For a game called “Sniper Elite 3,” there sure is a big gap between actually sniping people and sneaking around
I will say that while I wasn’t disappointed with this game, I was certainly surprised at how often I found myself slowly moving through the battlefield in contrast to the previous game in the franchise. I know many people are thinking of buying it because it really is one of the only other shooters out for both systems, but this review might very well help make that decision for you.
“Sniper Elite 3” is set in Africa during WWII, where you stealthily move through large scale desert maps and quietly dispatch enemies, or noisily snipe them from a distance to get to your goal. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then buckle-up, you’re in for a good time.
Unfortunately what “Sniper Elite 3” does not do as well as other games is the stealth aspect that takes a lot of time up in the game. “Splinter Cell?” Pretty great stealth. “Metal Gear Solid?” Solid stealth. “Sniper Elite 3?” An imprecise science and Frankenstein of mechanics from good franchises.
A Relocation system in the game lets you know that enemies knew where you were at some point, much like “Splinter Cell,” so it is in fact helpful. However, the game controls much less smoothly than games that have been doing this a lot longer than “Sniper Elite.” Also, the NPC soldiers seem to be very acutely aware of your location no matter the difficulty. Hiding bodies is almost essential because even in the extremely dark and hard to navigate maps, the enemies seem to be so observant they might as well be wearing night vision goggles with sonar strapped to their bodies.
I will give the game some kudos for good distraction systems, whether you’re throwing a rock or shooting at something to make a noise. It operates just as expected and may be the most straightforward mechanic that works exactly as intended.
The purpose of all this sneaking is to set up traps or explosives to accomplish your objectives in more creative and Michael Bay ways. Cards on the table? I did that once. In the entire game. It is entirely possible to go through the game just shooting people with a silenced pistol and rifle and never lay down a single explosive or mine. So, while there is a myriad of ways to kill an enemy or blow up a structure in this game, you rarely even need to do it.
So, what about the sniping? It’s great. It always has been and I really feel that this game will always be fun surely because of the attention to detail and care they’ve put in to it. Setting the difficulty lower or to the higher more realistic levels is always good for a challenge.
What’s silly though, is if you’ve pre-ordered this game, the best weapons are just given to you and it’s like there’s no reason to care about the leveling aspect for the character. Killing Nazis from long shots or masked shots that have sounds to cover the gunfire increase the amount of XP that can be earned. It all becomes meaningless, however, when the best weapons are just handed to you at the beginning of the game with a pat on the back and a “Good luck, soldier!” kind of attitude.
While the game shines in the sniping and fails in a lot of aspects, I mentioned the lack-luster maps and horrible HUD map points in my stream of the game, the graphics are stunning. While I think this would have made a good launch title for both systems in terms of showing what can be done with the graphical capabilities, I don’t think this would have helped sales.
“Sniper Elite 3” is exactly what it seems to be. A medium quality game that delivers some passable action and passable stealth sequences, but doesn’t do anything really well other than what you would expect it to do well. Come for the sniping, leave after the roughly 7 hr campaign. Why even bother with the multiplayer?