Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Review
The Xbox One and Playstation 4 have been inundated with stealth based titles, with each game trying to do something else that the others aren’t, to set themselves apart. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 feels a lot like Sniper Elite 4, although with more of an emphasis on story and current technology. Unfortunately, many of the great tactics in Sniper Elite 4 don’t come across in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, making me think that Ghost Warrior is launching at a really bad time.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is modern, which sets itself apart from other first person stealth games. You’ll play as Captain Jon North as he goes into battle with his younger brother, Robert. They are sent into Russian-Ukranian border at the begging of the game to infiltrate a facility and destroy some soviet era bio weapons.
Although successful in their mission, the two are ambushed, and Robert is taken captive. The rest of the game is the story of how Jon works to save Robert. The game began in a unique, but heartfelt way, with Jon stumbling on Robert in the woods after finishing a tour of duty. The two engage in some fun brother-to-brother play, before we are transported to present day and Robert, now a military man himself, is tag teaming the missile destruction mission with his brother.
I thought the story had hooked me just a little bit, but the profanity laced story quickly turned me off what was actually going on, and I wasn’t invested in either Robert or Jon’s characters. Had I never had to save Robert, I probably wouldn’t have cared. It’s hard to create that type of dedication to a player in video games, but it does ultimately separate the good games from the bad.
There are a few story twists later on that make the game much more interesting, but getting to that point can sometimes be a slog.
Unlike previous games in the series, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 opts for a more open world environment for Jon to explore, which means multiple paths to infiltration and success, and many more opportunities to improvise. Finding your mission objectives can be a bit of a chore in this open world, however, as they won’t be marked on your map. You will need to complete fact finding missions to determine your next strategic location.
The gun game play is pretty good overall, but will require some time to master. Unlike other Sniping video games, Ghost Warrior 3 requires players to take into account elevation and wind speeds in order to pull of that perfect kill. It’s a nice addition to the genre that made me thing twice before pulling the trigger, knowing that a bad shot could put me a terrible predicament.
Whether you play the game 100% in stealth, or choose to run and gun sometimes, the combat feels pretty great overall. The kill cams – while not as great as the Sniper Elite series – still provide that feeling of accomplishment when a perfectly placed bullet penetrates the skull of an enemy soldier.
The modern day technology used in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is really great, but I wish it all worked a bit better. The drone itself is fun to use to tag enemies and important strategic locations, but controlling the drone itself is incredibly frustrating. It’s a great idea, but one that isn’t executed well.
I really enjoyed the variety in the game play, but was disappointed that each distinct activity wasn’t fleshed out for a more well rounded experience. You can drive cars, but the controls are not great, and you can do some cliff climbing, but the camera will definitely cause you problems as you attempt to move from cliff to cliff. There is a lot packed into this title, but nothing seems to be executed very well, leaving the players wanting on almost every level.
From far off, the world looks wonderful, but once you get up and close with the various areas, the graphics become suspect at best. The character animations are fairly poor throughout, and none of the areas feel realistic. The lack of colours used coupled with the lack of things to make the world feel alive, results in a pretty bland environment to snipe from.
The snipping mechanics in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 are some of the best in its class, and if the entire game was focused on this premise that would have been great. However, far too often the sniper rifle is removed from your arsenal of weapon choices and you are left playing some pretty bad close quarters combat. While the ability to upgrade different skills based on the types of weapons you use – melee combat, close combat, and sniping – only one of the three combat types is actually worth engaging in.
There are tons of problems with Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, but when it comes on sale, it might be worth the play through if only to enjoy the in depth sniping mechanics.