E3 2015: Sniper 3: Ghost Warrior

My personal theme for this year’s E3 was to check out sequels to games I have never played. I know that seems weird, but hey here’s a chance to check out a franchise I haven’t yet… for free… before anyone else. I mean why wouldn’t I? In almost every case I liked what I saw of the sequels I played and that includes Sniper 3: Ghost Warrior. Having never played the first two games I don’t know what the gripes were with them. I don’t know if it wasn’t real enough or had some bugs that annoyed or if they were just underappreciated games. I can say that Sniper 3 looks to be one hell of a game and what I would consider a Triple A title.

For the demo presentation we were first walked through the story and the demo that we would be playing afterwards. It was pre-alpha which you either know what that means or you don’t care. So let’s start on the story. You’re a lone solider that’s been dropped into Georgia (the country) to do a series of unsanctioned missions. Basically if you get caught the government is not going to own up to you being there or help you get back in anyway.

The story was written with the help of an ex-Military Sniper to make the missions as real as possible. The game is an open sandbox game, meaning that you can run around and just take out targets or stay focused on the story. Eventually you have to do story missions like you do in every sandbox game.

As for the gameplay there’s an intense focus on realism. Now granted if you know anything about snipers you know that they usually have a spotter, but that doesn’t really work in a video game so you’re a lone wolf. You do have a bevy of options when tackling a mission and you have to do recon on an area before you take out any targets. In the demo they only shot their rifle twice, but killed a total of four or five people. There are enemy snipers and guess what? Most of them do have spotters.

Another feature to the gameplay that I liked was the Scout Mode. This is basically a mode that uses your military training to track people or discover danger. Think of it like the Detective Mode in the Batman Arkham series, but they really gear it towards military training as much as possible. There’s still very video game elements like seeing the radius of a landmine you’re sneaking past, but then I would assume that if you know what landmine your dealing with you would actually know the radius.

The creators also wanted to give different options on how you could complete a mission and really how to do everything else. There’s a fast track system, but only because they assume you know how to navigate between areas safely at that point. You can have your personal drone auto return to you or you can fly it back yourself. It’s basically catering to two types of gamers, those that want to do everything and have it be as real as possible and those that maybe don’t have as much time to invest in a game like that. Personally I liked having both options and that they showed what both options looked like in use.

As for the game when I played it, I liked it. It was hard, harder than it appeared when watching the demo. Parts of it I breezed through remembering exactly what I saw, but other parts played out differently because of my timing and not doing everything the same way. I was spotted by helicopters, I was spotted by patrols (which is what eventually killed me), but overall it was very realistic. Maybe too much so for me personally, but I did want to play it some more if that counts for anything. I would definitely be the gamer to take advantage of the shortcuts.

The controls were nice and it felt like what you’d expect a first person video game to feel like. Unlike the Call of Duty franchise though, there was a weight to your steps so it wasn’t like you could just run to the end of the map. It’s definitely geared towards a more methodical gamer and the developers even said that you can just run and gun your way through the game which I think definitely makes it stand out from other shooters that use sniping.

The game is due out in Q2 of next year so there’s still a lot of time left in the development, but from what I saw it could be a winner. Obviously I’d need to play a full retail to really decide that, but I’m interested and that’s something I haven’t said before about the franchise.