There’s one big difference this time around, CI Games have gone down the open world path with Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 and I personally think it was a fabulous idea. I don’t always like being held by the hand down a single path, open world gives you the freedom to go off the beaten track and tackle missions and side quests however you want. Being open world, this game really gave me a Far Cry type of feel to it, which I had no issue with, the Far Cry series is one of my all time favorite games. What works the most going open world was being able to use the environment around you anyway you wanted. It’s all up to you to prepare and setup before taking that perfect shot.
Ok, I can already hear everyone asking, well isn't this just Sniper Elite 2.0? Well you’ll be glad to hear that it’s actually not. CI Games are the masters of bringing as much authenticity to the game as they can. Everything from wind speed, bullet drop and how heavy you’re breathing, every tiny detail has been considered to separate this title to any of the others out there.
You play as an American Marine, Jon North who ends up being tasked with taking down a group of nasty people that are causing trouble for civilians and the local government. After finding out your brother, and fellow marine has been taken hostage from an unknown group, Jon is more then happy to put up his hand for the mission after learning his brother has been seen.
The game and story is broken up into a few open world maps with each map offering single player mission, side quests, random points of interests and fast travels posts, that obviously let you fast travel around the maps to areas you’ve already visited. I guess now is a good time to bring up one and pretty much my only negative thing about Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, it’s loading screens. The loading screens between the main maps are painfully long, sometimes lasting up to 5 minutes. Though, once the map has loaded, it’s OK, you won’t need to see another long loading screen for a while. Thankfully, when you die, it’s pretty quick at getting you back into the action. The only other small issue that does happen every now and then is the frame rate. It does sometimes dip pretty low depending on the situation, but it didn’t seem to happen to me that much for it to hinder my experience.
So, it’s open world, so how do you get around? Well you could walk, though that might take you awhile to get from place to place. Nah, you have your little Jeep to get you around, otherwise you can take a nearby car, though keep in mind, some cars are locked and unable to be used. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 has three different level skill trees that you can sink your hard earned points into, Sniper, Ghost and Warrior. These are pretty straight forward as to hard to earn skill points in each section. Sniper skill points are earned by taking out enemies from afar, Ghost skill points are earned by killing enemies up close and personal and Warrior skill points are rewarded for kills using your secondary weapons such as assault rifles, shotguns etc.
As mentioned before, you’ll need set up your kills before pulling the trigger and the best way to do this is with your nifty, little drone. Once you’ve put out your drone you’ll be able to mark enemy positions as well as important information like sniper nests and mortar pits. Once you’ve marked everyone and are happy, it’s just a matter of adjusting your scope's zoom and zeroing distance right, and then pulling off a perfect headshot. If you land that perfect shot you’ll be rewarded with a killcam similar to the Sniper Elite games, though minus the x-ray effect. But that doesn’t mean this game isn’t brutal, because it is. In Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 you’re able to craft different types of rifle rounds. Besides your regular rounds, you can craft explosive, luring, tracer and armour piercing. If you change the rounds in your rifle to say, armour piercing rounds, you’ll be in for a bit of a bloody treat. Things get messy real fast. Landing that perfect shot won’t just drop your enemy to the ground, those perfect headshots will cause their head to explode, or these limbs to fly off. It doesn’t get any more brutal and authentic then Sniper Ghost Warrior.
You can tell CI Games have put a lot of time and care into Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 with the attention into its gorgeous,open world locations as well as the strong and enjoyable missions creating one of the best sniping experience to date.