E3 2014: Sniper Elite 3 hands on

Sniper_Elite_IIIIn Sniper Elite 3 we find Lieutenant Karl Fairburne in North Africa during World War II. This new expansive and deadly terrain is home to Nazis, African Korps, and for some added fun some Tiger tanks. Unlike the previous game, Sniper Elite 2, this new game uses the sand box approach, allowing the player their own path to the objective. As the player you can perch yourself at a location and just pick out all your enemies and take them out one by one. However, if you take the time to learn the maps and understand the UI, then you can really strategize and only take out the targets you need to.

Now using next-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, the maps for the game are quite large and nicely detailed. I had a chance to demo the game at E3 2014 and a single stage that took over 30 minutes (I wasn’t able to finish it). I asked about the average time per stage and most will probably take close to an hour or more. You have some very obvious paths you can take in the game, and a few hidden ones that you have to look for to really have some fun stealth shots.

While war games are nothing new to the gaming realm, Sniper Elite 3 has to be by far the most satisfying one to play, and yes I’m talking about those Kill-Cam shots. The visceral detail with the physics, offering realistic skeleton shattering that depends on the shot’s trajectory and environmental conditions like the wind and the enemy’s position just amaze you. The satisfaction of getting that perfect headshot is the primary reason to take it slow and steady, and with next-gen systems both offering crisp 1080p resolution and share options, I fully expect Kill-Cam shots to be shared constantly.

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It’s not all about the insanely detailed kill shots, as the core of the game is using stealth to take out your targets. In addition to the rifles and small arms, players can also set small traps and use the environment to distract or kill the enemies. Being in a warzone does have its advantages; you have several environmental noises that you can use to mask your shots, like generators, other artillery, and even planes flying overhead. You will want to rank up those kills, as kills get you experience, and experience is used to get new skills and tools.

SE3_April_screens_06For multiplayer modes you have both cooperative and competitive modes. The campaign offers cooperative play, and Overwatch is a mode where snipers take on armed operatives. I know what you’ve been thinking, it’s World War II, can I find and kill Hitler? The answer is yes. A DLC pack will be available at launch dubbed “Target Hitler: Hunt the Grey Wolf.” In this DLCm players will need to use both sharpshooting and problem solving techniques to find the Fuhrer himself amongst his doubles and assassinate him.

Sniper Elite 3 will keep you busy taking those extreme kill shots starting July 1st in the US. It will be available on PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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