Sniper Elite has returned to give fans their fix of World War II, chronicling the adventures of fictional American Office Of Strategic Service Officer, Karl Fairburne during the North African conflict. Sniper Elite 3 looks to improve upon many aspects which made Sniper Elite V2 a success while adding more depth for players to experience. Does it succeed or does this bullet miss the intended target?
Sniper Elite 3 is set several years prior to the events in Sniper Elite V2. Officer Fairburne is entrenched in the North African conflict during World War II and learns of a secret Nazi weapons program and is tasked with stopping it. Like previous games in the series, your soldiering will task you with many things, be it to assassinate a known high ranking Officer in the Nazi army or to destroy cargo or AA guns, with as little or as much subtlety as possible. Just as in previous entries, there are a handful of difficulty levels and the highest being the namesake, Sniper Elite. Upon choosing this difficulty the enemies are slightly more advanced when searching for you, and their bullets hurt a lot more as well. Bullet drop also comes into play on the higher difficulties. The opening mission acts as a great tutorial which is helpful to newcomers and returning veterans as well. It showcases returning and new features to help players quickly grasp the game for the missions ahead.
Stealth has been reworked and allows for improved mechanics during the course of the game, so if you choose to take on the Nazi army in a stealthy way, you are able to by masking your sniper shots with overhead noises of planes flying past, or machinery malfunctions. The bottom left corner now displays an eye of sorts, when open you are visible but when it shrinks to a closed form you are hidden from enemy sight. This also becomes useful when picking a sniping spot. You can see the enemies alert status above their head with either white (normal), yellow (wary) or red (alerted) circles. This all adds to the stealth of the game and makes it pretty fun to attempt the ‘perfect sniper’ run.
Sniper Elite III let’s you play how you want to play across a variety of online and offline modes
Some players may not want stealth and may just want to run around and shoot every Nazi they see in glorious slow-motion x-ray bullet goodness. You can, but you may not survive long, not to say that it still isn’t immensely fun and satisfying. The x-ray shots show increased detail from previous titles, showcasing just about every fine detail, and for those who are keeping track; testicle shots have returned. You can even lure enemies to your position with flint with a small smoke signal and setup a trip-wire or landmine to send enemies exploding. There are many ways to take the enemy by surprise which is always good. If you end up in a sticky situation you might have to break out your pistol or sub-machine gun which have limited ammo and are only to be used as last ditch efforts, as they make a lot of noise that will surely bring more enemies to your position.
Despite the varying ways to play the game and the array of gadgets you have at your disposal, the weapon list is rather small in comparison. The handful of sniper rifles are a bit disappointing, however this is to be made up with the ability to pick up new parts off of dead enemies and unlock new parts of the rifles, such as stock, barrel, scope and more. Sadly this customization is limited to the sniper rifles. Every kill, found collectible and objective completed garners points which acts as experience points that level up Fairburne up to level 60. The level carries over through other modes available in the game such as multiplayer.
The singleplayer campaign can last around eight to ten hours with each level lasting around an hour or more. Co-op adds a set of content as it allows for players to go online and play the entire campaign cooperatively or take on survival. Survival is wave based gameplay where Nazi’s continue to come at you in two set arenas in either solo or cooperative modes. Co-op specific Overwatch mode allows for a little diversity where one player acts as a spotter and the other as the sniper in two specific scenarios. Cooperative gameplay adds for a nice diversity where you can invite friends and have fun sniping various parts of the Nazi army.
Multiplayer comes in fully stacked with an array of modes itself. The loadout you start with is the same loadout you have unlocked through playing of the campaign so it is always accessible. Besides the normal Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch that most multiplayer titles have, Sniper Elite 3 brings a few unique modes to the table. Distance King and Team Distance King both have players fighting for best total kill distance. So if you manage to snipe a player from across the entire map, than you are A; very skilled and B; just scored a great amount of points for yourself or your team. Another unique mode is No Cross where two teams fight it out in a Team Deathmatch style but with one slight change, no close quarters combat at all, strictly sniping. It adds an array of skill and variety to the modes that many online players have become accustomed to.
Sniper Elite 3 manages to take many aspects from the franchise and improve upon them. The gameplay is more refined, the stealth mechanics reworked to an interesting and enjoyable element and the added co-op and multiplayer stand on their own and do not feel tacked on. The amount of weaponry at your disposal in lieu of sniper rifles in a game about a sniper is a bit disappointing, but can be easily overlooked by the slight customization and leveling additions added. Sniper Elite 3 manages to hit the target between the eyes and even look good doing it on next-gen consoles. So if you are looking for a fun little co-op title or a World War II fix, this is the game for you.
Sniper Elite III
- Available On: XB1,PS4,PC,X360,PS3
- Published By: 505 Games
- Developed By: Rebellion
- Genre: shooter, stealth
- US Release Date: June 27th, 2014
- Reviewed On: PS4
- Quote: "A skull full of content waiting for you to blow it to pieces with a well-placed shot."