US Marine Scout Sniper takes me back to the days of Ikari Warriors and Commando, albeit a little less Rambo and a little more Sam Fisher. In the mobile game, you take on the role of a new recruit on your way into combat. Your helicopter gets shot down behind enemy lines and as you evade capture, you uncover a plot to use a nuclear device to destabilize the nation. It’s up to you to track down the nuclear device and neutralize the threat.
US Marine Scout Sniper is an action game viewed from a top-down isometric perspective. Players are equipped with a handgun, C-4 explosives and a sniper rifle, and must use limited ammunition, save for the handgun which has unlimited rounds, to complete the game’s 8 missions. Most of the missions boil down to killing the boss character and the end of each level, but it’s the means to the end that keeps the experience fresh. There are many ways to complete a mission, using stealth and picking off guards from afar with your sniper rifle, lurking in the shadows and hiding in lockers to surprise the enemy, or with brute force, running around with your handgun. You can even play a game of cat and mouse by planting C-4 explosives and luring groups of enemies in for an explosive kill. There’s no wrong way to go about a mission or right way for that matter. In that regard, US Marine Scout Sniper is rewarding.
Sprawled throughout each mission are little green canisters that count for 100 points each and with these points, which are also earned based on the number of enemies you kill, head shots you achieve and alarms you avoid setting off, you can improve your character between missions. You can spend these points to increase your character’s speed, boost the accuracy and power of your handgun, or simply re-supply your sniper ammunition and C-4 explosives. This bit of character development adds an extra element of strategy to the game.
The controls feature a keypad setup for movement, as well as individual keys to fire your weapon, switch weapons, detonate explosives and use med kits. When you have a weapon equipped, you also have the ability to turn auto-fire on and off. What this means is instead of pulling the trigger yourself, your character will automatically fire when an enemy comes into sight. This comes in handy entering or exiting indoor environments, when you aren’t sure if there’s an enemy behind the door. At the same time, you might want to keep auto-fire off if you’re playing it stealthy, otherwise you’ll risk giving away your position.
From a visual standpoint, US Marine Scout Sniper is a crisp looking game. There are three different kinds of themes, desert, forest and snow, as well as both indoor and outdoor environments. The characters are well animated and the enemies’ appearance changes as you progress through the campaign. Little touches, like vultures flying around the desert, add to the overall experience. I did notice one glitch in the eighth and final mission when I accidentally walked through a wall that was supposed to divide a room in half. Audio includes sound effects for the weapons and a musical score that plays throughout each mission though again, during the eighth and final mission the audio experienced some hiccups.
Overall I enjoyed my time with US Marine Scout Sniper. As I said, it reminded me of the old top-down arcade games like Ikari Warriors and Commando, except with a healthy dose of strategy and stealth. The missions are bite-size and challenging, and the presentation is solid. It’s not quite as ambitious as other like-minded mobile games, such as SOCOM or Rainbow Six, but if you’re looking for a simple military action game to add to your mobile collection, I see no reason why you shouldn’t enlist with US Marine Scout Sniper.