good to see I’m not all alone playing this game!

Anyway, yeah, still enjoying it. CI Games has seeming finally found the right gameplay balance that works for them. I’ve been a fan of CI since the beginning, going back to their early days as City Interactive. I can’t remember the first game I ever bought from them (probably “Code of Honor: The French Foreign Legion” or something like that from the early to mid 2000’s), but firing up one of their games always gave me a thrill of anticipation, because the quality would be so unpredictable from title to title. They didn’t develop every single title they published, but their dev houses did do most of them.

Anyway, one of their strengths has always been level design, believe it or not. I get into arguments all the time about that, so I’ll just qualify that statement by saying that for me, the level design has always been one of their high points. Is it triple-A quality? Certainly not. But for budget titles, it’s generally very good with a few exceptions. One of those negative exceptions IIRC is “Armed Forces Corp.” or any other game that they set entirely inside a building. Those are awful.

But I really enjoyed “Enemy Front” (2014), and next to the Ghost Warrior series, it’s probably my favorite CI game, mostly due to its sense of place and atmosphere.

Which brings me back to “Contracts”, which I think also (so far - I’m only on the first big mission) gets the level design just right. Multiple paths are very cool, as are the atmosphere and landscapes. When I get to a facility, I find that they are fun to sneak up on, tag all the enemies I can from various points, and then take them out silently by patiently waiting until they are alone. The ones that are never alone, I leave for an up-close encounter once I’m inside the complex. I don’t worry too much about tagging every single enemy, since it’s kind of fun to be surprised later on.

And I will always appreciate the games (rare these days) that do not re-spawn enemies. They are all right there when you arrive, and once you kill them, no more enemies pop in to artificially make things more difficult.

That said, I would have really appreciated the ability to remove all of the sniping aids, because as it is now, even on the highest difficulty, the sniping is far too easy. Using all of the tools they place on the screen by default, you always know exactly where the bullet will land. Hmm. Just thinking about it now, I suppose I could make those features useless by not tagging anyone, which would then not provide the computer with an accurate distance reading. My point though is that I liked it just fine in the previous games, where all of the sniping aids could be turned off, forcing me to estimate a calculation of all of those factors for every single shot. And when I’d land one of those shots, my god, that was so satisfying!

You can cheese the save points by simply going back to a previous point. Sometimes this works, and sometimes not, but it usually works, so the lack of a manual save has been bothering me a lot less. I’m playing the PC version, so I don’t know if this would work on a console.

Also with regard to cheesing the save points, if you have spent a ton of time trying to clear an area from a distance, only to inadvertently take someone out who is going to be discovered sooner or later, resulting in all of those damn sirens going off endlessly, you can just wander out into the open then and get killed (or simply exit the game and reload the last save point). Coming back into that save point, you will find the alarms have been reset and the alertness of the remaining enemies will have been reset to normal. This will be true even if you had triggered a save point after the alarms have been triggered.

The purist in me finds that to be unacceptable, however after having had to play entire half-hour (or longer) sections repeatedly due to a dumb error on my part, the ability to cheese the save system has been appreciated by me, I’m ashamed to admit. I justify it on the grounds that they did not include a proper save system.

Now on to an amusing observation: Normally, when you kill someone and don’t hide the body (common in most sniping situations, which is why it is important to spend time studying patrol routes), when the body is finally discovered, the discoverer will shout the same line every time: “We’ve got a dead body here!”

Tonight I came upon two guards standing face to face and conversing like they’re buddies about some absolutely inane topic. This ain’t like “Thief,” where the conversations can be highly useful or entertaining. The trouble was that all three of us were in a pretty enclosed area, so tossing a pebble would only bring one or both of them closer to me, and cutting the throat of one would result in my getting killed immediately by the other.

So I chose to snipe the first one (normally would have used the pistol, but the sniper rifle is the only firearm equipped with a silencer). He went down. While I was chambering the next round, the other guy shouts, “We’ve got a dead body here!”

So yeah, this game could certainly have used a lot more polish. But it’s still pretty enjoyable if you’re in the mood for a light sniper game, and I think they priced it right at $30.

Finished “Altai Mountains.”
Completed 4 out of 5 contracts.
71 kills with 62 headshots.
Longest killshot: 200 meters
5 hours 12 seconds
216,932 reward
58% level completion, although I don’t know what would be required to 100% it. I suppose maybe doing some of challenges may have helped; I only managed one of them, which was 20 headshots.

I will say that getting all the collectibles was fun. They are cleverly hidden, generally in plain sight. The map will get you close, but it’s not exact.

Developer pleased with sales, 2nd Contracts game in the works.

Just got the PR on the sequel. It’s official.

Nice, I will get around to Contracts 1 eventually. Imho their games seem more accurately priced when they are half off. :P

13 euros on humble bundle. I ended up liking sgw3 quite a bit so…tempted.

I finally bit the bullet, can’t wait to dive in.

How did it go @BrianRubin

I see this is $12 beans at Fanatical for the next 15 hours .

I did the training twice and can’t hit anything.

It’s been a while for me, but IIRC, I had trouble with the training as well, and it was because they had gone and completely re-done the sniping interface, which in my mind was totally unnecessary and needlessly confusing.

Is this the trouble you’re having, or something else?
Because it’s really intuitive once you figure out where they’re coming from with it.

I actually finished this one, got it from the bundle.

I did not like it as much as SGW3 though. Maybe it was me being kinda fed up with this type of gameplay, but I was glad when it ended. On one hand, unique missions, on the other…wonky checkpointing, weird AI…

I’ve actually never played any of these games before. I just need more training I think.

1 million units sold.

Holy shit. That’s like…really soon.
I’d better try and finish the last one. Hard to believe it’s been well over a year. Still, that doesn’t seem like nearly enough development time for a developer like this to create a decent game. Unless of course they just copy the template from the last game and just build some new levels. That might work well enough to keep me happy, although I’d like to see them experiment a bit more.

I mean personally, of all the games in this series, my favorite of them all has still got to be the first one. It had its problems, but I had so much fun with it that I finished it twice. They got most things right with that one.

After that, GW2 takes second place, mostly because they committed the unpardonable sin of occasionally rooting you down to one sniping spot. Otherwise, I’d have that game tied with the first one.