Sniper Elite 3 delivers on its promise and provides hours of satisfying sniper fun for the first person shooter enthusiast looking for something else than a testosterone-filled bulletfest. We completed the single player campaign and walked away having enjoyed ourselves way more than we expected.
Rarely do we see a videogame with a title that’s as clear about what to expect as the Sniper Elite series. This is its strength, but also its potential weakness. A game with the word ‘sniper’ in its title evokes expectations of careful flanking maneuvers, suspense and extreme amounts of patience as you wait for the perfect shot. This has to be recreated consistently throughout almost the entire game, and creating a Call of Duty clone with a sniper rifle just isn’t the same thing. Luckily, Sniper Elite 3 delivers on this promise way more often than it fails to.
Taking place in northern Africa, you take on the German World War II forces in the area across eight lenghty missions. Careful pacing helps to make sure these levels take quite a while to get through, so you’re still getting plenty of bang for your buck despite the low level count. What adds to the game’s value is that Sniper Elite 3 takes a more open-ended approach to how you complete each level, offering some degree of replayability. This doesn’t mean there is a single target for each mission, as multiple objectives guide you in the right direction throughout each level of the campain. Developer Rebellion has managed to strike a good balance between freedom and hand-holding here, as too much freedom could result in aimless wandering and too little would turn the game into an on-rails shooter.
The core gameplay dynamics are solid, but never stellar. A bullet cam that follows your shot towards the target before showing a x-ray view of the damage you’ve done in painful slow-motion is immensely satisfying, but the game’s stealth mechanics never offer anything new. Take your shot, then run for cover before the enemy reaches you. Ideally, you would see them set up a search for you as you watch from away, but the reality of the situation is that they will just give up and go about their own business again.
While Rebellion has made the game a lot of fun and easy to recommend, enhancing the game’s stealth mechanics could elevate the series even further. We’re hoping to see a fourth title in the series that delivers on this promise, because despite its predictable nature Sniper Elite still managed to provide the thrills and satisfaction any sniper fan would hope for.