Sniper Elite Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Sniper Elite RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network A matter of slow death - Kill Cams: X-Ray Bullet Time Sat, 26 Mar 2016 09:31:09 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Having recently watched the X-Ray kills of Sniper Elite 4 has reignited my love of slow-motion death. Whether it's just simple slow-mo, like in Max Payne or Enter The Matrix, or full bullet time like in Sniper Ghost Warrior, even going as far as Sniper Elite with an X-Ray system showing organ explosions and bones shattering, I cannot get enough.

Don't watch... the dead man says.

I can see right through you

I've always had this morbid fascination with seeing slow-motion death. Watching my bullet(s) slowly travel towards the final victim, or if I'm sniping I get a moment of excitement when the camera smash cuts to the gun's barrel. It tells me I've just made "the shot" and I can sit back for a second and watch my work. It only gets better when I can follow that bullet through the body of my enemy, and bask in the gory glory of perfection.

It might be me, but I would love to see more games embrace the bullet time. Quantum Break seems to be using the same style as Max Payne 3, it gives you a stylish slow-motion scene of a man getting shot. But then Remedy are the creators of the original Max Payne games, before Rockstar took the reins with the 3rd in the series, so I'm not surprised that system is in there.

What could possibly go wrong?

The major issue with a kill cam system is how it breaks up the flow of the game, and that can be an issue for many people; stopping them from doing anything by dynamically triggering a cutscene. I understand exactly why this can be annoying. If you're firing from far off you may forget exactly where you were due to the long bullet travel time, or you may just want to fire off a few quick shots at multiple targets.

This can be somewhat fixed by making the right stick be speed changer, where clicking it in makes time go normal speed. This should overcome most of the issues with this, but if anyone really doesn't want to watch their bullet in slow-motion there should be an option to turn it off.

This is what went wrong.

Films have tried, films fall short

The Matrix is arguably the most famous film for making bullet time, but does it put you in the action? Nope, games have always had the jump on films for making you feel like you are the character, that any actions you take are yours and yours alone. Having a kill cam that activates when you have done something just makes it feel special -- even if it's set off for every last enemy. You never really know how many combatants enter the arena, so you never know when the kill cam will show.

Bullet time, chill time

Kill cams, above all, look cool while making you think you are cool. By activating when you have just made a skill shot it gives you a sense that you have done that. As long as there is the ability to change the speed, to speed up during long travel time for shots, and slow down to watch your target drop, and devs add the option to turn kill cams off and ensure people who don't like them don't see them, I would love to see more kills cams in games.

Do you have strong feelings for or against kill cams? Or do you just not care? Why don't you care? Let me know in the comments below.

A Peek Inside the Improved X-Ray System of Sniper Elite 4 Thu, 24 Mar 2016 03:32:41 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Sniper Elite 4, being created by Rebellion Developments, has again improved upon its staple X-Ray Kill Cams. You can now view the effects of explosions, punches, and other environmental kills in meticulous internal detail.

Sniper Elite 3 added a new muscle layer to the X-Ray system, but didn't we always want to see a Nazi skull implode when shooting a gas cylinder? Or watch a body get shredded by shrapnel? In game, of course...

sniper elite 4 karl fairburne

Elite Tactics for an Elite Sniper

Karl Fairburne is back, and better than ever. Sniper Elite 4 is set just after the events of Sniper Elite 3 -- which are both set before the events of Sniper Elite V2; Karl has lost yet more abilities leading up to these events. You are now able to drop from one ledge to another below, ledge kills now can involve a knife and will go slow-motion, and Karl has gained cat-like movement by traversing through the environment like a knife through half-melted butter. Vaulting is more fluid, you can climb up chains, and shuffling across a ledge is far more slick than before.

Karl can also use his binoculars to 'scan' enemies and get more detailed information about who they are -- as well as the weapons they are carrying, distance away, their combat status, and some extra information about who they are. The latter is a nice touch, which aims to add a bit of life to the hundreds of faceless Nazi men you kill; some of these nice men you will watch or have watched their organs explode inside of them. I'm not sure why, but it's a nice touch.

