I recently played a lot of SNIPER ELITE 4 cooperative maps, like, really a lot. And I can also fairly claim that I have put enough hours into playing the campaign, DLC and survival missions by myself that by now I have truly mastered my primary weapon, which is a Carcano rifle. I am also usually pretty good at evading detection when playing solo. Things are different when playing coop. Here are the three possible modes.
Number One: Campaign (2 players)
In single player I have completed each campaign mission, including the DLCs, at least three times, since I am just as keen on collectibles and achievements as the next guy or girl.
So far, I haven’t managed even one campaign mission played in coop. See, while I by now know each map by heart, once I play coop my behaviour changes. With another player by my side I become more reckless. Unfortunately, while I play with my microphone turned on, a lot of people don’t and, of course, sometimes we do not speak the same language, which doesn’t help either.
So, with the combination of my being reckless and a lack of communications, campaign missions usually end with me being shot a lot of times and having to be resurrected. I understand that people will find this annoying and quit. But I simply can’t help myself. So I guess that’s one trophy I’ll never earn.
There was one fellow player who stuck with me on the two Deathstorm-DLC missons, though, and I am happy he did. It was lots of fun!
The survival mode is harsh at times, and this is your view when you die like I did there.
Number Two: Survival (1-4 players)
I love the survival missions. Dropped into a variety of maps, both familiar and unfamiliar, you have to survive 12 waves of enemy onslaught, which grows with each wave in both numbers and difficulty (including half-tanks, tanks and snipers) all while defending your command post.
The location of the command post changes after three waves, so you’ll need to relocate across the map. You can play with up to three players and it usually works best with four players. The survival missions can get a little intense, but the single most terrifying moment I experienced was when I lensed down my scope just in time to see the Faust trooper I wanted to take out shoot a rocket straight at me! Question: Do you see bullets coming at you too?
As for my play-style, in coop survival missions I am more of a relocate, get behind enemy lines and take them out by any means and draw their fire so the real snipers can take them out-combatant. Because whenever a team mate needs resurrecting, I’ll rush to their aid and am either incapacitated myself or else turn into Rambo, slitting throats and shredding bones with my SMG in close combat.
As the host, you choose the map and the difficulty and can customise the game itself. You can also name the game to give players a heads-up on what to expect, e.g. preferred language, microphone use, focus on headshots or whatever.
Whenever I host a game I tend to go for a lower difficulty, for while I have obtained the highest rank and feel comfortable playing every map on Sniper Elite-difficulty (never Authentic, though!), not everyone does and prefers taking on their first few survival coop missions on a lower difficulty. I respect that and, since I want a team of four, that’s why I play on lower difficulties.
A good host manages to motivate his or her team, since there are 12 waves to complete in each survival mission. While it is no bust to lose a command post or two, when your entire team is wiped out it’s back to square one, meaning to the very first wave, which can be very frustrating.
I’ve had some very sweet hosts who brought us to the last wave easily and who I would play again with in a flash and some who were not. For example, there was one host who cared more for pure sniping than protecting the command post. While I really truly deeply admire that player’s sniper skills, I am more of a competitive type, so I quit after a while.
So, if you play with me, expect me to defend the post at all costs and revive you if you fall, when I can. Also, I like the high ground and I like taking out tanks by sneaking up to them, so I will draw their fire, if you try the same…
Now, some maps are more difficult than others. There are the Winter Market, the Village or even the Lorino Dockyards where your field of vision is pretty much unobstructed most of the time, but the opportunities for keeping yourself effectively hidden are also pretty rare, unless you position yourself inside a building and time your shots carefully.
Urban and Marina are set in Britanti Village from the second campaign mission and the city of Niroli by day and you have a lot of houses to hide in, but narrow streets. So to get a clear shot sometimes you’ll have to wait quite a while until you can pull the trigger. Unfortunately, time is of the essence since, as mentioned before, you have to defend your command post at the same time.
The Overwatch missions have you team up with one other player. As operative, you’ll see where your sniper is on the mini map or as indicated by the yellow arrow, seen here in the upper right corner.
Number Three: Overwatch (2 players)
There are two Overwatch missions that you play with another player, as either Sniper (Karl Fairburne) or Operative (Harry Hawker).
The Sniper is outfitted with a rifle and a pistol. Contrary to the usual loadout, you’ll have to play without SMG or binoculars. When coming across a minefield, you need to use your rifle scope to identify explosives.
The Operative does come with a SMG and pistol and also binoculars, which can be used to tag enemies for the sniper. This helps a lot, really, so try to tag as much as possible. My Alpha loadout features a silent Welrod pistol which I usually use to silently take out patrolling guards or to shoot out the light in the Compound mission to be able to move around with less chance of being detected. Shooting the lights out is, by the way, a good way to go in every nighttime mission.
There are two maps, Railyard by day and Compound by night. The Railyard map sees the Operative moving through a small settlement with plenty of houses to sneak through and loads of collectible letters to find.
Next he’ll have to cross to the railyard proper, where there are very few hiding places and a lot of soldiers. It is therefore imperative for the sniper to get into position above the railyard first to take out as many soldiers as possible. Good to know: At almost every prospective sniper nest you’ll find a generator that can be sabotaged to sound-mask the shots. There’ll be snipers to deal with too.
Now, while the operative is on his sabotaging spree across the railyard, the sniper, while on the high ground, will find himself facing enemies too. And mine fields. There are two smaller compounds up there, all heavily guarded and featuring collectible letters. Also, you’ll find three stone eagles on each of the two maps.
The Compund mission has a similar setting as the Railyard, though instead of narrowly spaced houses and the railyard you’ll find a military installation, a few smaller buildings scattered across the hilltops and a villa on the other side of a mine field.
I have played both missions as Sniper and Operative and enjoy both roles. Taking your time is key, these missions are not for the impatient.
Both missions are sabotage and assassination missions. While the operative will take care of the actual sabotage, the sniper will support those objectives by finding relevant information. I remember that one time when I was the operative and my sniper found some letter with instructions and Harry Hawker commented along the lines of “That could have been useful earlier”. I had to smile at that.
As for the assassination targets, those the sniper can easily take out himself. The operative will still need to sneak up to the bodies to retrieve information, though, and both officers are well guarded.
You can use the map to tag the objectives you want to pursue and they’ll show up tinted blue.
Apart from the Survival missions I like Overwatch best because you really need to work together to accomplish all the objectives. As for Campaign, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and maybe find a partner who’ll bear with me on those.
One thing that is bugging me, literally, is that bug that frequently has an enemy you have just lined up for a shot move to the right as if pulled there by magic. That only happens in the solo survival and coop missions. But since that bug was already in SNIPER ELITE III, I am used to that. Actually, that bug helped me achieve my longest shot ever, 801,5 m, since one Volker Grün, a target in the Deathstorm: Inception-DLC that I played coop, started climbing a ladder inside that drydock building and just kept on climbing, right into the sky! Weird.