Game Review: Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

Release date: 2017
Version played: Windows 10 in 2017 (via Steam)

The newest addition in the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series, this third outing sees the series transition into an open world game. Once again developed and published by CI Games, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 has players take control of Jon North, a marine captain sent to Georgia in order to stop a group of separatists from dethroning the government. Aided by former partner (and lover, reow) Lydia, his JSOC handler Frank Simms and a Mossad agent Raquel, North will have weapons to discover, collectibles to find and outposts to liberate with brutal precision, whilst at the same time searching for clues about the status and whereabouts of his younger brother, Robert.

+ perhaps most importantly, the gunplay is fun. The ability to select from various weapons in a rifle/secondary/sidearm slot, as well as further modify them with different sights, laser pointers, magazine sizes etc. made for some very varied gameplay. Aside from my rifle (which I generally just chose whichever was the newest, but allowed a silencer) my main loadout was a silenced pistol and either a shotgun (when heading into villages/close quarters, where a silencer was useless anyway) or an assault rifle, with a silencer. Overall, despite silencers being very over powered, the guns were fun, and the bullet-cams for long range sniping never overstayed their welcome
+ the three various environmental zones are each enjoyable in their own ways: the villages provide more close quarters combat, whilst the snowy peaks make for better sniping (when the weather is clear)
+ the Far Cry-lite gameplay was generally well done, except that there were seemingly never any other people going about their lives. Clearing outposts was rewarding – both in terms of resources granted, and personal fulfillment – and the various hidden areas/side missions broke up some of the monotony

– the missions are all very same-y, consisting of getting to an area, killing someone/doing something, and then extracting. The joy of the open ended missions obviously depends on players imagination, but my attempts at going full Rambo with my shotgun, or full John Wick with a silenced pistol never went as smoothly as just marking enemies with the drone and then sniping them off one-by-one. To this end, I found it very difficult to play for extended sessions
– many missions could be sequence-broken if you did things before you were told; for example, after taking out some snipers before moving into the designated missions position, the mission progressed too rapidly to keep up as there were triggers for killing the snipers, which didn’t activate until well after I had already killed them
– I found the plot to be very hit-and-miss; the main story of anti-government groups is the same stock-standard excuse to mow down faceless goons as any other game, though the ‘find clues about your brother’ stuff was fun, but also fizzled out too quickly with an ultimately very unsatisfying ending
– there is no multiplayer. I spent many hours in the second game’s multiplayer mode, and when you got a good team it was a real joy to play. I wish they had updated their mechanics, and added some dedicated no-cross maps, rather than just scrapping the whole thing

> one of the songs which plays on enemy radios is a Russian (I think? I assume so) rap over the opening hums of Arsonist’s Lullaby by Hozier. It’s awesome, and I want it

Should you play this game: Taking obvious inspiration from the Far Cry series, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will probably scratch your sniping itch, but the shift to open world leaves much to be desired. Even once finishing missions in areas I never felt the need or desire to clear the areas of all resources, and at times it was difficult to play more than one mission, simply because every mission amounted to the same time. If you want proper open world, get Far Cry 3, and if you want better sniping, get Sniper Elite.

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