Review – Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
It’s hard to reinvent a franchise after there are a couple of games put out, but CI Games takes a stab at it with the latest iteration of Sniper: Ghost Warrior by transitioning the game into an open world – the ‘guaranteed sales’ video game equivalent of getting Dr. Dre to mix your hip hop album.
Past games in the franchise have had large levels, but players were guided through them in a very linear fashion. There was one proper way to execute the mission and heaven help you if you strayed from the path… After a quick tutorial-style mission, Ghost Warrior 3 puts that convention out to pasture, encouraging players to find their own way through the game and its encounters. There’s often an obvious ‘prime’ location to snipe from, but those who prefer more ‘up close and personal’ action can almost always satisfy that urge instead.
The sniping is as detailed as ever, with bullet drop and wind drift needing to be taken into consideration. Thankfully that tends to yield satisfaction over dialing in your scope correctly more often than frustration over not being sure why a shot hit wood or stone, not flesh. As players gain more experience and better weapons, the open world allows for intentionally setting up more difficult long-distance shots.
The open world setting also means a lot more exploration is available to the player, with collectibles and secondary targets to eliminate. The campaign isn’t short, even without taking in all the extraneous content, clocking in at over 12 hours for the 26-odd missions on default difficulty.
The load times aren’t short either, routinely clocking in with multi-minute loads to start the game or transfer to new regions. Once loaded, performance is a mixed bag with solid visuals that are hampered by an inconsistent framerate – even when playing on the PS4 Pro. AI ranges from decent to questionable, with some enemies failing to react to comrades being shot right next to them while others seem a little too aware for their own good, becoming alerted when there’s no apparent way they should have been.