“I dare you to peek again.”
Staring down the sights of my scope, I’m lining up my enemy who dares to engage in a long-distance firefight with me. Unfortunately for them, I’m packing a sniper rifle.
They jut their head above for a split second.
I warned them, but they didn’t listen. Rack up another one on the scoreboard for me.
Historically, I am not the type of player who gravitates towards sniper-style weapons or play styles. Ever since the days of Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, I’m much more comfortable running around the map and spraying bullets at enemies in close range. Even in fighting games, I prefer to play as offensive-leaning combatants who win with flurries of in-your-face attacks.
My tendencies as an overall player don’t mesh well with the act of sniping. Snipers excel at ranged combat. They need to make every bullet count. They rely a bit less on twitch reflexes and more on having a game plan for where you should be and where others are coming from. Snipers also need a level of patience that duelists do not. Instead of actively seeking combat, you need to wait for it to come to you.
From the Goldeneye days right through my stint with the Call of Duty series, I completely ignored sniping. But then the tides began to shift when I got really into Overwatch. While experimenting with the roster, I gravitated towards Hanzo. Despite having a slow firing speed and having to add extra thought behind the trajectory of each shot, it felt damn good to drop a hero with a single shot to the head. And unlike a traditional sniper, Hanzo was very mobile and wasn’t a complete pushover in a scramble.
Playing as Hanzo got me to understand the power of precision shooting. From there, I started playing Ashe more, who battles from mid-range with a single-shot rifle. Transitioning over to Rogue Company, I found even more success using characters with single-shot or burst-fire thanks to the game’s slower movement speed and accuracy with those types of weapons.
Which ultimately led me to the game’s sniper characters. For a time, Phantom was the only sniper class in the game, making her the only character that could drop an enemy with a single shot to the head. Though it proved to be quite the challenge, hitting headshots felt so damn good.
Since then, I’ve transitioned to the game’s newest sniper: The Fixer. Though he only has a two-shot clip, he can down an enemy with one shot to the head or two quick shots to the body. With such little recoil and such a quick firing rate, the enemy’s entire body essentially becomes a walking headshot. Though he’s been nerfed recently so that he can’t two-hit kill someone with fully-charged body armor, The Fixer is an absolute blast to play, even as someone who isn’t a seasoned sniper.
My newly acquired taste in sniping may not translate beyond Rogue Company. However, I’m glad to finally see shooters from a new perspective. When you put the time into playing a sniper class properly, they can be incredibly effective in combat and wildly fun to play as. If you enter my next Rogue Company lobby, you better duck!
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