Sniper Elite 4 was first announced by UK-based developers, Rebellion Developments during March of this year. The fourth installment in the ever popular tactical shooter series follows protagonist and American OSS Agent Karl Fairburne as he takes up arms in the beautiful sun-drenched Mediterranean, more specifically, Italy 1943. Sniper Elite 4 has a confirmed 2016 release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC and will be the first title in the series to drop support for the last-generation consoles.
Developed and published by Rebellion, Sniper Elite 4 features a single player campaign, dedicated cooperative play as well as competitive multiplayer modes. We had the opportunity recently to talk with Jason Kingsley, Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director for Rebellion to find out more about Sniper Elite 4.
PressA2Join: Sniper Elite 4 follows directly on from Sniper Elite 3, can you tell us a little about the story and what players can expect when the game launches later this year?
Jason Kingsley: Franchise stalwart Karl Fairburne played a huge part in the North African campaign seen in Sniper Elite 3, and Sniper Elite 4 kicks off directly after that. It’s 1943 and he’s back doing what he does best – an agent dropped behind enemy lines, wreaking havoc and assassinating top Axis brass.
Meanwhile, the Allied forces are deciding how to take back Fascist-occupied Europe and Italy has become a major focus. While on a mission in Southern Italy however, Karl discovers a plot that could threaten any Allied sea-based invasions, and it’s up to him to work alongside other factions to remove this threat – and the Fascist boot – from the Italian peninsula.
Italy is an immensely beautiful country with some truly stunning scenery. From what we’ve seen so far, Sniper Elite 4 looks utterly gorgeous. Can you tell us a little about the various locations within the game that Karl Fairburne might visit?
We were really proud of the way that the exotic terrain in Sniper Elite 3 surprised people who probably weren’t expecting Saharan Africa to be so beautiful and varied. With Sniper Elite 4 we’re spoiled for choice because southern Italy is just so beautiful. If anything we had too much inspiration to choose from! I hope the teaser trailer gave a taste of the sniping playgrounds that will be available. Expect a mix of night and day, and prepare for forests, beaches, mountains, fortresses, vineyards, rivers and more across some truly massive singleplayer missions.
“With Sniper Elite 4 we’re spoiled for choice because southern Italy is just so beautiful“.
Character movement has been largely improved for Sniper Elite 4, with Karl able to traverse the landscape in a variety of ways, much as you might find in Metal Gear Solid and Assassin’s Creed. Can you talk me through some of the new ways the protagonist can get around and what advantages it will give players over enemies?
Movement and player traversal goes hand-in-hand with the new design philosophy for our environments. Players have more freedom than ever to find multiple sniper nests in each level, whether it’s scaling climbable surfaces, jumping over gaps, or shimmying along precarious edges. We’re actually hoping expert players will find positions our designers never even planned for!. If you remember that beautiful fishing village in the teaser trailer, Karl can actually scale the vast majority of those buildings to get to the roof and overlook the town’s warren of alleyways and squares.
The new traversal mechanics crucially allow you to escape tricky situations too – you can slip away under enemy fire, luring enemies to your position before making a quick escape out a window or down a drainpipe before exacting your revenge from another angle. It really empowers the player to think about their location, their lines of fire and their escape strategy if they get caught out.
Let’s talk scale. From watching recent gameplay footage it appears you’ve opened up the game for a much larger scaled environment with maps significantly bigger than that of Sniper Elite 3. Do you feel less restricted this time around with development focused solely on the current generation consoles and PC?
Absolutely. We’ve never really measured it in detail, but the smallest level in Sniper Elite 4 has about three times more traversable space than the biggest levels in Sniper Elite 3, and they weren’t small by any stretch of the imagination!.
“We’re actually hoping expert players will find positions our designers never even planned for!“
The KillCam is a popular and exciting element of the Sniper Elite series, featuring graphic cinematics of enemies being torn apart by the brute force of a single bullet. The feature makes a return in Sniper Elite 4, what are you doing differently this time around?
While we can’t go into detail yet, the kill cam that players know and love has been given a huge overhaul based on player feedback. We’ve also added new kill cams in new situations such as shrapnel kills and melee attacks. We’re hoping to do a very cool slo-mo developer video on this in the future!.
Sniper Elite 3 consisted of five different multiplayer modes with Team Deathmatch and Distance King some of the key highlights. Is there anything you can tell us about Sniper Elite 4’s Multiplayer?
We’re not really talking about this yet, but players of previous games won’t be disappointed when it comes to features. It’s going to be a great value package.
Rebellion recently passed the 10 million sales mark with the Sniper Elite series, congratulations!. Do you have a personal message for fans that have supported the series?
What can we say other than a huge “thank you” for supporting independent games development! We might not be a tiny indie working out of a bedroom, but we have always been completely independent, and without players’ support, we can’t make more games. There are more incredible games than ever to choose from these days, so we just feel honoured that people have made space for Sniper Elite on their shelves!.
Aside from Sniper Elite 4 and Battlezone VR Rebellion also purchased the Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries I.P, are there any updates regarding the game’s development?
Nothing at the moment, sorry! We did, however, deliver rewards to all the Kickstarter backers who hadn’t got their art books, soundtracks, and physical editions of the game when the original developer closed. We hope the backers enjoyed them!.
Thank you to Rebellion Developments CEO and Creative Director Jason Kingsley for taking time out to speak with us.
Sniper Elite 4 is due out in 2016 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.