I heard you like sniping snipers? Good luck.
Title: Sniper Elite III
Platform: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, PC
Publisher: 505 Games, Rebellion
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Sniper Elite III is a tactical shooter that takes place in Northern Africa, and follows our hero, Karl war-hero blockhead during a conflict in the setting of World War II. Sniper Elite III, the follow-up to Sniper Elite V2, is actually a prequel, and takes place many years BEFORE the events of its predecessor? Time Paradox if you die I guess?
You play a sniper, if that wasn’t evident by the game’s title. The same gameplay mechanics from V2 have been retained. We’re dropped into a very large battlefield with a set of objectives, and we essentially make our way from point A to point B to point C, silently eliminated enemies along the way. The game is played as a long range shooter, where our primary weapon is the sniper rifle, and we have a handy back-up rifle and pistol if things get up close and hairy. Included in the inventory are a few grenades, bandages and health packs, mines and trip wires for defense, and rocks for distraction.
THE GAME SHOWCASES A SLOW-MOTION SEQUENCE WHENEVER THE SNIPER RIFLE IS USED
The main objective, as a sniper, is to quietly eliminate the enemies. Once a comfy nest is found, the handy binoculars can be used to tag enemies, and then using the trusty sniper rifle, can then be easily picked off one by one. Then we need to pick ourselves up and relocate before they find out where we’re shooting from. We are Jack’s ghost.
My biggest gripe with the sniping mechanic is that you can’t actually tag enemies using the sniper scope. The tagging mechanic is the sole reasoning behind burdening the player with the binoculars, fumbling with the controller to switch between the two.
Strictly sniping everyone isn’t even necessary, but it does make things easier, if not slower. Once spotted and the alarms raised, the enemy just runs your way. All the enemies. This will give you ample opportunity to bring out the faithful assault rifle and shoot all the ducks in a row, as they waddle around the nearest corner in a neat line-up. Unless you’re achievement hunting, this is a sure way to clear the area.
They do make the sniper rifle fun. The game showcases a slow-motion sequence whenever the sniper rifle is used, as the camera follows the bullet across the map, into, and through the body cavity of our enemy, occasionally showcasing a Mortal Kombat-like X-Ray view of the body, as the bullet destroys organs and bone alike.
HUNDREDS OF ENEMIES THAT SWALLOWED MY BULLETS HAD NO IDEA OF MY PRESENCE
After a couple completed primary and secondary objectives and we’ve taken out our primary target, the end of each mission usually tapers out to a tank boss fight, and you’d better hope you still have some mines left. Sadly, nearly every mission ends this way.
Also, good luck finding any of the enemy snipers before they find you. 1. They look like the environment. 2. These sneaks spawn only when the player is in visible range, and give no warning of their presence. We’d have to be omnipotent to know their tactically pre-placed advantages. I can’t truly complain though, that would be hypocritical. The hundreds of enemies that swallowed my bullets had no idea of my presence either.
The story is forgettable, and told through illustrated cut-scenes between missions. The plot follows Karl who was sent on a mission to assassinate a high ranking general. We find plans of a secret project, and proceed through the next missions locating high value targets and more plans for a Supertank. Yay, more tanks. Predictably we find our final target and the Supertank factory, murdering everything along our path and win the day. The upside to the game is that it can be played in its entirety, in co-op. Rejoice, someone to share the pain.
I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE FASCINATION WEARS OFF AFTER ONE LEVEL
The co-op is a nice edition, but there’s no bonus for taking advantage of this feature. No co-op paths or bonus for dual sniping (not that that would even need to be a thing). All co-op is good for is getting caught by the enemy that much quicker, when your friend messes up. I don’t mess up. Not ever. I’m perfect. Segue to my short story that takes place within Sniper Elite III, and tells a tale of joy when co-op sniping.
Sniper Elite III, after the slow-motion gunshot appeal wears off, and the enemy spies your location for the umpteenth time because your co-op friend slipped up, gets very boring and tedious. Each level is loooong, and the sneakier you are, the longer it takes to complete. The game itself houses only 8 levels, but through enough grinding and trial and error, it’ll start to wear the patience thin. Each Sniper Elite level refuses to introduce any new mechanics, only a different locale, and a switch to the day and night cycles.
There seems to be some love for the sniper type, maybe because the typical shooter has de-saturated the typical modern war shooter appeal, as we see THAT game year after year. Sniper Elite III has tried to make the role more interesting. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater did it right, needing only one level, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 did it right, needing only one level. I would argue that the fascination wears off after one level in this case as well.
Since I like chronology, I’ll go subject myself to Sniper Elite V2 now, thanks.
For those who like snipers, sneaky boring gameplay, or getting sand everywhere.
Through the looking glass (killed 10 snipers before they see you) – 10G
Charlie’s Challenge (get a testicle shot from 100M away) – 5G