Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a first person shooter developed by a relatively small studio (CI Games) whose prior works have pretty much revolved around a series of other Sniper titles and a brief dip into third person fantasy combat with Lords of the Fallen. That said, I went into this game with some pre-conceived notions about what I was expecting to play. So let’s talk first about what it is that the game really “is” and what it does.
The Lone Sniper
The entire function of the game is built around the idea of the player being a lone sniper out to get the bad guys and provides the player with tools and options to do so sight-unseen. In an attempt to provide the game with some degree of personal immersion, the story puts the player into a position where they are also pursuing a personal mission in the process of doing their job for the military.
The game takes into account aspects of weapons handling that many other games regrettably neglect. It takes into consideration the significant effects of elevation, wind shear, breathing, and distance in scoping out and eliminating your target.
They’ve also created an open world concept for the game that is different from past games in the series and, to an extent, it could be argued that this was an attempt to give the player more freedom in choice of their operations. Players also get to choose between three different skill trees as they gain experience and flesh out their play style.
However…all of this seems pretty irrelevant when you take into consideration that there are other games out there that have done it better and are just more enjoyable.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Brings Back Realism
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 certainly has some good points. It takes the ridiculously unrealistic and absurd aspects of sniping that are unfortunately a part of so many first person shooters and brings it back to reality. So if there is anything Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 should be admired for, it’s bringing back realism and sanity to a task that’s been made so gamified that it actually ruins the game it’s put in.
So if your thing is that you want realistic sniping, go ahead and give this game a try. You will more than likely be pleased by that aspect of the game. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing I can say about the game that really made me go “Wow, this is great!” There is a lot left to be desired in the rest of the game.
The Devil’s in the Details (Graphics)
The graphics aren’t bad. They certainly look nice at long distances and they were appealing enough that it didn’t look dated, but with graphics, the devil really is in the details, and there were certain little demons running through the programming as I played the game that really killed the immersion. A few examples may be…
- Everything looks nice until the game deliberately zooms in to a kill-shot while sniping, then the entire animation when the bullet is supposed to strike the enemy looks cheap, poorly articulated, and in some instances even pixelish. This really destroys the immersion and takes a lot of the satisfaction away from what should have been a victorious moment.
- Hearing a helicopter fly overhead gives you a brief moment of anxiety as you rush to the nearest bushes…until you watch the helicopter fly directly over a series of trees/bushes that should bend and sway with the force of the approaching chopper…and instead they look exactly like they did when the chopper was nowhere in site. The execution is all very wooden and uninspired.
- A variety of graphical bugs have popped up almost routinely and kill the experience altogether.
That said, I do feel like I need to say something about the overall programming of the game, which leaves a lot to be desired.