Review: Sniper Elite III

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Set in North Africa during the Second World War, you are an elite American sniper Karl Fairburne, the hero from the previous two games. Sniper Elite III centers on liberating Africa from the iron fist of the Nazis and General Erwin “Desert Fox” Rommel. As a sniper your primary weapon is your rifle, but you also get a few side arms as well some handy explosives.

The gameplay is very straight forward. Each level you’ll be able to view your binoculars to mark your targets. You then find a nice camping spot, line up your shot, and let the bullet fly. Using next-gen technology the gory detail from each kill cam makes you cringe in amazement. You get to follow the bullet sailing in the air along the way passing buildings, trees, tanks, other people, all to reach your target in a grand explosion of body parts and bones. Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s going to get old quick, but honestly it doesn’t. You keep challenging yourself by taking longer and longer shots as you upgrade your rifle.

SE3_killcamThe AI did become predictable at times, and while you can play some of the game without having to take down every enemy on the map to complete the missions, you’re going to anyway. Why you ask? Well for one the game is called Sniper Elite III, so I think you want to find and take out as many targets as you can.

SE3-6To find every target you’re going to really have to explore the map. As I started playing I found myself just naturally traveling down a pretty straight line. But after finding several of the sniper nests and seeing most of the map, I did plenty of exploring. You get warnings about changing your location if your shot is heard. At first I ran away from the location and eventually came back and continued clearing a path. You do get ways to mask your shots, but sometimes it could fail and the enemies will start searching your location. While this was probably the most annoying thing to deal with, it isn’t an issue after you find a vital shooting position.

Sniper Elite 3_20140702171234In the game you get points for every kill you get in the game. Stealth kills and kill shots are graded by multiple factors, like where the bullet hit, was it a silent kill, or if the target was killed or not. The kill cams also do apply to certain vehicles, when you would shoot out the engine with one or multiple shots. Again you get to see a very extreme detail, as you see the engine block, pistons, and crankshaft as it all explodes with your last shot.

Sometimes alighting a perfect shot would not always trigger the kill cam, or the kill cam would miss the target by a few feet. At first I figured I finally got a kill shot that was too gruesome to view, but I think it was just glitch in some of the missions. The other is just a bit funny, and that’s with the AI. I could shoot one soldier and a nearby enemy may be alerted at the death and would start a manhunt. After a few seconds that soldiers is back on his normal patrol. This made the later levels a bit easier, but I still found myself spending a lot of time on each level just exploring all the tunnels and finding quicker ways to the next target.

SE3 2Aside from the campaign you also get a challenge mode. Any third-person shooter fans will probably know this better as horde mode. You also get multiplayer co-op mode where one player is the shooter and the other is the spotter. The challenge mode again isn’t terribly difficult to beat, but once you’re cornered in a spot you can easily run out of ammo. What I didn’t like about the challenge mode was that you didn’t have any time to search your enemies for ammo or health packs when the level was over. Once you shoot the last enemy the level ends and you start the next. Once the new level starts all the bodies are gone and you don’t get to collect anything.

Final Reaction

Sniper Elite III is fun game to play for fans of third person shooters, especially if you like seeing crazy Matrix-style bullet time with every shot you can take. For those who really want a challenge, I suggest you try the authentic mode in the game. You have no crosshairs for your rifle and the game conditions get tougher.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-

Sniper Elite III is out now on PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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