This is a really good (and big) game, one that bests its predecessor across the board as a challenging and gratifying sniper simulation for those who like these kinds of shooters. While playing through the mandatory tutorial of Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, you'll familiarize yourself with movement, looking down your scope (and adjusting for distance, wind, and possibly enemy movement), and slowing down your breathing so that you can steady your headshot at such long distances. It's easy to get discouraged early in the game, but the guided help is supportive, with enough advice to sharpen your skills before you take on the real missions (after learning to use other weapons and gadgets, too). There are five huge areas to explore, each with several maps and missions, which you can also replay to try a different path or tactic (or to make more money). Missions are divided into Classic Contracts (like the first game) and the tougher Long Shot Contracts, which is new to the series, requiring more planning and execution (like first trying to figure out how to draw an enemy outside of his home before you can take a shot at him). Part of the fun is exploring the map, analyzing the environment, and figuring out the desired path to safely take down your targets.
The graphics are impressive, as is the orchestral music soundtrack. Enemy AI has been improved, but there are some questionable actions by your adversaries, such as one scene where they all clustered together to hunt you down, instead of separating and flanking your position. Along with some AI issues, which might be patched with updates, there's some random visual glitches and inconsistent save issues that can force you to redo tasks you've already completed. Also, it's too bad we don't get to know more about your character, including a backstory, so that we have more of an emotional attachment. But overall, Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 should satisfy fans of the series -- and of the genre as a whole.