By Sam Coles:
Sniper Ghost Warrior is a series I wonder why it keeps getting a budget for a sequel not that they’re necessarily bad games but they tend to be underwhelming. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 was announced almost out of nowhere last year and it looked good from all the trailers and promotional material. The game is finally here and unfortunately the game is plagued with bugs, stupidly long loading times and generic gameplay we have seen from the last 5-8 years.
The story takes place in a region of Georgia where the Russian military have started to occupy it. You take control of Jon North (yes that is his name) who is an expert marksman who goes in with his brother to sabotage a generator. One thing leads to another and they are captured by a moustache twirling dictator where Jon’s brother is executed in front of him and he is knocked out. Years later he is sent into the region where he is told that his brother could be alive and must embark on a mission to seek him out. The story is generic but I don’t usually have a problem with a generic story if it is told and performed well, the problem is the voice acting is awful and not in a corny way. It takes itself so seriously that the laughable voice acting makes it worse, but maybe the gameplay can salvage it?
The gameplay is yet another open world game from a franchise that was never an open world sandbox in the first place. I don’t have a problem if a game is open world if it had some interesting mechanics or nice regions to explore, but the gameplay is by the numbers and boring. You explore a fictional region within Georgia unlocking hideouts, fast travel points and clearing out compounds stop me if this sounds like Far Cry. Unlike Far Cry Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 lacks any of the interesting characters and gameplay mechanics such as satisfying gunplay and considering that is what you’re doing for 99% of the game that is not good.
Are there any good aspects of the gameplay? Yes I like the fact that game doesn’t really interfere and lets you get on with things as it lets you plan your mission anyway you want, so you can go in all guns blazing or take a more methodical approach and take the stealthy route. The sniping does take skill as it takes a more realistic approach as you have to know a bit about wind direction, bullet velocity and bullet drop. For example if a target is far away you may have to aim higher and aim slightly to the left or right to compensate for the wind direction and the bullet drop. I like this as it adds an extra layer of depth and challenge to the game, but it’s not enough to save the game with the amount of problems it has on the technical side as well as gameplay.
The game has a few glitches, graphical problems, long loading times and horrendous frame rate issues. Let’s start with the issue you’ll notice first the frame rate, the game staggers below 30 frames per second almost down to slideshow speeds which is unplayable. This game runs on the Cryengine which is notorious for being a bit clunky on consoles unless it is a game made by Crytek who made the engine. Other issues include guards clipping through walls, being invisible where they are nothing but a floating AK-47 and disappearing entirely when I tried to interrogate them. The last issue are the loading times the game can take up to five minutes to load and I’m not exaggerating when I say five minutes I can complete a couple of levels in the original Mario brothers while I wait for the game to load.
The visuals are inconsistent as the environments can look great in some parts with god rays seeping through the trees, but then it can look as if you have rubbed soil in your eyes with muddy and blurry textures. The character models are laughable with poor animation and flappy mouths every time they engage in dialogue which can take you out of the moment as you see two characters trying to emote.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is not a fun experience it does have its moments but it is ultimately bogged down by uninspired gameplay, poor inconsistent visuals and bugs that plague the experience throughout. I cannot recommend this game as it could have been a good sniper simulator but ultimately falls short in every department.