Sniper Ghost Warrior series originally started on PC as a Cry Engine developed game. It was marketed as a game that was focused on stealth and kills with a Sniper Rifle and touted it as the major selling point of the series. There aren’t that many games that can claim to implement stealth properly and even then, there are issues with how the sniping mechanic is implemented. If we speak about playing as a Sniper in a realistic environment, it can turn out to be a grueling task because it requires a lot of patience to wait for enemies and line up the shot for killing the enemy.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is essentially trying to put a spin on the Sniping genre of video games like Sniper Elite series, which utilizes the Sniping mechanics with its brutal kill cams to make for some fun and compelling gameplay. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 goes for the more realistic route where the player has to carefully line up their shot while taking in considering various variables, like in real life. Of course it doesn’t go for complete realism here but attempts to stick close to it. In general it manages to succeeds with it sniping gameplay but unfortunately there are some glaring design flaws and technical issues present in the game that make it far from enjoyable.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a bigger budget production than its predecessor and it is clearly seen in the form of the game’s story and cutscenes. The developers have tried to present a story here that goes through some war torn scenarios while attempting to tackle the subject of brotherhood, patriotism and loyalty but they fail to deliver it in a consistent manner. The writing often feels like it is shoddy and the dialogue is cringe inducing, which makes it harder to immerse in the story. The story spans across more than 2 dozen missions but it never feels like a journey because the narrative is a confusing mess.
The developers have tried to introduce an emotional hook with the story of two brothers, Jonathan and Robert. There are plenty of twists and turns in the story but they are more about shrugging at the terrible writing than the actual twists. The character development in the game is kept minimal with no emotional attachment making it hard to care for the fate of some of the characters presented in the story. The story could have been bearably if the execution wasn’t flawed, which unfortunately appears to be the case here.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a more open world take on the genre compared to its predecessor. The player is free to approach the objectives on the world map or tackle some of the side quests as they see fit. These side quests are called ‘war crimes’ in the game and while they can be fun for a while, they quickly become repetitive. The main story missions allow to be approached through multiple points of interest and strategy and this is what makes the game somewhat salvageable considering it fails to achieve anything notable in the story and technical department.
The best part in the game is arguably its gameplay where majority of it will revolve around you sniping the enemies from distance. The enemy A.I is not exactly stellar here but it gets the job done. The game provides a whole host of gadgets like a drone to survey the area for potential enemy locations. This has been used in multiple games this generation so it is nothing new of course, still it is good for marking down the enemies while sitting in a location. Enemies can also be alerted if they see the drone so you have to be careful not to let them see it.
While the core gameplay is solid, the game forces the player to gather Intel in its open world in order to trigger the next mission objective. This is one flawed design concept because of the open world nature of the game, it means you will have to repeat tasks to gather Intel before you can even attempt the next mission. I can understand why the developers decided to go for this approach however it would have been better if it was not made mandatory. It also seems similar to Ghost Recon Wildlands where gathering Intel was necessary to get information on the next mafia member, but here it is just like a forced addition.
This brings us to the visuals, which look great aside from the character models. They are terrible and they don’t mesh well with the background creating for some jarring experience here. That said, Cry Engine is a visually rich engine and Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 makes full use of it making for some gorgeous looking landscapes. But this also comes with a whole set of technical issues just like another recent Cry Engine game, Homefront: The Revolution. The load times on PS4 are absurdly long and there are multiple glitches and bugs that can spoil the experience. The player character model can also randomly clip into the ground or other objects which can lead to some frustration. The developers have assured that these bugs will be fixed in a future update so hopefully they can be patched, but as it stands, the game is not without its technical flaws.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an open world first-person tactical shooter developed by CI Games. It is the third entry in the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series and the first title to feature a AAA production effort.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 aims to be the first game in the series to be developed with AAA production values, however it is clear after playing the game that despite a bigger budget, the game carries some glaring flaws and technical issues that don't make it deserving of its budget.