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E3 2019

Focusing on the Essence of the Sniping Experience in Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts — An Interview With CI Games



The Sniper Ghost Warrior series started in a bit of a critical slump, but has been on an upward trend since its inception. The slowly improving reception from both fans and critics alike stands as a sign that developer CI Games is more than willing to listen to any and all feedback from those who play its games. For the upcoming Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, those years of listening and fine-tuning could not be any more apparent.

CI Games senior level designer Daniel Sławiński sat down with OnlySP at E3 2019 to talk about some of the team’s ambitions, as well as where the team chose to keep its focus.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts screenshot 3

OnlySP: How do you want players to feel when playing Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts? Do you want them to feel empowered or more like a ghost?

Sławiński: We want them to feel like a predator, but you can tailor your character to your needs. There are different play styles you can go with, so whether you want to go in loud with a .50 caliber rifle or if you want to go in like a ghost, it’s up to you. We just deliver you the tools. You have the mission to kill the target, we give you the tools, and solving the puzzle is the player action.

OnlySP: How is Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts different from past games then? I know you said that the past games were more open-world and this game is more of a sandbox, so would you say that is the primary difference?

Sławiński: After Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, we got a lot of feedback from the community. What going open-world meant for us was filling the world with a lot of different activities. We felt that it kind of diverted the whole experience away from that sniper experience. Instead of focusing on the essence of the sniping experience, we got diverted in different directions. In Contracts, we really wanted to capture that core feeling of being a sniper behind enemy lines.

OnlySP: Can bodies trigger mines after death if they were to roll down a hill?

Sławiński: Yeah it actually happened in a previous demo. The interesting thing is that you can play around with it. Even if the mine blows up, you know that the guys will come check the source of the explosion. You can divert movement to somewhere else and use that to your advantage. It is very physical.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts screenshot 5

OnlySP: What do you think was the most important thing to focus on coming into this game’s development?

Sławiński: The two major points we focused on to improve were clear goals for the player, the sniping experience, and stealth. Though, I guess that’s three things.

OnlySP: Is there anything else you’d like players to know?

Sławiński: I can’t wait to see what kind of different styles of kills players will think about when playing the game. We tried to set up the area to be very open. We just set the target and release everything and it is interesting to watch how different people approach the same objective. We just give them the tools to allow them to do it differently.

For all the latest from Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts and more from the world of single-player gaming, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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E3 2019

The Outer Worlds is Proof of Obsidian’s Ability to Build a Universe



The Outer Worlds

Obsidian Entertainment has consistently put out stellar RPGs for the last decade, but all of its creative juices have been strained of originality. Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth, while loved by many, are not synonymous with the Obsidian name. Though the developer has taken a crack at its own IP before, The Outer Worlds looks like the world’s first real taste of an unhinged Obsidian. Bringing together everything fans love about Obsidian-led games with the production values of a AAA RPG, The Outer Worlds plans to show players what the team can do when given time and the right tools.

Thanks to Obsidian’s generosity, OnlySP was given the chance to check out a behind-closed-doors viewing of the game at E3 2019. Even though the footage was hands-off, what was shown was more than enough to justify high hopes.

Obsidian has worked up enough goodwill in the last decade to fill a wasteland. From the moment the demo started, The Outer Worlds proved that Obsidian deserves all of its praise. 

Falbrook, a town on the planet Monarch, was showcased in the demo’s early moments and looked to offer Rockstar Games-levels of character. Townsfolk were walking around, talking with each other as business carried on as usual. The western, sci-fi fusion felt lived-in and was a nice reminder that Obsidian can do more than just make gripping RPG gameplay.

From the streets of Falbrook, the player walked into a nearby bar area to talk with an NPC. Here, dialogue and the importance of choice was shown in full effect. Those familiar with Fallout: New Vegas will find similar NPC interactivity here, as dialogue options have varying paths to take. Of course, standard options can be chosen to progress the story or learn more about another character’s background. Again following the example of Fallout was how dialogue can change depending on how the player character is set up. Obsidian did not go into detail about how dynamic this feature can be but did give the example of unique dialogue options for players who choose to have a low-intelligence character.

A true Fallout: New Vegas spiritual successor needs more than the classic RPG developer’s advanced dialogue, though, and The Outer Worlds’s combat offered just that. Though appearing sluggish during the first encounter, combat can pick up quickly. For example, The Outer World’s has a slow-motion mechanic called Tactical Time Dilation, which can most easily be compared to Fallout’s V.A.T.S. mechanic. This spin on an ability familiar to both Obsidian and Fallout fans alike is a great example of the developer’s willingness to blend its past experience with new ideas. Similar mechanics have been a staple of modern games, though normally can only be found in arcade-like games. Seeing such an arcadey ability used in a proper RPG was refreshing and should offer some hope to those worried The Outer Worlds could be all bark and no bite.

Obsidian doubled down on the importance of choice shortly after the first encounter by stressing the choices players can make both outside and inside combat. Again, as seen in many modern games, The Outer Worlds promises the option to take a stealth approach when infiltrating enemy lines.

What was really stunning about everything shown in the demo was the world and universe building. Leaving the town of Falbrook, which was interesting in its own right, led to fungal treetops that towered over the landscape. Pollen and spores filled the air as the player progressed onward. Obsidian claims the game will remind players of the team’s dark sense of humor, and the creatures and environments are unique both in name and appearance. The Outer Worlds looks to be both lived-in and well-realized, thus justifying its existence in the process. The entire reason Obsidian, or any developer for that matter, needed to take a leap of faith with its own IP was to prove it can produce a world worth living in. Despite gameplay and RPG mechanics that may not be wholly unique, the game’s namesake is.

Obsidian is promising outer worlds that are brimming with character. The Outer Worlds, while not promising anything too outside of the box in terms of gameplay, looks to offer a world like no one has ever seen before. Expect a much more polished Fallout: New Vegas with environments built from the ground up when The Outer Worlds finally finds its way to shelves on October 25, 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 

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