This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. We are back with Karl Fairburne in World War II taking on a series of missions over the time between the very first game and the events of Sniper Elite V2.
You are in north Africa with your trusted sniper rifle and elite stealth skills in order to put a stop to the Wonder Weapon program. You have some big maps to work your way around as you complete your missions with any number of ways to complete your objectives but the best way is you blast your enemies organs to pieces as you snipe them from distance and initiate the X-Ray Kill Cam that is simply awesome.
During your time with the game you’ll enjoy some stealthy kills and some excellent touches on the next gen platforms but you’ll also be stopped dead in our tracks by a rock a small child could step over or experience a camera angle where you can only see the back of your own head lining up a shot. Sniper Elite is game that does the exceptional elements very well and the simple things on the rough side, while this doesn’t stop it being a good experience, the flaws stop it being an outstanding one.
Look & Feel”]
Look and Feel
There is going to be a theme of this review and it starts here because there are times when Sniper Elite 3 looks amazing. I tweeted an image from the PlayStation 4 when I was initially impressed with some of the exceptional lighting effects in this game.
— My Games Lounge (@MyGamesLounge) July 8, 2014
Very impressive, and when you are in some of the locations lights and shadow are exceptional as are explosions and of course the Xray Kill Cam. So long as you are firing a controlled sniper shot from your rifle and you will, of course, hit what you are aiming at – which ranges from point and hit on the easy modes and very tactical and patient on harder difficulties where you judge for gravity wind and other forces acting on the bullet – the kill cam activates.
This tracks the spinning bullet from your sniper rifle as it flies through the air to it’s target and once it’s about to impact the camera goes X-ray and heads explode, internal organs are blown to pieces and even genitals are blown to bits – why do I always get games that like to make me wince!
These are of course the big rewards in the game but they do not come easy. You must mask your shots and make sure you are well hidden to avoid anyone even knowing you are there. This in itself sucks you in to the life of a sniper, and the big reward of some gruesome kills really does feel satisfying.
While there are nice touches to the game like the lighting and the impressive maps you have to traverse it’s a shame that simple things completely break the immersion here. A rock, one my daughter could step over without holding my hand (she’s almost 2!) will stop this Elite Soldier dead in his tracks and you need to walk around it. Items in the scenery that look great at distance break up or even disappear, as do enemies at times. Then there is the camera that in close quarters can get stuck behind your head as you try and fire. It only happens occasionally but when you are sneaking around and need to take a person out quickly and quietly that can get you killed through no fault of your own.
Sniper Elite 3 looks good and you really do get sucked in to being a sniper and, if you love a bit of stealth, you will take your time to get everything just right and kill your target like an expert. This is also some good forms of “gamer rage” moments where YOU make a mistake and end up discovered witch adds to the challenge of the title. It’s just a shame that this is sometimes caused by bugs rather than your own mistakes.
You play as Karl Fairburne and you are in the North Africa conflict during World War II in an effort to stop the Nazi’s developing a Wonder Weapon… and that’s about all I can say. The rest of it all is more mission briefings told like a story than a genuine plot with twists, turns and surprises. You’re a solider and have your orders to do certain things and kill certain people that’s pretty much it.
Considering there is a lot to cover in World War II then this is somewhat of a disappointment but it really doesn’t affect the game since gameplay is the focus here, don’t get this game for an intricate story or character progression.
The game is stealth, if you don’t like stealth simply ignore my score as this game is not really for you. You could play the game a bit more action focused but since Karl Fairburne can’t take much punishment it’s far better to get in close quarters and kill soldiers by hand or silenced pistol or snipe from distance.
The game is separated out into missions where you have a very large map area to traverse, in the initial missions you start at one end and need to progress your way across how you see fit. You can really take your time and kill everyone in sight with Close Quarter Take-Downs, explosive traps and your trusty sniper rifle. Using this is a reward rather than an expectation, even on easier difficulties you have to get yourself to a proper snipers nest and mask your shots using sounds in the environment. The reward for this is the xray kills that are great fun however there are times where it feels a little too much work for the reward and its just far simpler to take people out with a pistol or just sneak by.
There are a lot of positives in the gameplay for stealth fans, you really are put under stress when discovered and the soldiers are chancing you. If you are sneaky enough you can relocate while they look for you at your last known location, shown as a shadow on the screen. Should there only be a few soldiers you can use this to strike or simply mark them with your binoculars so they are tracked on your HUD and map.
But, once again there are some simple things that make the game just that little bit less special. Enemy AI is very hit and miss, once they catch a glimpse of you they are alert and very dangerous. When they are on attack you feel very much alone and in danger of death which is great. But then if you blow something up, kill someone and they find a body they will casually return to their pre-set path they patrol after a moment, whistling away. The AI could really have been better here.
When it all works, just like everything else in this game it’s fantastic but the occasional cheap kill or alert can lead to frustration or even the odd laugh. Stealth fans will enjoy the methodical approach you can take however and there is a lot of enjoyment to be had in completing the missions, especially on the top difficulty.
There are 8 mission with big map, should you go all for the plot missions and try your best to get through without doing much else they should take you around 8 hours but there is a massive map to explore in each level with lots of things to do, items to collect and Sniper Nests to find and utilise.
Much of the time spent on the game is down to the gamer here, if you want to complete the game on “authentic” mode with very tough enemies that notice you very, very quickly and will kill you in one or two shots then it’s going to take you a while. Then there are the side missions and optional things you can do yourself taking out enemies or vehicles to make the overall level easier on yourself as you sneak through.
Overall there is a lot to do and get out of the game not mentioning the fact the entire single player can be completed with a friend using Co-Op play so there is even more reason to do the missions over again.
Sniper Elite is a good game that wants to be great and has all the ingredients of a top title. Kill Cam is Excellent on people and vehicles, some of the graphic touches are excellent with stealth gameplay that will suck you in and make you want to complete missions again and again to get them just right.
For everything that’s great about Sniper Elite 3 that Rebellion get spot on, there is something basic that stops it being a great game overall. Poor AI, broken graphical textures and an annoying camera can frustrate you. While they are not at all reasons to avoid this game they stop it from realising its potential greatness, this really could have been one of the best games of the year had they got the game more polished. Given the release schedule of games this autumn/winter you can understand that it may have been rushed to get out before the big hitters blow our wallets/purses to bits, and waiting until next year for a developer of Rebellions size may not have been an option. It’s a shame but it certainly does not stop Sniper Elite being a good game with some outstanding moments.
Stealth fans will love this game and it is certainly something you should play if you like that kind of experience, you’ll certainly enjoy Sniper Elite 3 and, despite the negatives, it’s very worth your time.