Genre: Tactical Shooter, Stealth
Publisher: Rebellion, 505 Games
Developer: Rebellion, 505 Games
Players: 1 and Multiplayer
Classification: PEGI 18
I had only heard of the name Sniper Elite before seeing my housemate playing Sniper Elite 3 with his friend. I had always liked shooter games that had a “class” system i.e. the Battlefield style soldier/sniper/engineer/medic etc and shunned any shooter that had any type of specialization which were most often based on the stealth/sniping side of combat but from watching them playing Sniper Elite 3, it actually looked pretty fun. I had only barely known about the Sniper Elite series and wasn’t familiar with it, but after some quick research I found that he original Sniper Elite came out in 2005 starring the same protagonist as the one in this current game. The original Sniper Elite saw the plight of Karl Fairburne, an American OSS secret agent disguised as a German Sniper inserted into the Battle of Berlin in 1945 at the end of World War II with the objective of obtaining German Nuclear Technology before the Soviet Union can get their hands on it. The second in the series Sniper Elite V2 is more of a 1.5 the a true sequel though having a slightly different story it was mainly the graphical upgrade and improved sniper mechanics which now included the “kill-cam” which follows the bullet as we see in Sniper Elite 3.
When I saw my
housemate and his friend playing Co-op story mode it looked awesome, so the
next time it was on Steam sale for about $20 I wasted no time in purchasing it.
As you have probably heard this time around instead of the bombed out and
broken city Berlin it was the harsh western desert in between the Mediterranean
and the Sahara, you again play as OSS Agent and Sniper Karl Fairburne sent to Tobruk,
Libya to assist the allied forces, it then leads him on a quest through
several different locations in the desert including rocky desert passes, oasis,
old castle ruins and airfields which give a sort of India Jones feel. I won’t
reveal the full extent of the story but basically after losing Tobruk you remove
yourself from the frontline and go covert to investigate the location of
General Franz Vahlen (a protege of Hitler sent to oversee the campaign in North
Africa) and the whereabouts of a British informant that has infiltrated
Vahlen's staff who has gone dark. It’s a great story that is tense from the
start and gets you wondering what will happen next or more important what your
objectives are going to be) as they are not all listed at the start so you
never know how long things are going to go on until something else happens most
probably a tank bursting out of the wall which result in much sighing and “here
we go again” late in the game, I swear sometimes I just wanted to finish the
damn level but it was all in good fun just wondering what other shit was going
to go down.
|The loud sounding icon (top middle) means that it's safe to shoot your rifle while the sound is being masked, very useful.|
|Cinematic's between levels were done with storyboard art.|
My basic playstyle was being very stealthy and cautious and as I soon found going in “loud” with guns blazing did not work well at all, my friend and I once tried doing a single player mission together and quickly found that unless you meticulously worked together timing your movements and shots it was just too hard to keep things running smoothly. When starting missions you receive your initial objectives and are able to change your loadout in which you have multiple slots, which helps when you have multiple weapon setups for different situations. When I started I usually scanned the area with my binoculars looking for enemies, vehicles, objects etc anything that I could spot before moving out. Spotting enemies with your binoculars has distinct advantages like being able to see the spotted enemy through obstacles and hover over them to see their rank and alertness as officers are more cautious and can spot you quicker and from further away. One of the best things you could find was something that made noise but didn’t alert nearby enemies, for example on one of the first levels “Gaberoun” you start behind a guard you is trying to fix a faulty generator, you come across these at certain times and by sabotaging them they make periodical banging and popping sounds which can mask your shots. So finding one of these is great as all you need to do is time your shots for when the machine is making noise and you are able to fire your rifle without alerting anyone unless of course they find a body though you can move the bodies if needed. There are various types of noise-making things that you find on the mission and they are a great help because firing your rifle too much in the one spot will lead to enemies coming to investigate.
