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DID YOU THINK I FORGOT ABOUT YOU? COME HERE YOU MAGNIFICENT BLUE BASTARD. EXCEPT MINE IS SILVER.
It’s been a while since the last shooter I reviewed, and that was Wolfenstein. Funny enough, this is another shooter set in World War 2. Somehow I doubt it’s going to be as interesting in the story department, but hey, Nazi hunting is Nazi hunting.
Sniper Elite 3 places you behind the scope of Sniper Karl Fairburne as he participates in the North African theatre of World War II, on the trail of a Nazi Super Weapon being developed by one of the Third Reich’s most cruel minds.
The story is forgettable, and the protagonist is really boring. He’s the most generic guy around, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m killing Nazis, there’d be no drive for me to continue playing. And that’s a weak reason at best. There’s only one likeable character in the entire game, and he only appears for two missions.
Sniper Elite 3 looks fairly nice, with smooth animations and particularly appealing lighting effects. Unfortunately, the character designs are all pretty bland (and most definitely not the best looking Nazis I’ve seen this year).
The game’s biggest draw is it’s brutal sniper kills, which feature a Mortal Kombat style X-Ray camera. The feature is well executed (just like the Nazis) and, surprisingly, it doesn’t get old. It’s impressive to see just how much work has gone into the visual aspect of the feature. Unfortunately, it feels like the developer didn’t go all the way with it, as shots could cause excessive internal damage, only for the character model to show NOTHING externally. Maybe I’m discounting how hard it is, but it’s weird to see a man’s skull implode, then see his model’s face 100% intact, with no markings or anything.
The game’s voice acting is so-so, to the point where even the main character sounds bored by being here. The music is generally pretty forgetful, but certain sound cues are used to great effect. For instance, when an enemy sniper has you lined up, a high pitched tone would ring out, and if they confirm your location, a chime would sound. That works really well.
Sniper Elite 3 is, surprisingly, more of a stealth game than a shooter. The game presents you with open, non-linear levels with a list of objectives to complete, and it’s in your best interest to do it as stealthily as possible. Because you can’t take a bullet for shit. Which I guess is understandable.
The game’s stealth system is actually kind of close to Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, which is great. It’s good to see a stealth game that doesn’t immediately alert everyone when one guy thinks he might have seen you. Taking that one guy out is a bit more difficult however.
Shooting in this game does not feel great. Which is weird, because if you ask people, about 80% of them would assume this is a shooter. The SMG’s and Pistols you can equip are annoying to use, and if you’re trying to discretely eliminate someone with your only silenced weapon, you’re in for a rough time.
You’re able to set a number of traps, which can help you cover your back when focusing down the scope of your sniper rifle, or even to help you get rid of any pesky vehicles that could ruin your day.
The Sniper Rifle mechanics are strangely good, considering how awful the other weapons feel. Going prone, zoning in on your target’s head and taking the shot is damn satisfying, and the game’s focus mode helps by slowing time, and giving you a marker indicating how wind and distance will affect your shot. It can be a little too easy, but it is possible to make shots without it.
While sniping is the main focus of the game, using such a loud weapon has the potential to ruin your infiltration attempts. There are a number of systems that you can take advantage of, however. Enemies will hear your shots, but they won’t be able to pinpoint your location unless you take shots in quick succession from the same location.
Alternatively, you can mask your shots using background noise, which is probably the coolest thing you can do. Aside from shooting a Nazi’s testicle off.
There are a number of collectibles hidden in each level, ranging from documents, to sniper nests. Aside from these, you’re given the opportunity to complete optional objectives or improve on your previous score.
Unfortunately, unless you’re really into collectathons, or improving your performance, there’s very little reason to return to Sniper Elite 3. Unless you want to explode eyeballs from 1km away.
Sniper Elite 3 is a surprisingly competent stealth game with decent sniping mechanics, built around a neat visual gimmick. It’s story and characters are forgettable, but the game looks decent, and it’s levels allow for a decent level of player choice.
I’d imagine this is about as accurate as Sniper games could get, and if you want some ridiculous gore, this might just be the game for you. Otherwise, if you’re only mildly interested, I’d wait for a price drop first.
Next week. I dunno. I’ll dig up something.
That game intrigues me. It seems to have a fairly decent concept. Let’s Play Blind Date is a pretty great idea.
It might work as a show, but it would take a more sociable host than I.
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