Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is the first game I’ve played in this series and if Emma Bunton asked me “What took you so long?”, I wouldn’t have an answer for her, nor for you why I dragged up a long-forgotten 16-year-old song.
You set out as Jon, younger brother to Robert, who greets you in a pre-game CGI segment, just before he ships out to Afghanistan, while you’re a kid, about to try your first attempt at sniping (just watching, though, and he doesn’t get to go through with this, either), but once you’re in the army now, circumstances force you apart after the opening scene, and you’ll want to get the band back together as soon as possible.
Plot-wise, the baddies start off with a Russian guy. I could name him, but you’re hardly going to meet up and break bread together, and once one is killed, it’s onto another baddie to kill them, too, occasionally rescuing hostages along the way. The enemies ultimately want to set off a load of bioweapons, too, so it’s up to you alone to take care of that side of things as well. Nothing complex here, but the fun comes in getting to an area and first using your drone to go high up in the area for a recce, locating the position of each enemy so they pop up on your HUD. However, you’ll undoubtedly miss the occasional one, so from time to time, you’ll find a bullet flying through your brain and wondering how you missed that particular bad guy… well, you would if conscious thought was still possible after your synapses have been torn apart… I haven’t tried, and even if I did, I’d be unlikely to be in a position to report my findings.
The story isn’t much to write home about, but it’s okay. I don’t worry too deeply about such things – videogames are not Shakespeare, and at the end of the day, I just want to get in there and start killing things!!!
As you walk around each area, when enemies spot you, their level of detection increases – allowing you to step back a little and make you lose interest, but once they know you’re there and everything turns red, it’s too late to pretend any more. As a newbie to the SGW franchise, I’m still very familiar with this in the Sniper Elite and Hitman series, so it serves this game very well, indeed.
There’s lots of other standard stuff to this, too: inbetween missions, get to the safehouse where you can rest, check your weapons and loadout, craft items, etc. And make sure you buy new ammo – it doesn’t just refill at the start of each new level like most games.
And as you’d expect, you can buy and upgrade your weapons as you go, but like most games, once you’ve got your trusted favourites in your hand, you’ll stick with them to take out the enemy.
There’s also multiplayer content to this title, but for me, single-player campaign is my bag and I was looking forward to this one as I didn’t have to faff about with controlling AI ‘colleagues’ such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
Graphically, this looked outstanding when it began. I saw glorious textures close-up on land, as well as looking down into a fast-flowing river, seeing the water rush by. Running through the forest, it was like being in The Revenant… although with less bears. But then the problems began. Let’s list them all one by one, and I’m sure that the majority of them can be resolved by patching:
- While the graphics are fast and fluid a lot of the time, there are times when everything breaks up like a Norman Collier's 'faulty microphone' routine (old ’80s reference, there… good job I linked a video), so you lose the flow of the game as the picture and sound pause briefly. I can’t see any reason for this. I know it’s not me as it happened when the game was trying to do other things, such as tell me I’d reached a new area as a mission was about to start. And I’ve got a beefy PC.
Alas, it happened way too often which made me wonder whether this game had any play-testing at all, since if it had, it would’ve been noticed within two minutes. Yes, Hitman has similar issues but nowhere bad as this. The problem’s not exactly Batman Arkham Knight, but it falls somewhere inbetween these two titles.
- There are crazy-long loading times when you start the game or in loading in the next level. Thankfully, whether re-loading in a checkpoint after you die, or for the next level.
- The ‘bullet-cam’ shots aren’t quite as cool as those in Sniper Elite 4 and the previous titles, but they’re still decent enough. However, you don’t have control over when they appear as they don’t come up every time.
- There are some pre-drawn kills in this. Whereas Hitman and Sniper Elite make you feel like all the kills are happening in real time with respect to where someone falls – basically, because that’s how they’re rendered, in Two Birds, the first mission proper for SGW3, I got killed a couple of times, but each time I attempted the mission, I took out the sniper first. His death scene was exactly the same every time. This very much takes you out of the loop. Okay, so the SE series also does the same for the mahoosive end-of-level explosions on occasion, but that’s a big mother compared to just offing one man.
- You can’t instantly replay previous segments, so after completing the prologue, I couldn’t go back and retry it to get a decent video.
- When I first met Lydia, the graphical definition on her motion-captured face felt a bit… how I can only describe… “like a game made a few years ago”.
- I can invert the Y-axis while walking about or for using a drone, but when it comes to driving my 4×4, there is not an option to invert looking up/down in that.
Go to page 2 for some more thoughts on this game…. and a fake Amazon review??
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 – Strange blocking over enemy face
(Very High settings) (1080p HD) – PC – DVDfeverGames
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.