Overwatch Sniper

{{Enemy Infobox
|image=FileOverwatch Soldier triangle arm.svg|150px
|image2=FileSniper City 17.jpg|250px
|name=Overwatch Sniper
|affiliation=Combine Overwatch
|type=Transhuman Sniper
|weapons=Overwatch Pulse Sniper Rifle
|designer=Ted Backman''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
{{Quote|Gordon, I can't move. These snipers got me pinned down.|Barney Calhoun|Half-Life 2|Fileba cantmove.ogg}}

The '''Overwatch Sniper''' is a soldier in the Combine Overwatch, trained in the use of the Overwatch Sniper Rifle. Snipers are encountered hiding in high, concealed areas where they can get a good field of view. They are never seen holding their rifle but the blue transparent sighting beam emitting from it is. They can be detected by the beam or by the sound of the rifle firing on another target. Gameplay wise, it succeeds the HECU Sniper featured in ''Half-Life''.

Snipers are very accurate, and will take leading shots (firing ahead of any moving target so the pulse from the rifle hits them dead on). The round travels much slower than other bullets, so sidestepping the shot is not too difficult at long range. Even on the Easy difficulty, however, snipers will anticipate the movement of targets and fire ahead. On the Hard difficulty, they almost have a guaranteed hit, and can take the player down in 2-3 shots without armor. They will also shoot breakable objects to limit the amount of cover available to the target.

Snipers seem to take the doctrine "shoot anything that moves" quite literally, shooting at any living creature (except allied Combine forces), such as birds, and even signs.

Snipers usually set up in well fortified 'nests', effectively invulnerable to ordinary gunfire. Explosives are a different matter, however, and if the player can get close enough, a Fragmentation Grenade (Half-Life 2)|hand grenade will blow the sniper out of his hole nicely. This can be easier said than done, however, because if the sniper spots the player before they're within range, which is often the case, they'll have to avoid his fire to get close enough. The Submachine Gun (Half-Life 2)|Submachine Gun's secondary fire and Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher (Half-Life 2)|RPG rockets are also ideal and can substitute for grenades. If one can manage it, it might also be worth practicing using the Gravity Gun as a grenade launcher to extend the distance of his grenades. In ''Episode One'' if the player grabs an allied orange Rollermine and throws it right in the window where a sniper is at, the Rollermine will take it out in no time. 

Snipers will try to expose the player from cover if they're hiding behind light or breakable objects by shooting them. Even unbreakable objects such as barrels can be knocked some distance by the impact of the bullet.

Though the player never gets an opportunity to use the weapon, Alyx Vance occupies a sniper's nest and uses the rifle on two separate occasions

*In ''Episode One'', Alyx uses a sniper rifle to aid Gordon Freeman in an area of City 17. However, Gordon does not see her holding the sniper rifle as she becomes hidden in the same way as an Overwatch Sniper.
*In ''Half-Life 2 Episode Two|Episode Two'', Alyx again uses a sniper rifle to aid Gordon as he travels through a zombie-infested mining complex. This time, though, the rifle is visible to the player before they descend into the complex. It is in a fixed emplacement in a window, suggesting that the recoil of the weapon makes firing it freehand difficult, or simply as a form of control to prevent it from being taken by the player. Another reason why it may be bolted to the window is because of its immense size; it is as big and as cumbersome as an Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher (Half-Life 2)|RPG Launcher. This could also explain why the weapon is never knocked out of sniper's nests by explosions. Also worth noting is the fact that it had to be recharged by a Vortigaunt before it would function. Some players have found a bug during this sequence If the player manages to detonate any form of explosive in the sniper's nest Alyx is supposedly occupying, the corpse of a Combine Soldier will inexplicably fly out. This could be explained in that it is probably that the developers simply changed the specific sniper NPC to read Combine and zombies as enemies and Gordon as an ally. Therefore, it is the same NPC, just with different readings on who to shoot.

==Related Achievements==
{|class=wikitable style="vertical-aligncenter;" width=50%
!colspan="2" style="text-alignleft"|''The Orange Box Achievements 2|Half-Life 2''
|rowspan=2 width=64px|FileHl2 kill allc1709snipers.png
!style="text-alignleft"|Counter-Sniper (5G)
|''Kill all of the snipers in City 17.''

==Behind the scenes==
FileSniper rtb.jpg|thumb|250px|right|Concept art for a female/robot-like Overwatch Sniper, designed by Ted Backman.

*Early concept art of the snipers reveal that they might have been female at some point, and much more robotic. They were to work in concert with an early version of the Overwatch Elite. It likely refers to the Elite model from the leak, since it uses a sniper rifle.

*According to some early sound files,Development of Half-Life 2 game|''Half-Life 2'' leak files it seems that the ''Half-Life 2'' episode where Barney is pinned down by an Overwatch Sniper was to involve instead a platoon of Conscripts, lead by a particular officer, pinned down by a Sniper equipped with a "bolt action rifle".

* The Sniper was originally to use a special camouflage that would allow it to blend in with its surroundings. However, by the time the ''Half-Life 2'' was Development of Half-Life 2 game|leaked in 2003, the camo is either broken or been removed, as the Sniper looks like a multicolored blob with a gas mask on the top of it, the transparency being improperly rendered. Of note is that the Sniper's model is named "combine_elite.mdl". In the final game, the Overwatch Elite is an entirely different unit.


* If spawned using console commands, the sniper's model is a normal Overwatch Soldier which the sighting beam emitting right in front of the soldier's groin. This is because it was never meant to be seen by the player, so the appearance is most likely a placeholder. As well, the NPC is immune to bullet fire, and can only be killed by explosives. When it is killed it will always be propelled forward by the mechanism they use fall out of the nests in-game.
* If the ammo cartridge for the sniper rifle is spawned using console commands, the texture on the ammo box is pink with the repeating words "OBSO1337" ("leetspeak" for obsolete) wrapped around it. The box, however, cannot be picked up as the game doesn't recognize it as ammunition
* Originally the player was intended to use the Overwatch Sniper's rifle. However, it was replaced by the Resistance-built Crossbow (Half-Life 2)|crossbow.
* Upon seeing an incoming grenade a sniper will often shout "look out", "watch it" or "shit".
* The sound-script for the Overwatch Sniper references the names of sound files that indicate that snipers were originally to talk over their radios, similar to the normal Overwatch Soldiers. Within these, sniper refers to itself as "scalpel", in keeping with the medical terminology used by the Combine.


FileOverwatch Soldier camo.jpg|Ted Backman's original design, which was actually for all Overwatch Soldiers.
FileLeak sniper.jpg|The Sniper in the ''Half-Life 2'' leak files (with improperly rendered transparency, hence the strange colors), originally designed by Ted Backman.
FileLeak elite fixed.jpg|Fixed / custom model, in ragdoll position.
FileSniper rebel.jpg|Rebel about to be killed by an Overwatch Sniper. 
FileSniper building.jpg|Overwatch Sniper hidden in a City 17 building. 
FileSniper crows.jpg|Snipers targeting crows.
FileSniper crow.jpg|Sniper targeting a crow.
FileBarney sniper1.jpg|Barney Calhoun being pinned down by Overwatch Snipers. 

==List of appearances==
*''Half-Life 2'' {{1st}}
*''Half-Life 2 Raising the Bar''
*''Half-Life 2 Episode One''
*''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''


CategoryCombine units
CategoryHalf-Life 2
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episode One
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episode Two
CategoryOverwatch Soldiers
CategoryTed Backman designs