Jun 7, 2011

Army Sniper

I've enjoyed the idea of sniping in games ever since Unreal Tournament introduced the concept (and I don't know that it was first). Finding a good hiding place and then waiting for that surprise kill only to repeat the process (as nobody ever knew what hit them) was quite a rush. Next came arcade games like Virtua Cop and Silent Scope which turned sniping into an arcade experience. Army Sniper is another sniping arcade game. The game follows a storyline where you are hunting down a criminal and then features scene after scene in which you have to eliminate all of the enemy's bodyguards.

Army Sniper's graphics are pretty good as are the audio effects. Controls rely on the touch screen coupled with the accelerometer. Point to an area on screen to zoom in with your sniper rifle and then twist to line up that perfect shot. Once you're done aiming then touch the first button and 'bang'. Tap again to zoom back out and find another target. Each scene is timed and requires you to nail many enemies... enemies that appear our of nowhere. There might be a couple on screen at once... kill them all and others apparently time warp in.

Army Sniper is actually pretty well done. It plays smooth, but I really didn't find much challenge in the levels and they were all repetive with the only difference being the background painting. Kill a bunch of people... read a story (often consisting of broken english)... repeat. After playing through four frames I had had more than enough and was left with little desire to keep playing. I'm left feeling like there's a pretty good game engine here that just doesn't execute well. Why? First, other games like Virtual Cop added a better pressure element giving you a countdown before you would be shot. Here, you just use the flashes of light from those shots to zone in on often small targets. And, of course, the scenarios aren't different at all. I remember having to shoot the criminal running across the football field with a hostage in Silent Scope which really increased the excitement in that game's story. No such luck here.

I'll also add the Army Sniper would not play on my tablet. It's interpretation of the tablet's accelerometer wasn't correct (I've seen that in other games), but it worked fine on my Galaxy S phone. All in all I'm just left with a game that feels well done from the start, but doesn't have enough oomph in it for me to want to play for long. 3/5 stars.


  1. Midwinter on the Atari ST (1989) was a first person shooter that involved sniping, I'm sure there would have been others before that too.. Unreal certainly wasn't the first anyway.


    - Ian

  2. Wow, Midwinter on the ST, that brings back memories big time!