Sniper Elite 3 Review (PC)

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We have always lamented the death of mid-tier games. We live in times where gamers either prefer AAA or Indie games, and don’t really pay much attention to mid-tier which has resulted in publishers churning out less of these games.

Mostly it has to do with quality, people just don’t have the confidence to buy a game that doesn’t offer value for money. However, there are some games that offers them all, created on a decent sized budget. Sniper Elite 3 is one of them.

You must have probably played its predecessors. While they lacked a lot of things that you would normally see in an AAA game, the core gameplay mechanic i.e., sniping gave a sadistic pleasure, which was difficult to get in most shooters. After all, who doesn’t like sniping along with watching the bullet travel in slow motion to devastate an enemy–mostly Nazis–and you get to see all the gore in slow motion?

That seems like a perfect killing recipe, doesn’t it?

It is. And Sniper Elite 3 takes this to the next level with refined gameplay mechanics, which also encourages you to play stealthily. It’s not perfect, no game ever is; well, maybe the original Half-Life, but you are into sniping, you can’t go wrong with this game.

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You get to kill Nazis again here in a myriad of ways and are giving objectives which you can complete in any way you want, since the game is a lot more open than its predecessors.

The graphics look great especially on PC and the game is a lot more optimized than Sniper Elite V2. I used the same PC to play both games and V2 ran considerably worse than Sniper Elite 2. So I do give some credit to the developers here. This is what I call a well made sequel.

The story isn’t anything special as expected, but you already knew that was going to be the case, didn’t you? And I’m glad the developers didn’t bother too much with it as the meat of the game is sniping and stealth gameplay. But I do have the say the objectives are very interesting and a single level can keep you occupied because death comes easy here.

Trial and error works but there’s a mechanic called the relocation system, where if you get spotted from distance you have some time to get out of there to confuse the enemies. They will come over to your last known location to check and then go back to their original positions. You can also fire your loud weapons like the Sniper in conjunction with loud environmental noise like an airplane passing by or the sound of machinery masking the sound of your bullet.

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The chances of that not working are high and you will probably mess up and mistime your shot, but that’s why this game is so fun to play. Stealth isn’t perfect, but it’s satisfying to pull out your silenced pistol and headshot and enemy. There are a bunch of weapons in the game, including grenades and dynamites, which you can use in creative ways on, say, vehicles like tanks.

Oh, and another thing, tanks will destroy you if you are not careful.

As with the previous games, repetition is something you have to deal with here. The gameplay might be good but if you keep doing the same thing again, then boredom eventually sets in. The maps are quite large and give you variety of ways to tackle your objectives so that keeps the gameplay fresh for a while.

Then there’s the usual X-Ray vision based sniping, where upon connecting with a target you get to see some amazing gore. The scenes are not for everyone, but some people like me relish that. You can, say, shoot a grenade attached to a solider and watch him explode and take out his buddies as well. Things like these are what makes Sniper Elite games so fun to play. The resulting feedback you get upon shooting someone does tickle the reward centers in your brain.

2014 isn’t an year where we’ve seen a lot of quality games come out, but Sniper Elite 3 deserves a lot more attention especially considering you can co-op the whole campaign with a friend. There’s hardly any lag and it’s undoubtedly fun to play the game in that mode. However team work is essential, especially spotting soldiers with your binoculars or death will come easily.

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There’s also a multiplayer competitive mode, where as expected you kill other people. There are bonuses based the range of your kills, which does make it interesting and the large maps can provide a lot of hiding places. It’s fun online but not something you are going to play for a long time. But when you look at the game as a complete package, it does get a lot more interesting and something that you shouldn’t hesitate to spend your money on especially if you are a fan of the gameplay.

Sniper Elite 3 does have it flaws like a quickly cobbled up story that doesn’t provide any motivation, but the gameplay is sublime and that’s all that matters for me in shooting games, and probably for you as well.