Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 – Review
Lying prone on a rocky outcrop, determined to control your breathing and focus your mind so that you can concentrate on the task at hand whilst remaining undetected by enemy forces. These are probably just a fraction of the factors that weigh into being a sniper and it’s probably an experience many of us will never fully understand first hand.
Thankfully for the rest of us, who aren’t elite marksmen, there are certain games that exist that aim to help us understand what goes into being a sniper, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is one of those titles.
Right from the off it’s clear that this is a game that’s going to promote stealth, as you’d probably expect from the title Ghost Warrior. Even the opening cinematic features one of the games primary characters stealthing off into the undergrowth undetected by their brother.
Some games in this genre may have names and back stories that seem to promote stealth and the art of covert ops and then when it comes to actual gameplay you can adopt a Rambo-esque approach and kick in doors with all guns blazing. Ghost Warrior 3 is not one of those games.
This game is almost, if not more, preparation as it is action. When making your way to an objective you’ll often find yourself stopping just short of the waypoint as you’ve spotted an area that seems as though it would make a perfect spot to scout the location. From that location you’ll then find yourself using the games drone to tag enemies and areas of interest, the drone can be upgraded later in the game, with night vision and the likes, to further improve your pre-mission set up.
While it could sound like all of this scouting and setting yourself up perfectly would be boring it’s anything but. When you’ve taken your time and researched the area and the terrain you get an immense sense of satisfaction when your last bullet hits a key enemy or you hit an explosive barrel that takes out more than one enemy while distracting the remaining adversaries and allows you to exfiltrate without issue.
It’s not just when you successfully remain “Ghosted” that you feel accomplished either. When you fire a bullet and suddenly the world slows down and the camera tracks the bullet towards the enemy you know it’s a great shot. This feeling is further amplified if prior to taking the shot you’ve adjusted your scope, taken bullet drop off into account and shot them through a patch of undergrowth, just as an example.
While a certain sense of twisted calm falls over you when everything goes your way it can escalate quickly into all out warfare if you aren’t prepared. One great example of this is when your silencer breaks, suddenly you’re much easier to locate and the enemies quickly converge on you.
Twin the above with the very real possibility that you can drop from sufficient to zero ammo for your sniper pretty rapidly meaning you’re forced to resort to your assault rifle, or worse – your sidearm, then the game quickly becomes an extremely hectic, blood pumping shooter.
While a large amount of focus in CI Games‘ latest offering is on remaining undetected and completing your mission, that’s not to say that some missions don’t require you to get a little closer. While ideally you’d like to sit in the distance and pick off your enemies at your leisure sometimes an alternative objective becomes available that will mean getting up close and personal with your foes.
Luckily when this is the case you can adapt your gameplay from long distance sniper to an up close and personal man on a mission seamlessly. With stealth melee kills and silenced pistols at your disposal, you can be mere feet from a whole host of enemies and they’ll never know you’re there.
The world of Sniper: Ghost Warriror 3 is an expansive one, so it’s not just a case of going from mission to mission. It’s worth taking some time out from doing missions to explore the world around you, and what’s more is that you can do this either in a vehicle and driving from place to place or utilising the games fast travel system to jump between points of interest and then heading off the beaten path.
This exploration serves two purposes, not only will you take in the sights and sounds you normally wouldn’t during the campaign and side missions, but you’ll also stumble across collectibles. While these collectible are pretty neat little trinkets their biggest purpose seems to be providing the player with additional trading goods.
Trading goods are the currency of the game and can be used to purchase pretty much everything in the game. They can be used on items ranging from bullets (which include standard, armour piercing and tagging rounds) and grenades right up to drone updgrades and weapon attachments. As well as buying and upgrading weaponry and gadgets, the trading goods can be used to repair items.
Ensuring that your weapons and armour are kept in peak working order is key to success in this game. If your silencer falls into disrepair then you’re suddenly in a very different situation to the one you were seconds before. Not only that but should you find yourself in a situation where your armour is worn down then if things go south you are playing fast and lose with your chances of survival.
There is a lot to be said for the many positives of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, but it doesn’t come without its flaws. One of the biggest drawbacks is that while the games cinematics are incredibly well put together and extremely polished the in game graphics leave a little something to be desired.
That’s not to say the game is poor from a visual stand point, because it isn’t, however when compared to some of todays other high end titles more could have been done to give Ghost Warrior a crisp finish.
Perhaps one of biggest negatives that can be noticed when playing Ghost Warrior is that there are some glitches and game mechanic issues that can at time hinder progress and even cause the game to need a reset.
One specific example is when trying to interrogate an enemy, the very first opportunity you get to perform this action is during the prologue which acts as the games tutorial. This can glitch and cause the enemy to go into the interrogated stance, yet your character doesn’t have hold of them and you can’t extract information from them. To compound further this issue your character’s weapons disappear and you’re forced to perform weapon swaps to get them back and simply leave the ‘interrogated’ enemy as they are. Another issue that seems to occur with a concerning degree of frequency is the game crashing as this can be particularly frustrating if you’re towards the end of a mission and closing in on a kill shot on a designated target. The biggest drawback of the game crashing issue is that the loading times of this game are some of the longest you’re likely to have encountered in recent memory (get used to the screen below).
Luckily you’ll probably find that Ghost Warrior has drawn you in so much that if it does crash you will simply load the game back up and replay the mission without too much of a grumble as it affords you with the opportunity to better your previous run through.
All in all the many positives of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 far out weigh its negatives. Sure, the title may not be as polished as certain other titles released recently but graphics aren’t everything and while there are some gameplay issues it’s likely that CI Games can fix these with a post launch patch.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is available to purchase from retailers and can be downloaded digitally from the Xbox Store priced at £54.99.
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