I was a little late onto the Sniper bandwagon, It was only really Sniper Elite 3 when I really got into the genre, and after thoroughly enjoying Sniper Elite 4, I’ve been looking forward to Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 with high hopes.
Starting with the story events follow a modern-day conflict in eastern Europe, controlling Jon North you’re a run of the mill marine who sits somewhere between every other generic protagonist you’ve played in the past. While you might think there’d be plenty of similarities with Sniper Elite, it’s actually much more along the lines of Far Cry 4, While Sniper Elite 4 had very open environments within each map, the course of progression was still fairly linear, it’s a system that worked surprisingly well, but there’s no surprise that Ghost Warrior decided to go for the open-world route that’s been tried and tested across a plethora of genres.
After the first handful of missions things open up and you have the freedom to choose your path, this takes a bit of shine away from the initial set-pieces, and while it’s not to the level of titles like Far Cry, it’s nice to have the open world approach.
Soon enough you’ll come across 3 factions fighting each other for supremacy and similar to titles like Mercenaries, Just Cause, Ghost Recon Wildlands and so many others, you can pick and choose your missions to approach in the speed and direction that best suits you, using tools such as the drone it makes spotting enemies an enjoyable task, and the sniping mechanics equally suit the pace of the game, even when shit hits the fan and you have to resort on an assault rifle, you’ll find the actual gun-play feels spot-on once again.
As you can imagine , this set’s Sniper Ghost Warrior back a little, the faction based open world system has been done so many times, it would require near perfect execution to stand above the best of the rest, so how exactly does Ghost Warrior play.
The core game-play is pretty good, not perfect, nowhere near as refined as Sniper Elite, and while more similar in presentation to Far Cry, Just Cause or Wildlands it doesn’t match the quality of either of those, it’s not all bad, at the core, it’s a very playable game, but there’s a few problems.
Loading screens are horrendous, one of the main loads into a mission took about 4 minutes, that’s longer than it would take to start and do half of the tutorial in most games and it really is far too long, once you’re into a mission, if everything ran perfectly then you’d easily forgive longer loading times, but it’s almost as though the games still not managed to load everything through and you’ll find regular instances of frame-rate drops and background pop-in, thankfully these are the two only real problems, but for a game that’s centralised on sniping, having the background pop-in while trying to locate and zoom in on a target, it’s quite an annoying issue to have.
Graphically it’s not a bad showing which makes the frame rate and texture issues even more annoying, maybe dropping the textures a little would resolve those issues, but fingers crossed for an update that smooths out the experience a little. But when things are running well, they do look pretty impressive, I found enemies a little difficult to spot using the drone, relying on getting close or the drone automatically detecting targets, but the added challenge of keeping the drone and yourself out of view adds a pleasant stealth to proceedings.
Sound is well done, providing good audio feedback to enemies around you, and adding some great atmosphere to each location, some of the voice acting isn’t AAA blockbuster quality, but it’s not a bad showing at all.
NPC characters aren’t quite as glossed and occasionally have their imperfections both graphically and audibly, but it’s another instance of not perfect, but far from terrible.
It’s quite difficult to be too negative about Sniper : Ghost Warrior 3, granted there’s currently no multiplayer, but that’s still in the pipeline for later in the year, and frame-rate and pop-in issues could well be fixed (or improved) in an upcoming update, and once all of that is in place, you’d have a pretty good game that would be well recommended.
Certainly not to the standards of Sniper Elite 4 or Far Cry 4, but Ghost Warrior uses a nice mixture of other titles, with the spotting drone, an RPG skill-tree system, sniper orientated game-play, and a management system employed on suppressors which pushes you to look after your silencers and only use them when necessary.
There’s certainly plenty to like about Ghost Warrior, but unfortunately, as it stands it’s a little broken, It’s hard to recommend outright when there’s currently no multiplayer leaving you feeling like you have half a game, and the game that is in place, has a fair few bugs, I really hope the developers pull things together and tighten up the presentation, but why by now when you can pick it up at a reduced price in 6 months when Multiplayer and hopefully a few title updates have made what’s currently an average game into a very good one.