As the old saying goes, Patience is a Virtue that some don’t have. Unfortunately that must apply to myself as I can’t seem to find the patience for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 from CI Games. The game attempts to deliver a realistic sniping experience while delivering an open world military shooter seems to be pulling from games that did it better.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 puts players in the role of Marine Captain Jonathan “Jon” North, who along with his brother Robert, is sent to the Russian-Ukrainian border to destroy an abandoned stockpile of Soviet-era bio-weapons before they end in the hands of Terrorists. While they’re successful in their mission, Robert is captured and Jon is left for dead. Fast forward two years and Jon is sent on another mission, this time to Georgia to help destabilize the local Georgian Separatist cells, Jon accepts the mission but secretly sets out on his own mission to look for his younger brother.
While Sniper is pegged as a Realistic Military Shooter, there are more fantastical elements that get put into play that would seem more like it belonged in a comic book. Sadly once these twists are introduced, most of the game’s story unravels and becomes painfully obvious.
What the game loses from its story, it does make up for the gameplay in which it gives you an open world Georgia to play with, littered with enemy camps, as well as ‘War Crime’ side missions which helps you destabilize the Separatist and stop their crimes.
Missions are more open-ended as well, allowing players to choose the way they want to take down their targets. By sneaking and doing melee kills, or going in guns blazing with the secondary weapons, or take their primary Sniper Rifle and taking the long distance shot. Doing any of these tactics will give you points to upgrade Jon in one of three different fields, Sniper, Ghost and Warrior.
The gun-play and stealth in Sniper is well done. While stealth is a great way to get around the map and take out any targets up-close, getting into full on assault mode still feels great thanks to the weapons packing weight and causing realistic damage to opponents. This is great for the times when Sniping missions go belly up and forces you to get dirty.
Sniping itself is more technical. While things like elevation, wind and distance affects your aim, the biggest problem with sniping is the lack of a pay-off. Sniper Ghost Warrior attempts to give you moments similar to what you would find in Sniper Elite with slow motion bullets flying into your target, it sadly isn’t enough as the Sniper Rifles don’t feel like they’re powerful enough compared to secondary weapons.
Still, Sniper suffers from one of the biggest sins in video games, and that is a long load time. On the PS4 edition from going to the menu to the main game, I saw a 5 minute load time which really pulled me from the game. *Update* The latest patch which was rolled out the day of this review apparently has corrected that, however I have yet to try it. I’ll update this review at that time. Sticking through the long load times does present you with some impressive environmental graphics especially in the foliage department which you’ll see a lot of.
While the story and presentation is extremely weak, and the sniping itself leaves a lot of room for improvement, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 still does quite a bit right with the open world and gameplay elements. However, these are all elements that we’ve seen before and seen better. If you’re a fan of sharpshooting with an open world taken from Far Cry, Gun-play from a Tom Clancy title and can get over a lackluster story, then you might be able to find the patience to enjoy Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.