Sniper Elite 4, like its predecessors, is coming to PC and after a few years of making multi-platform games Rebellion know they can give it extras on PC with ease. Be this due to an easier patching process and simpler release schedule or because of the nature of the platform, it means extra stuff for us.
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"I play most of my games on PC and I love my mouse and keyboard," says studio CEO Jason Kingsley. "So I am always trying to make sure mouse and keyboard is represented and supported on PC because quite a few PC games have come out now where I don’t think they’ve been tested very much on mouse and keyboard. I think there are bits that just don’t work very well. I get quite frustrated about it because flipping heck, mouse and keyboard is really good for shooters, it’s a really good control system.
"We’ve always wanted to allow things to be scalable, so because it’s our own tech and our own engine we can do that. So what normally happens is we keep the PC version alongside the console versions, but because the console versions have a submission and manufacturing procedure which can take two or three months, typically what we do is we move a lot of tech things across to PC after we’ve submitted the console version. So the PC typically gets lots of specialist love once we’ve got the console versions in a box."
As far as actual benefits go, they're technical and mechanical. "We always wanted it to be playable on the lowest spec PC as possible, cause the idea is - let’s face it, some people don’t have the money to have the fastest PC in the world, that’s just the way it is. We want them to be able to play our games. If they do get lucky and get an upgraded PC or get a new graphics card, they can turn all the dials up - I’ve always wanted that.
"I’m also very keen on things being switch-offable. So we have our difficulty modes, which are standard, but we will also have a custom mode where if you want super hard AI, but you don’t want to deal with bullet drop you can switch all of it off, or all of it on. You can customise the game as much as you want. I’ve always liked the idea that if someone’s paid us for the game and then they want to cheat their way through it, in a way, I’m okay with that. Might spoil it, I don’t think they should, but that’s my opinion and why should somebody not play the game they want to play?"
But why not have that option on all versions? "So the idea of having a customisable difficulty level I think is really important, and we should probably do it on console, but the players there are, in my experience, much less comfortable in tinkering with setups in that kind of way," explains Kingsley. "PC players tend to be a bit more techy and hardcore."
As for after the game is out, Kingsley says that they "can do as many patches as we like, obviously. We can just go oop, we found a bug in multiplayer if you’re playing across the Atlantic because of lag, we can just patch it immediately, there’s no cost involved we can just update." None of the fuss that comes attached with Microsoft and Sony's checking periods.
Sniper Elite 4's release date is now early 2017 after a delay thanks to Rebellion's other title, Battlezone, taking up the end of 2016 slot.