The Sniper: Ghost Warrior games have found quite the following of FPS fans and those who just enjoy shooting things accurately in the face, and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, the latest instalment in the franchise, sets its sights on taking things up a notch; but does it hit the mark?
Ghost Warrior 3 is easily the most ambitious, largest, and diverse Sniper game to date, and it plays into the various gameplay styles highlighted by the title, namely: Sniper, Ghost, and Warrior – the first being purely long-range sniping focused, the second using up-close, stealth melee attacks, and Warrior being a more aggressive, guns-blazing approach. The latter is surprisingly solid, even for a sniping game. Assault rifles kick and growl as they should, and the shooting mechanics feel on point with that of most other standard FPSs, which is great, given that many sniper games have lacklustre mechanics when not using the long-range weapons.
Speaking of, the sniping itself is incredible satisfying. One of the best feelings in the game is lining up a target, tinkering with your scope to get the zoom and distance measurement right, taking wind into account, and then pulling off a perfect headshot. The game really nails the feel and process of sniping, making your kills feel like a tactical achievement rather than a gimmick.
You also have some gadgets in your arsenal, including a high-tech drone which you’ll use to scan areas and tag targets, in a similar vain to that of Ghost Recon. Additionally, you can also upgrade your sniper rifle, purchase new ones, and ante up your secondary weapons.
The various levels are also laid out in a way to emphasis the element of player-choice and tactics. The game has shifted to a large, open-world, with missions and objectives scattered across the map. requiring you to hop into a car and drive to. It allows for the different play-styles to have their time in the sun, but there’s no doubt that silently picking off enemies from a perch is the name of the game here.
As for the visuals, the world and environment is impressive, with some great draw distances, which are obviously needed in a game about looking really far. But the facial animations and character models are somewhat underwhelming. There’s nothing distractingly wrong with them, it’s just that their slightly rubberised appearance just doesn’t seem to fit into the muddy world around them.
The story treads along some similar action movie tropes that you’d expect, but it has a surprising amount of heart in it, telling the tale of two brothers amongst all the espionage, back-stabbing and headshots.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is a huge technical step forward for the franchise, moving the sharpshooting arena into a bigger, more diverse world with improved sniping mechanics. It is slightly bogged down by some minor issues, but nothing big enough to sway you from enjoying its 12-13 hour campaign.
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