CI Games released their first Sniper Ghost Warrior game back in 2010 and followed it up with a sequel in 2013. I didn’t play the first one, but I did the second one. It wasn’t particularly good. Now some four years later, and after a few delays, CI Games has released the third entry into the Sniper Ghost Warrior franchise and the good news is that it’s certainly better than its predecessor.
I applaud CI Games for taking a step and making an effort to make this a “full AAA production.” You always want to see a sequel be better than the one that came before, and to that end Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an all around better game than the previous entry in practically every way and lays a more solid foundation for the franchise going forward if CI Games chooses to continue with it.
As you can see from the header above, the game has scored three stars. On our scale, that means either “satisfying” or “good.” This one falls under the “satisfying” rating; it’s better than “decent” but not quite good enough to be considered “good.”
The thing that holds it back is some technical problems will supposedly be fixed at some point (the loading times are absolutely insane) and some really poor writing and voice acting. And the very bland story in general does the game no favors.
If you like the Far Cry games, you’ll probably mostly enjoy Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. The game just has that feel of a Far Cry game (and I’d say more Far Cry 2 like) without all of the polish.
Like the Far Cry games, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3’s story is broken up into acts. Odds are you won’t care about any of it, as again the story is pretty poor. As you progress, you’ll earn skill points for the three skill trees: Sniper, Ghost, and Warrior. Of course these skills will help you be more powerful. It’s simple and easy progression. There’s even crafting in the game, because all snipers should know how to make their own bullets.
The move to open world was a good and fitting choice as it opens up more unique opportunities to tackle missions in different ways. While you’re free to run and gun or close quarters stealth, this is a game all about sniping. And having large open spaces and the freedom to attack from whatever position you want makes for a thrilling sniping experience.
And ultimately the sniping is the best thing about the game. Ignore the story and treat it as a sandbox to just go sniping in and you’ll enjoy your time with the game a lot more. CI Games has always made the effort to try and capture a more realistic sniping experience than most games have (things like wind speed and direction, needing to adjust your scope based on distance, breathing, etc) and it’s all as good as it has ever been here in the third entry.
Another thing that this game does right, at least for me, is driving. As an open world game, it needs two things; the ability to quickly travel the map (in this case a truck) and fast travel. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 offers up plenty of fast travel points that you get XP for discovering, and sure fast travel is generally the way to go. But the driving is top notch. You’re restricted to first person view, but your vehicle will top out around 80mph. It’s easy to stay on the road even at full speed, which cannot be said for the vast majority of open world games with cars. Fast travel if you need to get somewhere in a hurry, but you should also take time to enjoy the drive down the roads of Georgia (country, not the state).
Sniper 3 borrows from another (read the only other) sniping franchise, Sniper Elite, in the form of slow down bullet travel to impact. Fire off a sniper head shot from a decent range and watch in mostly slow motion as your bullet leaves your gun and travels into some poor dude’s eye. It’s not quite as satisfying as Sniper Elite’s bone shattering x-ray vision, but it’s still good fun and humorous every time (especially when your bullet goes in a guy’s ear).
There are some technical hiccups that bring the game down quite a bit. These are some graphical issues and framerate drops, but the biggest hindrance is load time when starting the game or when traveling between the three maps. I understand the load time also decreases load times after you die (although that’s still longer than I’d want), but it’s just an absurd wait time. A patch is supposedly coming, but a game can’t be judged on a patch that will come eventually.
Like the technical patch, multiplayer is also coming at some point in the future. Much like Far Cry, I don’t think this game really needs multiplayer though. I don’t foresee it being popular enough to have a vibrant community anyway. Unless it’s co-op, competitive multiplayer seems like a waste of resources. With that said, the lack of multiplayer has no effect on the score given because this is exactly the type of game that I could care less about multiplayer in.
The story missions, if you can tune out the dialogue, offer up a nice amount of variety to be worth playing even if you don’t (you won’t) care about the story. It would have been easy for the game to rely on repetitive mission design, as so many games do, but luckily CI Games largely avoided that trap here. Sure a lot of time you’re going to be perched back somewhere hiding while you scout the area with your zone to tag enemies before blowing their brains out from afar, but then it is a sniping game.
Ultimately, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a satisfying experience bogged down by some kinks that can be ironed out. It’s a solid foundation to build upon for future installments, again if CI Games chooses to continue with the franchise (and this is the best one yet, so I think they should).
If you can put aside the long load times and the generic and dull story, you can have some fun with this game. Would I recommend dropping $60 on it? Of course not, but if you enjoy sniping and catch it under $30 you should get it.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 gets a three out of five: SATISFYING.
* A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review.