iReview – SNIPER ELITE III – Sniping is Not a Co-op Activity

I heard you like sniping snipers? Good luck.

Title: Sniper Elite III
Developer: Rebellion
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?

“2 lines you should never cross….horizontal and vertical”

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 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.

“A sniper is the worst romancer, they never make the first move”

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.


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.

“One man’s fate comes from another man’s wait”

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.


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.

Notable Achievements:
Through the looking glass (killed 10 snipers before they see you) – 10G
Charlie’s Challenge (get a testicle shot from 100M away) – 5G


SHORT – Through the Looking Glass

This is a short story about the frustrations of co-op gaming. In this case, within Sniper Elite III.

The STEN MK II weighs a ton on my back, resting between my shoulder blades. I’m in the sniper nest, prone, in this god-forsaken desert, and I can’t breathe because of this gear. I’m choking on this dust, as I lie here for what feels like hours. I’m a sniper, you see.

"2 lines you should never cross....horizontal and vertical"

“2 lines you should never cross….horizontal and vertical”

A shot echoes off the rocky hills and I know that ILLESTRADER has removed another enemy. I hold my breath for 2 seconds, willing my senses to feel the enemies around us, to see if they’ve noticed. Squinting through my binoculars, I watch the men at the tent continue their patrol.

Whew. 68BPM.

The headset buzzes. “Are you in the nest?

I am. But I don’t respond. The stock of the M1 GARAND is nestled against my shoulder. I suck in and hold my breath anticipating the buck.


The soldier in my sights finishes his patrol along the fence line and lights up a cigarette and I take my-


-shot. The world slows and spins as the bullet explodes from the barrel. 68 meters. Headshot. Not bad.

Nice” the headset buzzes again. I exhale.


Two more targets get tagged through my HUD, and I have my binoculars out again. ILLESTRADER is prone underneath a truck spotting the camp ahead. Two soldiers are sitting around the camp fire, settled in the weathered remains of some house. A third I can see coming down the rocky slope. He’s 110 meters out, but at this angle the trees are in the way.

I groan as I get to my feet, stiff. The dust is sticking to me in this heat and I don’t have any water. I try to clear my throat as I jump down the ladder.

Shit, shit, shit!” The voice screams through my headset, and the chatter of gunfire echoes off the stones. ILLESTRADER must’ve been seen. The alarms start and suddenly the canyon has come alive. I don’t think I’ve been seen yet but I know they’re looking.

Sitting behind some sandbags, I go to check my map, but a jeep pulls up, and a soldier on his walkie-talkie steps out. I lay the M1 down and check my MK II. 32 bullets. I raise the gun over the bags and spray him with MK II fire, and he goes down before he can see me.


I’m sure they know where I am now. “Idiot.” I curse ILLESTRADER as I vault over the next set of sandbags, heading towards our objective. “Where are you?

I’m Fine, by the way-” More gunfire. “So much for stealth, eh?” He laughs.

God damn it, I hate it how he makes my life so difficult. I wish I didn’t have to rely on him so heavily, but I know he’s the better shot. Stealth just doesn’t suit him. The alarms are still ringing but I don’t see any more movement. This area must be clear. I know the Commander is in the next canyon. So says the map. But we’ll need to get through the tunnels up ahead. At least it’ll be cool there.

ILLESTRADER steps over his kills and heads up the path. I stop, check them for ammo, smirking, knowing he’ll complain about his own ammo shortages soon enough. I reload the MK II and head on through the dark, chilled tunnel and reach the bloom lighting at the other end.

I find him on his stomach with the binoculars out, tagging enemies. Two guys already dead, beside him, at the opening to the tunnel. I crouch, bring out my map and look for the closest sniper nest. This new area seems pretty quiet. I guess these guys didn’t hear the gunfire, or get the message that we killed all their buddies.

I head off, up the nearest path, sticking to the bushes.

"A sniper is the worst romancer, they never make the first move"

“A sniper is the worst romancer, they never make the first move”


I’m at the sniper nest when I hear ILLESTRADER finally chirp up, “OK, so I think I’ll head off to the left and take out the two near the tent and you can head towards the—oh you’re already at the nest…

As I climb the steps, I start to wonder if me, doing my own thing, my lack of patience with him makes him angry, if maybe I need to work on my communication. I think the only reason I’m here in this desert is because he’s here, for better or for worse. ILLESTRADER, the friendly nametag proudly proclaims above his head. Wherever I find myself, he’s somewhere near.

I’m moving the boards out of the way and going prone, stabilizing the M1 when I lose interest again. My main focus is the objective ahead. My Commander gave me a gun and maps, said go here, and kill this guy, finish the Objective. So I’m here, not really aware of where here is. Somewhere bland and hot.

Sliding another round in the M1 chamber, I right the gun. Looking through the scope, I spot the three sentry units that ILLESTRADER has tagged. I dial the scope to 150 meters. This’ll be quite the shot, I think to myself, from my safe little window on the world.

