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It’s impressive how some games can keep going, continuously innovating just enough to keep things fresh, while also holding true to what made them great games in the first place.

Sniper Elite 5 does this exceptionally well so far; while I’m still relatively early in the game (I just finished the 2nd mission), my muscle memory (aside from the toggle to aim issue) is still here, but the new features have given me “bonus” vibes in the best way possible.

What’s changed in Sniper Elite 5

Well, first off: Weapon customization is much, much larger in scope (badump-tss).

Not only do you start the game with an experimental bullpup sniper rifle, you can change a LOT of parts out as you progress

Seriously, every weapon can have multiple parts changed out, including the receiver, barrel, muzzle device, optics and so much more.. Even the ugly grip-tape on my rifle shown above is a customization that has an actual impact on the weapon’s stats.

He came to rescue his buddy that I incapacitated. That didn’t work out well for him.

The AI has changed things up, too, allowing for better use of new strategies. In some cases, however, they fall flat.. I’ve had some instances where the AI is like lemmings to the slaughter.

Serious Splinter Cell vibes are here in Sniper Elite 5

Verticality has been embraced even further in the game. I found myself enjoying traversal much more here, climbing around and looking for unique approaches past patrols and guards.

No longer content with a kill cam, Sniper Elite 5 now has a stab cam.

Stealth in general has been developed to a much greater degree, too, where you’re encouraged to think beyond what your rifle scope is aimed at.. CQB is very well done here, and takedowns are much more satisfying than in Sniper Elite 4, in my opinion.

Combine that with the new multiplayer Invasion mode, improved graphics, increased accessibility, detailed & granular difficulty controls and overall minor positive tweaks to the formula and you’ve got one happy ghost right here.

What’s the same (for better or worse) in Sniper Elite 5

Nazis are still bad.

First, let’s get this out of the way: The game is still focused on killing Nazis, which is a good thing (although there is now a knockout/incapacitation mechanic). If you’ve got a problem with killing Nazis, I’m pretty sure this is the wrong game (and website) for you.

This is one of the more minor bits of HUD spam

The HUD still gets spammed like crazy.. Especially if you have tutorials enabled. Hint: Disable them as soon as you feel comfortable, because they WILL get int he way.

Explosions: Still a fun way to take out Nazis

Explosions are still good here, and there is a lot of stuff to blow up, and creative ways to eliminate enemies in general. I actually eliminated one group by dropping a chandelier on one enemy, waiting for the rest to investigate, and then dropping a grenade on them.

Overall, Sniper Elite 5 is going to be pretty familiar for existing fans of the series.

Note: Sniper Elite 5 and last-gen consoles

While I’m gaming on a high-end PC, I’ve seen reports from gamers on last-gen consoles complaining of awful graphics. The screenshots look pretty rough, too, so keep in mind that your mileage may vary if you’re on an older console.

Otherwise, so far, so good. Stay tuned for my full review next weekend as well as some guides!