It becomes rather easy to infantilise the Nintendo Switch. Being easily the weakest console around right now, you sometimes forget some of the great-looking titles that have come from it. Whilst first party titles like Breath of the Wild show great looking games can come from such an underpowered machine, third party support has been middling, to put it lightly. One need only look at the recent controversy of FIFA 21 being a copy and paste of the year prior to understand this. This being said, Sniper Elite 4 is a valiant effort to port a pretty complicated game and playing it on the go has proven to be worth the effort.
Visuals of Sniper Elite 4
This is, essentially, the exact same game we received three years ago complete with all of its modes. It is a little bit of a shame the base game doesn’t come with the DLC as it’s so old by now but I digress. Let’s start with the graphics. Graphically speaking, Sniper Elite 4 looks surprisingly good. I say surprisingly as realistic visuals don’t tend to favour the Nintendo Switch. It often relies on a colourful cartoony style to cover over a lack of detail. If a box is one colour but looks very good, you probably won’t notice Sniper Elite 4 does very well with the limited hardware favouring visuals within the map and your immediate area. When zoomed in or looking at textures around you, it looks pretty good. When looking outside of the map or a little past your FOV, it does not. Trees very quickly move from a standard shooter to a popup book. When you zoom into small things like blades of grass or rock formations, the visuals are less than impressive but why would you want to do that when there are hearts to pierce and heads to smash?
The X-ray is as cool and satisfying as it ever has been. The inside of the body has a certain glossiness to it before it explodes with the impact of the bullet. Seeing all the guts and whatnot as a slow-motion bullet hits it still looks great. If this is what you play Sniper Elite 4 for, you will get exactly what you like out of it. The performance in slowdown mode is generally consistent. Performance outside of this was great in my time with it. Both docked and handheld, it felt consistent in even the most hectic of scenarios. Occasionally, with a particularly loud explosion, it might slow down somewhat but never to a point that was too noticeable. It seems Rebellion have really focused on its performance and this shows. Going into missions, completing side objectives and upgrading gear felt as fun as it did back in 2017.
Controls of Sniper Elite 4
Controls are mostly good but held back somewhat by the design of the Switch console itself. In handheld mode, clicking down the left analogue stick to hold in your breath can be annoying as the Joycons stick are a little flimsy, made even more so by your hands having to navigate around them. The small size of buttons added to you having to hold the console itself can get in the way. The Switch just doesn’t feel like a console built for shooters, especially those that require patience and a steady scope. Luckily, you can click down the right bumper to hold in your breath instead. Personally, my favourite way of playing Sniper Elite 4 in handheld mode was by connecting the Joycons to a controller and using the stand on the back to prop it up. It is at its best when docked but it’s worth getting used to in handheld for such a great experience on the Switch.
Fundamentally, the Nintendo Switch offers something no other console can and this shows once again with Sniper Elite 4. Both its graphics and performance are strong and it offers plenty of content to keep you going. Its controls can be a little iffy but well worth getting used to for a great way to play a solid franchise.
TechRaptor previewed Sniper Elite 4 on the Nintendo Switch with a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.