Sometimes companies hit on brilliant concepts just by combining two things that are excellent in their own right. Reese, to cite the classic example, hit a gold mine with peanut butter and chocolate. Developer Com2Us has pulled off a similar feat with Sniper Vs. Sniper: Online, which combines Where’s Waldo and a murder sim.
Okay, so it’s not the first sniping game in existence (and it’s hardly murder when the guy’s trying to put a hole in your head), but when we’re having this much fun, we’re not worrying over the details.
The basic gameplay goes like this: you’re presented with a wide shot of a very detailed scene, packed full of shadowy places an enemy might hide. Tapping the screen once magnifies the view with binoculars; tapping again zooms in further by switching to your sniper scope. The tapping works brilliantly, and it always zooms exactly where you’re trying to aim.
Once you’re zoomed in, you use tilt controls to further adjust your view. Tilt up, down, left, and right to search for baddies or to sharpen your aim for the hallowed headshot. Unfortunately, tilt aiming in this game is not quite the intuitive experience we wish it was. Don’t get us wrong: it definitely works, and you can become quite good at it. The problem is that sometimes the scope doesn’t move with quite the precision or speed you’d like it to.
Another shortcoming is that there are only six maps for your sniping pleasure. The maps are very well-designed and increase in difficulty at a steady pace, but we would have liked to see more for added replay value.
Not that you’ll be starved for things to do. You can play each map several ways. There’s a campaign mode, which tells a story and has you kill around 30 enemies per level. There’s one-on-one, in which you go several rounds against an AI-controlled sniper until one of your health bars runs out. Lastly, there’s a special mission mode, which has you complete five objectives, such as “destroy all 20 potted plants in 90 seconds.” Completing all special missions on any stage grants you upgraded equipment.
This may sting a bit.
If you run out of missions– which will take several hours and will make a master marksman out of you– online play will be waiting. In this mode you can link up with one person at a time, either against each other or cooperatively against numerous AI enemies. We loved the thrill of one vs. one: the excitement of seeking someone out and blasting them in the head before they can do the same to you is not recommended for the faint of heart. It’s a grand old time. If they had included online deathmatches with multiple people, we would have been in love.
Sniper Vs. Sniper: Online is a tense shooting sim that’ll have you on the edge of your seat as you hunt down scores of distant enemies. It may not be perfect, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Now hop online and find us for some one on one.