Sniper Elite 5 hits Xbox Game Pass tomorrow, May 26th (or earlier, depending on your region), and reviews are beginning to trickle out for Rebellion's latest shooter. In short, it's getting solid reviews so far, with our very own writeup here at Pure Xbox labelling Sniper Elite 5 as "the best Sniper Elite to date".
Elsewhere, things are looking fairly positive too, with this surely being one of the biggest Game Pass launches of the year so far. Without further ado, here's what the critics are saying about Sniper Elite 5:
Pure Xbox (9/10)
Sniper Elite 5 is the very best entry in this long-running franchise to date. Karl Fairburne's latest WW2 adventure effortlessly mixes jaw-dropping campaign environments, improved close quarters combat and ruthless enemy AI, resulting in a game that puts this series firmly into the top tier of action titles once and for all. With highly replayable missions stuffed full of secrets and side quests, a clever new PvP Invasion mode, full campaign co-op and a ton of unlockables and multiplayer modes to dig into, this is a hugely entertaining offering that's sure to delight long-term fans and new recruits in equal measure. It's time to get to work perfecting those slo-mo X-Ray ball shots.
Sniper Elite 5's new 'Axis Invasion' mode is not only a wonderful addition to Rebellion's latest tactical shooter installment, but a great feature for expanding the tried and tested formula. Similar to how invasions work in the likes of Elden Ring and Dark Souls, players can now randomly drop into other people's single or two-player co-op campaigns as the aforementioned Sniper Jager, an elite German marksman whose sole purpose is to execute protagonist Karl Fairburne in cold blood.
Like a fleet of Allied landing craft storming the beaches of Normandy, Sniper Elite 5 has blown me away. I spent most of my weekend with it in a state of delighted befuddlement, constantly muttering 'isn't this brilliant?' as it delivered yet another incredibly designed level to creep around while turning Nazi skulls into cornflakes. I've enjoyed Rebellion's infamously grisly stealth series since the middling V2, but I never thought I'd be writing about it with the kind of breathless excitement reserved for the likes of Elden Ring.
Sniper Elite 5 is a game that knows exactly what it is, and delivers on all fronts. The x-ray kills are as good as ever, and improvements to stealth and level design make the campaign enjoyable between the moments where you’re shooting through a guy’s eyeball. The Axis Invasion mode adds an entirely new dynamic to multiplayer, which still features the standard modes for a more traditional experience. It’s hard to imagine fans of the series not being satisfied with what’s there in Sniper Elite 5.
But at a healthy distance is where Sniper Elite’s gameplay shines. Several points of interest that can be located on each map, make for excellent vantage points and setting off chain reactions to both eliminate and disorientate enemies. This makes for the bulk of Sniper Elite 5’s experience but when objectives across the map need to be completed, close-quarter encounters become a necessity.
Despite its numerous tweaks Sniper Elite 5 ultimately feels like more of an incremental upgrade than a major revolution, keeping it a half-pace ahead of Sniper Elite 4 rather than taking a big goose-step forward for the series. With a more manoeuvrable main star, modifiable weapons, enhanced co-op, and Axis Invasion allowing the hunter to become the hunted, Sniper Elite 5 is still a satisfying and spectacularly gross way to shoot Nazis in their nether regions — but it feels like the series needs to start aiming its sights a little higher and find ways to avoid repeating the same handful of objectives so often.
The Loadout (7/10)
Rebellion has, to its credit, worked hard to create bigger and more immersive levels for Sniper Elite 5, and they are filled with various routes to objectives, lots of hidden details, and is packed with collectibles and intel. The third mission, set on a fortress island clearly inspired by Mont-Saint-Michel in northern France, is a particular standout, and navigating through this level was probably where I found the most enjoyment during my entire playthrough.
Sniper Elite 5 maintains the series signature sharpshooting across some gorgeous locales, but its renewed emphasis on close-combat encounters often feels like a shallow sidestep away from your rifle, leaving objectives feeling flat and monotonous. The game's at its best when you can sit back and snipe like a champ, but when the campaign constantly forces you into tight, muddled environments, it ends up distracting you from that glorious sharpshooting. The new Invasion Mode ups the ante and makes missions more tense, while the new weapon customisation system lets you personalise your sniping experience, but the amount of time spent sprinting around means that Sniper Elite 5 often fails to hit the mark.
There you have it! Some varied reviews there across the board, but largely, initial impressions are very positive and we're sure it'll be a Game Pass hit! We certainly loved our time with Sniper Elite 5 here at PX, and we're looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks when it hits the Game Pass library this Thursday.
Are you tucking into Sniper Elite 5's slick sniping action on launch day? Let us know down below.