A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Sometimes you have to risk your life to do what's right, or to stop those who would do what's wrong if left unchecked. But this sometimes requires you to hurt or kill people, and in brutal ways.
Positive Role Models
The hero puts his life on the line to stop people who would enslave humanity and kill those they deem less worthy. But completing his mission requires him to make a choice: kill a lot of people in often brutal ways, or leave them alive as potential future hazards.
In the game's campaign, the only playable character is a White male. His allies include women and people of color, all of whom are playable in the game's co-op and online modes.
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Ease of Play
Five difficulty options: "Very Easy," "Easy," "Medium," "Hard," and Authentic." But you can also adjust the difficulty of the tactical aspects, the sniping, and the combat individually, as well as other aspects of the game.
Violence & Scariness
Players use guns, knives, explosives, and physical attacks (such as neck snapping) to kill numerous people, resulting in a lot of blood and gore. One option allows players to watch graphic and anatomically correct slow-motion X-ray footage of bullets, knives, and shrapnel from explosions entering people's bodies and destroying their organs.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Players can shoot people in their genitals, and this can result in graphic slow-motion X-ray footage of their testicles being destroyed by a bullet.
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Dialogue includes such curse words as "hell," "bastard," and "goddamn," as well as insults like "idiot" and "Jerry" (a WWII slang term for Germans).
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Products & Purchases
The game is the fifth in a long-running series.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sniper Elite 5 is a third-person stealth action game for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. This chapter is the fifth in the long-running franchise. Using a variety of weapons -- including guns, knives, explosives, and such physical attacks as neck snapping -- players kill many, many human enemies, resulting in large amounts of blood and gore. The game also has an option for the player to see graphic and anatomically correct slow-motion X-ray shots of bullets, shrapnel from explosions, and knives entering a target's body and seeing what organs (including the testicles) that the bullet has hit. While the player character in the campaign is a White male, his allies include women and people of color, all of whom are playable in other modes. The dialogue includes such curse words as "goddamn," "bastard," and "hell," such insults as "idiot," and archaic derogatory terms for Germans, such as "Jerry." Communication between players of the game's online modes is not moderated.
Is It Any Good?
Like previous installments of this third-person World War II stealth-action shooter series, this is an effortlessly fun opportunity to take on a real-life evil empire. Set in May of 1944, the story-driven campaign in Sniper Elite 5 has series star Karl Fairburne sneaking into France toward the end of WWII, hoping to destroy the Nazi's last-ditch effort to win: "Project Kraken." Using stealth and his trusty sniper rifle (as well as other guns, explosives, and the lethal weapons known as his hands), Karl has to take out numerous German soldiers and Nazi officers while locating secret plans and sabotaging their defenses as you explore the game's large and open fields of battle.
But while the game has many ways to play -- including competitive online modes, and a co-op "Survival" option -- it's the campaign where this truly shines. Like Sniper Elite 4, every battlefield is large, open, and full of possibilities. Whether it's missions that advance the story or optional objectives you discover as you explore, you have a variety of tasks to complete, including assassinating high-value targets, sabotaging enemy defenses, and stealing important information. But it's when you play cat and mouse with the observant and trigger-happy German soldiers, and either use precision to take someone out from afar with your sniper rifle, or sneak up behind them with your knife drawn, that this gets really good. And that's true whether you play the campaign solo, with a friend, or in the new "Axis Invasion" option, which allows someone to enter your solo or co-op game as an enemy soldier, or allows you to do the same to someone else. Expanding this series' signature move of showing graphic slo-mo X-ray footage of sniper shots destroying enemies' organs to include knife wounds and other gun shots only serves to remind you that war is hell. But with a variety of missions, tough enemies trying to stop you, and just as many ways to eliminate them, Sniper Elite 5 is an ultimately satisfying action game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.