There’s a worrying number of sniping-themed mobile games. A quick Play Store search for “sniper” shows more results than I’m able to count. [This is impressively ambiguous. Just sayin’. – Ed.] There are games about sniping terrorists, others about sniping zombies and many about sniping animals (which is apparently called “hunting”). There’s one thing that all these games lack though; one thing that keeps true glory out of their reach. That thing is Jason Statham. Confused?
Sniper X with Jason Statham (starring Jason Statham as Jason Statham) casts players as the titular Sniper X, a member of an elite counter-terrorism agency known as SPEAR. The story reads like Tom Clancy fan-fiction as written by someone who’s taken one too many knocks to the head, so it’s best ignored for your own safety. The missions see you hunting down various targets from the nefarious terror cell SCORPION (see previous sentence), with each mission awarding in-game cash and experience.
The game has an interesting level structure, where every mission in a level takes place in the same 3D environment. Seeing the same locale over and over again gets stale quickly, but it’s still smart navigation of a mobile device’s limitations. The visuals and presentation are impressive too, and features the sultry, dulcet tones of Jason Statham, who blurts out one-liners during and between missions. Statham’s voice work adds a welcome amount of goofiness that makes me wish he did more video game voice acting.
Some games surprise you with their quality, and finding such gems is always awesome. Sniper X with Jason Statham is not one of those gems, and after a few hours I could see it was exactly as bad as my first impressions suggested. The game is free-to-play in the very loosest definition of the term, and it ticks all the boxes in the “negatives” column of modern mobile gaming. Important energy bar that depletes every mission? Check. Unexpected, randomly placed advertisements? Check. A price tag attached to nearly everything? Check.
Nothing in Sniper X with Jason Statham is original. Everything about it is stale and familiar, and it instantly feels like almost every other free-to-play game you’ve ever picked up. It’s flawed in other aspects as well, especially its controls. The touch interface feels sluggish, and the game doesn’t have controller support. It’s also impossible to replay older missions, stripping the game of any potential replay value or high-score hunting.
All in all, Sniper X with Jason Statham has incredibly little to offer. Decent graphics and the unintentionally funny voice-overs don’t do enough to overcome its tired formula and shallow gameplay. Play Dead Trigger instead.