I am not the biggest expert in first person shooter games, even tactical shooters, especially ones that are in a realistic setting. I do not play Call of Duty regularly, EA’s Battlefield or other games of the like, so when I was shown Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 (brought to us by CI Games) for review, I knew this would be slightly out of my normal comfort zone. I am, however, not afraid to explore outside of my usual genre tastes and was ready to snipe some enemy targets trying to steal a stockpile of abandoned bio-weapons from the Russian-Ukrainian border and get involved in some very suspicious activity. With what looked like a game full of intrigue, drama and even some romance, would I find love in this genre of game? Maybe not, but what I had was an interesting experience nonetheless.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 puts you in the shoes of a man named Jonathan North who is in the United States Marines with his brother Robert. The two of them are sent on a mission to the Russian-Ukrainian border to stop targets from obtaining bio-weapons. Things take a strange turn after the brothers are ambushed by a unique special forces unit and Jon must work for them after Robert was captured. With the assistance of a man named Frank Simms and a Georgian woman named Lydia you must complete sniping missions and do the bidding of these unidentified special forces and save your brother.
The most glaring flaw in this game for me was not in the story or gameplay, which are both passable, but the graphics. I found the character models at times, hard to look at; they are nestled right in the uncanny valley and can seem very marionette-like at times. At its best, the targets you need to snipe from a distance look passable. The scenery and settings are also tolerable, but I found there were some issues with scenery looking cut off if I was ducking in some foliage or if I walked with my gun near some rocks or trees or bushes. In the game’s favor, the overhead shots from the drone did look beautiful and it was a shame there is such a difference in quality from the scenery and character models. Load times were also a cumbersome trial as some were up to 5 minutes long and the blood spatter effects on the camera sometimes looked cheap and distracting during gameplay.
This game’s strongest point is in its gameplay. I found the actual sniping to be an interesting mechanic, but that may possibly be because this is still a fairly fresh type of game for me. I found it interesting that you had to adjust your gun to get the best shot, use the drone to find targets and wait out for the perfect opportunity to strike down your enemy. I liked that it was not just simply run and gunning, but you needed to be smart about what weapon to use, where to snipe from and when to shoot. The only problem I had with the actual gameplay was finding it difficult to determine what you could climb, what you couldn’t climb and where you could interact with the environment. The story is also passable; while not inspired or full of unexpected plot turns, it deviates enough from the usual WW2 or typical Middle Eastern stereotypes that the genre has relied on for years, instead choosing a location that is not be too boring or offensive.
Overall, this is a game that is not terribly good or terribly bad – it’s what you’d call mediocre or average. If you enjoy this genre, you have more than likely played better versions of this game with other AAA franchises. Really, I could only recommend this if you are truly itching for something new in between more anticipated titles like COD WW2 and whatever the next Battlefield happens to be. The gameplay is good enough to keep you entertained, but the graphics, technical issues and less tstellarller story won’t leave any lasting impressions.