Welcome everyone to the review of ZRTROOKIO and Untaymed’s “Sultans of Snipe”, which also happens to be my first review for the Halo Is Back montage contest 2017. And man, it’s a doozy.
Let’s first however start off with some context. ZRTROOKIO has been making videos for a couple years now, and has always done so in a passionate way, always attempting to set a theme for the show that was about to unfold. It wasn’t until SUPERPOSITION however that he became a blip on the radar for many of us. Ever since this video he has been on an incredible steep climb to greatness. The very appropriately named Sultans of Snipe is certainly no exception to this streak of very strong videos.
So, Junkies: roll your blunts, Tweaks: grab your fidget spinners, and everyone in general: find your best pair of damn headphones you can find, ‘cause ZRTROOKIO and Untaymed are about to send you into a mesmerising zone of relaxing slaughter that you won’t be able to peel your eyes away from.
Right from the get-go the soundtrack draws the viewer in and drowns all their surroundings out. Many editors and content creators agree that the song choice is hardest part of the video-making process when it comes to making a montage. Trooki nails this in Sultans of Snipe. Nuage’s Closer sets itself apart from the average montage song. Instead of your usual upbeat song with very clear marks where your headshot trocity exterm should go, we get this very methodical simple yet intoxicating tune where every sound and beat seems very deliberate. This aligns very well with the methodical gameplay, but especially with the simple yet effective editing throughout the vid. ZRTROOKIO is not an outstanding editor when it comes to technicality. You wont’t (yet) see 4k masterfully constructed bloodsplatter, or perfectly crafted 3D grenade models from this guy. Instead, the editing is beautiful in its simplicity, and the boundaries to the level of complexity when it comes to the effects force Trookio to stand out with creativity instead, which he does with flying colours.
The intro reflects this very well. From a technical standpoint, not much is going on. Yet the synced intro, use of twixtor and the beautiful title card sets the theme of the vid perfectly and will immediately grab any viewers attention and keep it.
From the intro we transition nicely into the opener, which is a solid colossus troc to start things of. Throughout the video you’ll notice these dudes can snipe. Like really fucking well. Almo-…-scratch that-… Every clip has at least one banger shot in there. Of course all gameplay is on that big-dick-10-sense since its 2017 and all, but the finesse these players land difficult after difficult snipe with is something only seen from the best of the best. Huh, I can see where they got the montage title from…
The gameplay speaks for itself really, but is lovingly complimented by the edit. Perfect syncing is needed when using a song like this, and is achieved in SoS with seamless sped-ups and use of twixtor. Creative effects like the barrel explosion at 1:20 never interrupt the gameplay or stands in the way of the clips. Rather, it’s used to give the clips some breathing room, which brings home the absurdity of the shots that follow these little quiet moments even stronger.
Some great clips where we see that both ZRTROOKIO and Untaymed can perform under pressure later we arrive at a very slow and emotional part, where I personally fell in love with the video. A few solid cinematics and the following all-slow-mo clip have such a soulful touch to them that you almost start to feel compassion for the poor opponents that are getting demolished by these players. Seriously though, it’s very rare that we get to cherish a moment in the halo montaging scene where soundtrack and editing and raw gp skill all beautifully align, and I’d like to just give my man Matt some props for achieving this.
A dope masking transition and a soaring Untaymed bring us to the Zanzibar clip that was foreshadowed in the intro. Guess what? He end up blaining the, and I counted, of 276 pixel consisting head of the ghost driver, then gets the out-snipe tac for good measure. Nice shooting.
The song really kicks in on that nutty shot, but the clips keep up with ease. These dudes really like showing off at the troc it seems, getting bonus points for finding heads through sticky smoke and in mid-air. Couple more cines including an especially well-crafted one on lockout lead into a hard-angle kill frenzy, and really, I gotta agree with you hAble, I could watch these sniper quickscope killta- kill fren- kill trocities all day and live a happy live as well. Music slows down a bit again after another sick shot on Sanc for the trip, that somehow gets followed up again by an even crazier tac shot. Seriously I can only imagine that when it comes to keeping composure while on a crazy clip, Trookio and Untaymed are about the polar opposite compared to that one UberNick SHC clip [link].
Anyway, the song returns for one last round, accompanied by Untaymed hitting a gnarly Ascension SUI from the top rope for the troc. Double quickscope sanc tac later and we arrive at one of my favorite clips in the video. For a change of pace, we see ZRTROOKIO slicing his way through the blue team to a troc with the old OP H2 Brute Shot. Sick clip. Untaymed brings us back to the Valhalla that is quickscope tacs, and follows it up with the highest multi in the vid: a 4v4 tast on Sanctuary, and a wonderful one at that. The second to last clip doesn’t mess around either as Trookio confidently snaps onto targets across Zanzibar, landing a simple shot for the frenzy, which is made even prettier by his patented hand-drawn effect.
Now, you can’t make such a stellar video and not close it off with a banger. ZRTROOKIO doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. We find him on Reflection, setting the end of this masterpiece up with my personal favorite masking transition between a cinematic and the trip, quickly catches the lifter for the tac, and no way that frenzy is going anywhere. Blains the spawner whilst falling down with such scary precision, it leaves the viewer dumbfounded. Done deal.
Oh and btw these were just leftover clips lol.
Conclusion, “Sultans of Snipe” is quite the strong contender in this year’s HiB montage contest. The soundtrack really made this video, but the countless of absurd sniper shots, the numerous under pressure high multis, the top-notch editing consisting of flawless syncing, great pacing and gorgeous cinematics sure as hell didn’t hurt it. Overall a video dripping with passion, and one to be proud of. Keep an eye on these fellas people.