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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
It's a sniper simulation. While using your skills to prevent war could be seen as a positive, the focus on killing and eliminating targets overshadows any positive messages, glorifying violence and death as the only solution to problems.
Positive Role Models
You play as a sniper named Raven, enlisted to help diffuse a dangerous situation in the Middle East. Some people may think the character you play -- played from a first-person perspective so never seen -- is positive, since you're fighting against terrorists and other ills. On the other hand, it could be argued that the character isn't a good role model as their job is to kill people for money, and they're encouraged to do so with "headshots."
Ease of Play
Game has a deep and mandatory tutorial called "The Grey Desert," which walks players through all the mechanics. It can be challenging, but you're taught how to steady your hand, breathe deeply, and accurately pick off targets. Four difficulty options: Marksman (easiest), Sharp Shooter, Veteran Sniper, and Deadeye (hardest).
Violence & Scariness
Most violence is using long-range sniper rifles to line up targets from a distance, aiming for a headshot to take down enemies. You can also use pistols, turrets, and controllable aerial drones to knock off targets, as well as explosives and close-range stealth attacks like slashing necks with a knife or snapping necks with your hands. When in rifle mode, the game has "bullet cam" enabled, where the camera follows the bullet toward the enemy and shows a dramatic, slow-motion kill, usually with plenty of blood splatter.
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Dialogue has the occasional -- but strong -- profanity, including words like "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Supports optional in-game purchases (downloadable content, or DLC), including weapon and skin packs. This is a sequel to 2019's Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some references to illegal narcotics in the dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is an action/adventure game for the Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. As a sniper, your goal is to infiltrate enemy territory in the Middle East and shoot to kill, mostly with headshots from a distance, but a camera follows the bullet for a replay and dramatic and bloody takedown. Explosives can also be used, as well as up-close-and-personal stealth moves including stabbing, throat slashing, and neck snapping. The dialogue also has some profanity, including words like "f--k" and "s--t," and there are references to drugs. This is a sequel to 2019's Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, building off the action from that game.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.