Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 wants desperately to be the premiere sniper simulator. Sniping in this game is unlike anything found in your average first person shooter. It’s not as simple as just aiming down the scope and shooting. Players will have to consider how aspects such as weather and humidity factor into each shot. Whether or not that translates into something fun is totally dependent on what you’re looking for in a FPS.
As the developers mentioned during a demo session at E3 2015, going Rambo and running and gunning will rarely be your best option for success. I obviously had to try it out for myself once I went hands-on and I can confirm that running and gunning will lead you to getting your ass handed to you real fast. This is a stealth sniper game through and through. Even if you stay stealthy but slip up, it’s difficult to recover, especially if you’re deep behind enemy lines. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 can be extremely punishing. Even the terrain can kill you! I tried crossing what seemed to be a normal creek and instead slipped and went flying down a waterfall.
Luckily, there are ways to counter this and survive. The demo featured a recon drone that can be used to spot targets and dangerous booby traps ahead of time. Also, you can enter a mode similar to Batman’s Detective Mode from Arkham Asylum, that take advantage of the hero’s tracking and survivalist skills. You can find and disarm booby traps, track footsteps, and discover optimal sniping locations while in this mode.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 exists in a open world with side quests to undertake and a dynamic weather + day/night system. Potential targets live out normal lives and have routines that you can leverage in a potential assassination. Also, where you actually choose to pull the trigger matters as well. You can opt for a close up shot that guarantees you that you’ll get the job done, but makes escaping a lot more difficult. Or you can go for a safer shot that is further away but leaves more room for error if you miss. Keeping in mind that the further away you are, the more influence the elements have on the trajectory of your shot. Finding a nice surface to lay down or to place your gun on makes those long shots much easier.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 in a weird way feels like a role playing game in the literal definition of the genre. If stepping into the world of a sniper is appealing to you, then Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is definitely worth checking out. It feels nothing like the typical FPS games out on the market, which is quite refreshing. You have to ask yourself one question though: Do you really want to be American Sniper or would you rather just be Rambo? If it’s the latter, buyer beware.