Thursday 3 July 2014

Sniper Elite 3

Karl Fairburne is back in the latest installment of the Sniper Elite franchise; lining up and dispatching Nazis in the good old-fashioned way – slow motion, x-ray, and skull exploding killcams. The graphics are a step up from its predecessor, as you’d expect, and the game itself is still really fun.

Instead of taking place in the heart of Berlin like Sniper Elite V2, Sniper Elite 3 has moved the series to North Africa, battling it out in deserts. My first thought was that the locations would be ridiculously repetitive, since it is a desert, and I was right to an extent. Some environments were pretty bland, however, a few levels stood out.

Thankfully, the levels in Sniper Elite 3 are a whole lot bigger than they were in V2, with side missions and optional objectives also available. Despite these larger maps, if you were to ignore all the extra content and just set out to complete the primary objective straight away, you’d notice that the game is a lot shorter compared to V2. However, you can’t really expect anything less if you’re just going to run through it! To make up for the short campaign, there’s a solo survival mode where you must fight off numerous waves of enemies, padding out the gameplay experience.

One thing that started to annoy me about Sniper Elite 3 was the overuse of the slow motion x-ray killcam. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant from time to time, especially when you land a nut shot from quite a distance. It’s also satisfying pulling off a headshot when you’re on the verge of death, but when you’re faced against 15+ enemies, and there are about seven x-ray killcams in the space of two minutes, it’s boring. There are only so many animations of exploding bollocks and hollowed eye sockets I could take, and it got to the point when I started skipping the animations.

There are numerous ways to progress through a level, and I mainly chose the stealth option. As in previous installments, stealth plays a big role in Sniper Elite 3, compelling you to fire when you’re in cover. You can also manufacture noise to distract guards, but if you’re caught, every guard zeroes in on your location instantly and will all shoot at your exact position, even if you were in the best hiding place on the map. If I was spotted, I had to turn around and sprint back to where I came from so I could pick off the guards who were alerted, then just return a few minutes later. It seemed like any guards left alive didn’t really care about their friends left with a bullet hole where an eye should be, and were happy enough to return to the same patrol you marked out a few minutes before you planned your attack.

Not everyone will go for the stealth approach, though. You can set up explosive traps, or just grab an RPG and go in all guns blazing, which is equally as fun. You can take a close quarters approach by sneaking behind patrols with your silenced pistol and stealth takedowns, and the close quarter combat has been improved since V2. Although it’s still tricky, I didn’t die that much in close quarter exchanges – it didn’t feel as awkward as V2. As well as killing Nazis one (maybe two, or even three) at a time, you also have to destroy vehicles by exploiting their weak spots, which is usually behind armour. You also have to destroy tanks, which take a bit more time and skill to destroy.

You can tell that Rebellion has tried to broaden the appeal of Sniper Elite 3, as you can now play a co-op campaign. As well as a co-op campaign, you can also play the horde-like game mode with your friend, which is great fun. Being able to work together to pick off wave after wave of enemies was enjoyable, and an addition that increased my overall satisfaction with the game.

The online versus game modes in Sniper Elite 3 are thrilling to say the least, with the long-range gun battles being the main factor in making them tense. The maps are a reasonable size and they’re filled with ledges and windows for people players to snipe from. However when scanning an environment for an enemy, sometimes a bad texture will catch your eye, especially wavering shadows, which can give players hiding spot away sort of killing the authentic sniper experience.

Overall, Sniper Elite 3 is a fun game to play, and the x-ray killcam that symbolises the game itself is a lot more detailed, although it can become pretty annoying and repetitive in big fights. Personally, the multiplayer is what makes it for me; it’s challenging and if you have a friend who is interested in long-range multiplayer games, you can guarantee it won’t be money wasted. It is a decent game, and is definitely a game that is worth playing.

Sniper Elite 3 just misses the headshot but receives a 4/5.


Sam Terry

Tomodachi Life at CeX

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