Sniper Elite 4 still does not have a set release date, but if everything stays on schedule you will be able to X-Ray away -- radiation free -- on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows systems in the latter half of 2016.

Thanks PCGamer!

Sniper Elite V3 is Now Supporting AMD's Mantle Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:11:30 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Rebellion has announced that Sniper Elite V3's latest update gives it AMD Mantle support. This coincides with the latest update for the AMD Catalyst drivers (version 14.9 WHQL).

What is Mantle?

Mantle API is a driver built directly into the AMD Catalyst software.

Usually when data is processed, it has to translated and queued by the CPU, to then be pushed to the GPU. However, this is time and resource consuming. Mantle seeks to mitigate CPU resource conspumtion by allowing applications to speak directly to the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit, or Graphics Card), if the GPU in question is using the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. This allows developers to squeeze more performance out of the GPU, and makes GPU upgrades slightly more impactful over time. This API looks to grant gamers the ability to run games at a slightly higher quality setting, while the frame rates stay the same. Or if the settings are already maxed out, it will increase your frame rate.

You may have heard of GCN from the Xbox One or PS4, as they use an AMD APU.

Read more on Mantle directly from AMD here.

Why Mantle?

Well the Head of Programming, Kevin Floyer-Lea has written a pretty in-depth article as to exactly why, and what benefits it will bring. One such reason is:

“This brings the PC closer to console programming, where developers are used to having direct control over available resources and squeezing the most out the hardware.

He later adds:

Whatever else may happen with Mantle in the future, it’s most definitely kick-started a move to more lightweight APIs”

This is in reference the multiple recent announcements, of other graphics related APIs, which are taking a similar approach to resources handling. Most notably these are Microsoft’s DirectX 12, Apple’s Metal, and Khronos’ Next Generation OpenGL initiative.

 Obscurance Fields are used for creating soft shadows in more natural places, between legs, on walls among many other places. With Mantle more AMD hardware will be able to run smoothly with this on.

Closing Facts
  • Update 1.11 for Sniper Elite V3 is now available for PC on Steam.
  • The update includes Mantle support and new Benchmark modes for both Mantle and DX11.
  • Mantle requires supporting hardwareAMD Catalyst™ 14.9, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (Windows 8 users can update to 8.1 for free).

What do you think about AMD Mantle? Is it the next new thing, or just a craze?

Find Sniper Elite V3 on Steam here.

Gamespy Denies Closing Servers Without Warning Thu, 13 Dec 2012 14:47:44 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Gamespy has finally commented on the closing of several servers previously run by the service. Fans rallied on the company's Facebook page demanding answers, and Gamespy (sort of) gave them.

The Steve Hart, one of the developers of Sniper Elite, spoke about the game's server closures last week on the official forums. Hart claimed that the new Glu-owned Gamespy charged far more to keep the servers running than they did before Glu took control of the company.

Finger Pointing Party

The Facebook post from Gamespy themselves claims that developers and publishers were notified of server closure -- which no one denies. How would Steve Hart have been able to speak on price increase if he had not been given notification? The fact that there were so many server closures over the span of several publishers only serves to further point to a significant increase in service charges.

While it is unfortunate that the closures were a surprise to so many players, notifying them is the responsibility of the publisher and not of the server host. Gamespy addresses this in the Facebook post, stating:

"While we would hope and expect our publisher partners to message their user communities on changes in status of their games, often this is not done."

That certainly is the case for the twelve-plus games that had their servers shut down over the past month. Even so, it does make you wonder why so many publishers and developers chose to discontinue working with Gamespy at approximately the same time.

Will this have an effect on how publishers and developers see Gamespy in the future? The promise of affordable and easy server hosting is what drew companies to their services, but what if they're not so affordable anymore?

Another thought is whether this is really is an oversight on the part of all of publishers affected as Gamespy claims. It's a sticky situation, and no one really knows what happened but the people involved.

Source: Polygon
Source 2: Gamespy on Facebook