While scoped you can monitor your heart rate from the left side of the scope. High heart rate makes aiming harder and empty lung cannot be used.
There are three core game modes for Sniper Elite 4, single player, co-op and multiplayer. Single player consists of Campaign, Solo Survival, and a shooting range. For co-op, there is Campaign, Survival, and Overwatch. Finally, multiplayer consists of Free for All Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Free for All Distance King, Team Distance King, No Cross, and Control.
The shooting range is a good place to start if you’re new to the Sniper Elite series, it allows the player to test various weapons and hone their basic skills on simple targets. The range teaches how to handle trajectory and how to handle empty lung mode. Empty lung is performed by pressing the space bar while scoped with a rifle. During which Karl will hold his breath and steady his aim increasing accuracy for the duration. Be mindful, this mode increase heart rate, while the heart rate is too high from sprinting or holding empty lung for too long there is a cooldown period it cannot be used in which his heart rate reduces.
Starting with the single player, first, a mission and difficulty are selected, followed by the load out. There are four load outs which can be customized from either the mission selection screen or the customize loadout option from the menu, these four load outs are Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. By default, all four load outs will start with 1903 Springfield rifle, the Thompson submachine gun, and Welrod suppressed pistol. Along with two stick grenades and two medkits. While some weapons require DLC to be purchased others require money which is earned through gameplay.
There are four difficulty settings for Sniper Elite 4, Cadet, Marksman, Sniper Elite and Authentic. Cadet has no bullet trajectory and very simplistic AI. Marksman has simple bullet trajectory and AI that is still on the easy side. Sniper Elite has advanced bullet trajectory, deadly AI, and friendly fire. Lastly Authentic in which you have advanced bullet trajectory, deadly AI, friendly fire and no HUD which means health, ammo, and supplies have to tracked much more carefully. On Authentic its also impossible to mark enemies on your map.
One of the collectibles that can be found throughout the various maps. They vary from letters to intelligence reports.
At its roots Sniper Elite 4 is a tactical game, the primary weapon is all loud enough to easily give away your position. The key is to use distractions or create diversions to give the needed edge to setup your shot. Blowing your cover will generally lead to death, while it is possible to fight off the soldiers that give chase, on missions farther along in the game there will be tanks and some soldiers will have flares to call in air strikes on your position. Look for things to give you an edge, maps that have patrol boats or patrol planes can mask your shots if you time it with their patrols. A key tool would be the binoculars which can be used to scout and mark enemies on your map.
Objectives on maps vary from sabotage to assassinations. This was an AA gun that needed to be destroyed.
The AI here is also fairly intelligent, when an enemy hears a shot the first thing they do is duck behind cover then they look around. Sometimes waiting for backup before looking for your location or trying to flank if possible. Enemies will also look around your last location and not just look at that spot and go back to their patrol. The AI is also accurate, especially their snipers, you really want to catch them by surprise if you can. Luckily their snipers are easy to spot, there is a glint of light reflecting off of their sniper scope as they pan around and take aim.
Survival boils down to outlasting waves of enemies on various maps. Starting by picking your character, difficulty, map and loadout. This is the standard wave-based mode that has become a staple of all action games. Co-op survival is the same mode just with another player added in. While this is something that will add life to the game as it is more content, it feels hollow and uninspired.
Overwatch makes a welcome return at this point being a series staple, in which one player is the spotter armed only with a sniper rifle and another player is on infiltration armed with a submachine gun. Setting up an interesting dynamic in which the players must cooperate in order to succeed. The goal of a spotter is to keep the infiltrator safe, warning them of patrols, but being weary not to draw attention to themselves by waiting for distractions to take their shots. The infiltrator follows the direction of the spotter and also can rig explosions or set traps to create distractions.
Some routes have hazards that you need to defuse to bypass, in this case landmines.
Moving on to multiplayer, Deathmatch is fairly straightforward, the player for Free for All or team with the most kills is the winner, this mode is anything goes, all kills count. Distance King is deathmatch with a slight twist, only long range kills count. At the end of the game, the player or team with highest total distance from kills is the winner. No Cross is a team deathmatch mode, but the middle of the map is impassible which sets up a solely sniper/counter sniper scenario. Finally, Control has teams fighting for dominance over radio drops until they are secured.