Deep breath and hold. 70BPM.

I squeeze the-


-trigger. The gun bucks up, I lose sight of the sentries briefly, but I don’t exhale. The gun steadies and two soldiers remain.


They heard the echo but they didn’t see their buddy go down. I line up the next one, smoothly ejecting the bullet, clearing the chamber. The world is still moving in slow motion, everything blurs outside my scope, but this shot-


-rings out clean. I exhale and inhale quickly.


The last guy is in complete shock as he wipes the remains of his friend’s face off his own. He’s dropped his gun and he’s green. He’s looking around frantically, afraid to move, when-


-his body rag-dolls off the sentry post and falls to the ground below.


I get the notification that ILLESTRADER has taken out the Commander from 113 meters – “TOO SOON” I hear myself. Does he enjoy creating this chaos? Is it on purpose? – and suddenly all the alarms are blaring, the campgrounds around the sentry towers come alive with soldiers, who have also just located my recent kill. I’m-

Everything around me explodes in gunfire. You hear it before you see it, but not by much. Then you can’t see anything at all, and pretty soon you can’t hear anything either.


I leap off the sniper nest, and roll when I hit the ground. I have no idea where the shots came from, or even if there’s any cover nearby – all I can sense is a hot beige world of loud noises. I get up and immediately come face to face with a scout who was searching for me. I wrestle out the easiest gun I can find. My WELROD comes up and I shoot him in the face. Lucky. If I had missed, he for sure would have killed me mid-reload.

In retrospect he was probably more surprised to see me than I of him – he was probably there just to confirm the kill. It was a fair bet I was dead.

The bullets start up again and I’m grazed, but I’m not ducking this time. Weaving between tents and stone walls, I head towards my partner, breathing hard.



Shit, I’m down-

I’m sure he’s got his pistol out though, picking off anyone nearby. It’s up to me now, to reach him before they do. “I think my area is clear but it was a Sniper that-


My world turns fuzzy and red and I’m hit square, and stagger – I didn’t hear anything else that ILLESTRADER said. I know he’s 20 meters away, indicated by my HUD, as I crumple against a wall. He’s got maybe 30 seconds for me to reach him before he bleeds out, and I don’t know where the shots are coming from. God damn it, I hope ILLESTRADER learns his lesson after this is done.

I check my gear. Close range, the MK II is my best bet to fight my way to him, but the sniper is my biggest concern.

Do you know where he is?” I ask eagerly, fumbling with my headset, and with some gauze and bandages. I don’t know how this will help me in this situation, but I start wrapping. I also know I need to relocate soon, as I’m likely getting surrounded just sitting here.

Nope,” he responds casually as I start to grind my teeth.

I leave a smoking grenade at my feet as I vault through the nearest doorway in ILLESTRADER’s direction. Meant as a distraction, the explosion was likely deafening but I don’t hear it or feel it. My HUD informs me that two enemies sure as HELL felt it. Gloriously and loudly I’m sure. A fantastic sight that I don’t have time to admire.

I reach ILLESTRADER and find him slumped over. I grab my medikit and start to revive him. He jumps up and heads towards the door of the shelter we’re in and-



Jesus Christ! I frustratingly grab another medikit and revive him once more. He’s learned his lesson and he sticks beside me as shots thwack into the stone walls and a grenade explodes in the room above us.


Dusty and bloody, I limp to the door, crouching below the window. On the other end of the room a sentry enters and ILLESTRADER sticks a knife into his skull. He has his uses, I suppose, always has my back, even if it was his fault that we’re in this mess. I don’t thank him. Another failing of mine.

"One mans fate comes from another mans wait"

“One mans fate comes from another mans wait”

How many more are out there do you think?” He asks. “I’m out of ammo.

I laugh because my eyes are too clogged with dust to cry. At least One. The remaining sniper is out there, waiting, like I would be if I wasn’t here, trapped with my partner.

Head to the gates to meet the tanks, the route should be clear. I’ll take out the sniper and then we should be done.” I wish I could believe or stop myself from saying that.

I rest my M1 on the window and look out towards the canyon walls. The smoke from the grenade is still thick but I can just make out the gleaming white reflection off the enemy sniper’s scope. He’s prone, hidden. Smart.

My much-killed battle brother starts sprinting up the hill, which means the sniper will likely be tracking him. I have only a moment. Breathe. Slowly exhale. Aim small, hit small. Take the-


-shot. My bullet rips through the canyon and catches the sniper in the scope and tears through the eye socket. Bullet and glass makes a mess. Too late though.


Fuck! The kick from the gun leaves me woozy. Too much blood loss. My HUD tells me I need to relocate. But I can’t. We missed one of the targets. He’s in the room with his own MK II pressed coldly against my neck. This mission has not gone the way I’d-.

iROGAN is down!







“This is my idiot.
There are many like him,
But this one is mine.”