Most of the time I
made it through ok, I used a combination of my rife and silenced pistol and
often just sneaked past enemies to get through though in the later missions I
saved a LOT, often before doing anything particularly risky and this helped
immensely with trial and error. Some of the mission objectives are pretty
spectacular, you have to blow up a lot of things and there a few tricks that
make it very satisfying. Most of the main mission objectives require you to
gather intel or assassinate a particular enemy, sometimes you get to find and
release prisoners which is pretty cool, though in most of the later missions
you can bet your bottom dollar that a
tank or armored vehicle of some kind is going to come crashing through a wall
and start patrolling around. There are several ways to deal with tanks, you can
shoot through a part of their armour to get to the fuel tank though this takes
a few shots which armour piercing bullets help with, I either used this tactic
or laid some mines and dynamite in its path then blew them up with a sniper
shot both of which are immensely satisfying as trying to tank down a tank that
can blow you up in a second is pretty damn scary but thrilling. When finishing
a mission your points are tallied and you actually level up as your profile is
tied to the multiplayer mode as well though you obviously gain a lot more
points for killing players and winning matches then playing singleplayer, there
is also many collectibles inc war diaries and collectible cards other things to
find like sniper nests and long shots oh and lots and lots of achievements as
usual. I only played through the singleplayer on marksman but that will be all
as that’s enough I think for now after that it was on to the multiplayer mode.
|Spotting and tagging with binoculars is very helpful in both game modes, in singleplayer you can see their stats and alert state.|
Multiplayer is pretty much level with the singleplayer by my view, you may not have the slow motion bullet time (well the lengthier ones anyway) but you have the terrific thrill of hunting each other alone or in teams. You can even customise which model you want to use in the game, after a while I opted for a German elite as I liked using the Gewehr rifle, so I gave myself all other German weapons too including the MP40 and Luger pistol, I’ve also got some mines and grenades but don’t use them as much as I should. When I started playing Sniper Elite multiplayer I wasn’t sure what to expect although I had seen it being played before, I wondered whether it was going to be lots of hiding and waiting around to spot someone, or was it going to be people running around all over the place taking pot shots at each other. Thankfully there’s an even mix,
|Having multiple gear loadouts helps a lot|
|Me and my friend AllergictoExplosions on Blue, against a team of level 50's and one 47, hmmmm|
|There aren't many night maps, maybe because it's a lot easier to hide.|
Short video of a multiplayer round I played, shows how spotting and scoring works basically.
I haven’t much to say about the graphics just that they were damn awesome, especially the lighting, during the night it’s very tense and espionage-esqe and during the afternoon goddamn that sun glare and shadows look amazing. There’s a huge amount of detail that goes into some of the things you see like for example the helmets have this realistic weathered beaten look and even the plants and palm trees look as detailed as they should be. I wasn’t running at full as I was getting pretty good fps (50-60) most of the time but things still looked awesome, the x-ray slow motion shots looked amazing and never got old, no matter where you hit them, the skull, the lungs the testicles it was all a pleasure to watch, the hard hitting and brutal sound effects accentuated this with the cracking of the skull or whatever else you had shot in their body. The sound effects were pretty awesome from the echoey explosion of your gun firing to the sound of a tank rolling around were all very well done, this was complimented by an excellent soundtrack of orchestral music coupled with tense battle and spy tracks and classic WW2 movie music which really added to the theme. I was glad there was at least some music when you were sneaking around but there seemed to also be triggered music that gets more intense if you happen to alert the guards or get into a battle in multiplayer.
Overall I enjoyed
(and am enjoying) Sniper Elite 3, I never thought I’d get into a game based
mostly on Sniping but it’s been pretty good and the multiplayer has too, I
swear I could watch those slow motion x-ray testicles get shot through like ten
times before it got old. It’s really the type of game I’d only play through
once though. I must mention that there is an expansion called “Hunt the Grey
Wolf” which is free to purchase as DLC and is basically an extra mission
allowing you to kill Hitler in lots of different ways as I’ve seen in a video
but I’ll leave that up to you if you’d like to purchase as the main game is
enough for me. I can't really think of much I didn't like, apart from a few issues with multiplayer inc how it can be dull at times making you impatient and the small amount of australian servers but these can overlooked.
|The music in these opening scenes was terrific|
Things I liked:
- Slow motion x-ray sniper kills of course!
- Aim assistance
- Main focus being on stealth
- Tank battles!
- Multiplayer Sniper comradery
- Situational music, good mood setting
- Ability of have multiple loadouts
Things I didn’t like
- Multiplayer can get dull making you impatient, especially in deathmatch
- Few Australian servers, max amount of player usually 12
This is my rifle this is my gun.