You never hear the bullet that kills you, or so they say. Neither do you foresee the magic bullet that saves you - at least, City Interactive didn't. 2010's Sniper: Ghost Warrior, a budget release from the Polish publisher known only for its low-rent productions, unexpectedly changed the lives of its creators.
The game, a first-person shooter that draws heavy influence from the sniping missions in Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare titles, sold more than 2.5 million copies in the 12 months following its unassuming release, generating profits in excess of $25 million and booting its maker from the low leagues towards blockbuster development. As such, this sequel arrives bedecked in Cry Engine 3 colours with 10 missions spread across a three-act structure, all pieced together by a greatly extended team.
The kernel of appeal at the heart of any sniper game is the rhythm of planning and execution as you wiggle down in the dust, hold a finger to the air to estimate wind strength and direction and line up a reticule on a target 800-odd metres away. Ghost Warrior 2 pays off a well judged shot with a lingering slow-motion camera that tracks the bullet as it twists through the breeze. Then, a hit pause before it enters your target's body with a crunch and a splat. There's none of Sniper Elite V2's X-ray pornography here, revealing the bullet puncturing a lung or severing a testicle, but the effect is similar: a mixture of light titillation at the fatal power you wield over an unsuspecting person, and light disgust at the way in which you've chosen to express it.
PlayStation 3-exclusive God of War: Ascension has entered the UK all-formats chart in second place. It sold less than half the launch week sales of predecessor God of War 3.
Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot maintained its hold on the top spot for another week, meanwhile. They're probably having a Lara Lara laughs.
Third in the chart is PC-exclusive StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. It would likely be higher in the rankings if UK numbers company Chart-Track counted digital sales.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 launches on 12th March 2013, developer City Interactive has announced.
Our cousins at Eurogamer Poland pointed us towards a statement from City Interactive confirming the new date.
The news comes following a number of delays to the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 shooter, distributed on these shores by Namco Bandai. Fingers crossed it makes this one.
City Interactive has released a new gameplay video for Sniper Ghost Warrior 2.
The video gives us our closest look yet at the CryEngine 3-powered shooter, due out on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2013. A Wii U version is rumoured.
We see long range sniping as well as up close and personal knife attacks to the... armpit?
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will launch on the Wii U, the game's ESRB ratings board listing suggests.
Long-range shooter Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 has suffered a second delay within weeks, publisher Namco Bandai has confirmed.
The game will now launch for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 15th January 2013. It was originally slated for release on 21st August.
Earlier this month Namco announced that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 had been delayed to October. The publisher has now reconsidered that decision, due in part to October's bustling release schedule.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is coming for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on 9th October rather than the previously believed 21st August release date, UK distributor Namco Bandai has confirmed to us.
Urban combat in war-torn Sarajevo.
City Interactive has announced the Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Collector's and Limited editions.
The Collector's Edition (£44.99) comes in a folded box and includes the following:
A steelbook copy of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2.
Games, so the argument's been going recently, are predominantly dumb, trapped in an eternal adolescence and forever fixated with smut and gore. Some games are dumber than others, and some don't seem to care too much about their lack of smarts at all.
That's certainly the case with Sniper Ghost Warrior 2, an oafish but lovable first-person shooter that's got all the intellect of a straight-to-video '80s action flick. Importantly, it looks like it's got all the charm of a VHS classic too. It helps, perhaps, that the expectations have been set low for a sequel to a poorly received original that went on to do improbably well.
The premise of the first Sniper Ghost Warrior was simple enough: imagine an entire game focused on the original Modern Warfare's undoubted highlight, All Ghillied Up, promising stealth, headshots and slick tension. The execution, however, left a lot to be desired.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 launches on 21st August, City Interactive has announced.
The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game is the sequel to the best-selling Sniper: Ghost Warrior, funnily enough. This time, though, the shooting is built using CryEngine 3, the engine used by Crytek for its Crysis series.
Polish developer City Interactive reckons Ghost Warrior 2 is the only multi-platform FPS modern shooter exclusively designed around the sniper experience. There's a rebuilt AI system and new, fancy environments and visuals. The team promises "unprecedented" levels of realism in weaponry, ballistics and environmental factors.
City Interactive shows off CryEngine 3-powered sequel.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 launches on 16th March in Europe and 20th March in the US, City Interactive has announced.
The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 follow-up to 2010 shooter Sniper: Ghost Warrior is being built using Crytek's CryEngine 3.
Meanwhile, Combat Wings: The Great Battles of World War II launches on 10th February in Europe and 7th February in the US.
Sneaky shooter sequel out next year.
Shooter sequel Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will run on Crytek's fancy new CryEngine 3.
2/10 first-person shooter Sniper: Ghost Warrior has sold over a million copies around the world, Polish developer City Interactive has announced.
It achieved the milestone within seven months of the game's official launch on PC and Xbox 360.
By way of comparison, Ninja Theory's excellent flop Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, which won an 8/10 from Eurogamer, only sold 460,000 copies.
Polish developer City Interactive is working on a sequel to successful shooter Sniper: Ghost Warrior.
Confirmation comes from a Eurogamer.se interview with chief producer Michal Sroczynski.
The game will be powered by Crytek's CryEngine 3 game engine, and will release on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.