ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sniper Elite III - Review

Updated on July 23, 2014

Sniper Elite III asks one thing: how much do you love bullet time? The long-running franchise has pretty much made its slow-mo death scenes the main appeal of the series, with an abundance of YouTube videos paying tribute to many a player's obsession with bullet-based orchiectomies. Shots hurtle through the air before punching through muscle, bone and sinew with spectacularly gory results, before you move on to the next target, and do the same thing all over again.

Sniper Elite III sees the series attempt to mix things up a little, primarily by being set in Africa. It's an interesting location for a game, and one that's still criminally underused in video games as a whole. Unfortunately, developers Rebellion can't quite capture the setting as well as you'd hope.

Missions, initially, seem rather non-linear, with the game dumping you on the map and then being left to your own devices. At first this is rather impressive, Sniper Elite III commands a different pace than most modern military games, channelling the likes of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon's Rising and the older Conflict games rather than Call of Duty.

Its job as a military simulation is keenly felt to, with the option of having your sniper shots take into account wind, recoil and a host of other factors. Even on the standard difficulty you're given a heart rate to keep an eye on; no sprinting across open ground for five minutes only to drop prone and land a headshot. No sir, Sniper Elite makes sure you take your time and in that sense at least, it's mighty satisfying.

While not an out-and-out stealth game, Sniper Elite III does make sure you take into account the noise you make. Your sniper rifle can't mask its gun shots in any way so you're encouraged to time your shots when planes pass overhead, or trucks drive by, effectively eliminating your rifle's sound.

Scavenging for ammo on corpses is usually necessary, since some of your guns have rather limited ammo.
Scavenging for ammo on corpses is usually necessary, since some of your guns have rather limited ammo.

Alternatively, if you must open fire, enemies will quickly locate you if you remain in one spot, encouraging players to move around, flanking groups of enemies and staying on the move. It's rare for the game to allow you to take out a host of enemies simply from sitting in one positions. For a game about shooting people at a distance, Sniper Elite III is keen on getting your hands dirty.

Sadly, a lot of this goodwill is then lost thanks to some incredibly dull mission objectives. Most early missions simply involve shooting X number of commanders and collecting notes from their dead bodies. Later missions add in tank fights and the occasional "go here and push the button" but it's never especially exciting. What's worse is that Rebellion repeat the same old tricks, with many levels requiring you to backtrack to the same parts multiple times, usually at opposite ends of the map, in order to complete several parts of a given mission. It doesn't take long before you start noticing a pattern and the game's objectives steadily become a chore.

Similarly, that often talked about sniper kill-cam is far less interesting than the developers seem to think it is. After seeing around ten deaths in meticulous slow-motion the appeal begins to fade and by the time you're finished with the game, it's likely you'll be skipping through the animation in order to get back to the actual gameplay.

This is far more noticeable during the more action-oriented segments, such as when you're tasked with covering an escaping prisoner from a military base. It's one of the game's more thrilling set pieces but when the mission is stopped every five seconds to show you what organ you've punctured with your latest bullet, it starts to get a bit irritating. It's like someone stopping and start a movie just when it's got to the best bit.

It's fun to watch the first handful of times. Then it starts to get old...
It's fun to watch the first handful of times. Then it starts to get old...
The Welrod sidearm is the game's only silenced weapon, making it useful for more sneaky players.
The Welrod sidearm is the game's only silenced weapon, making it useful for more sneaky players.

Likewise the tank battles that start to act as the game's bosses are prone to frequent bouts of frustration. It's never quite clear what gadgets can kill one, sometimes a random grenade will blow one up, other times a land mine might do the trick. A lot of the time however, you'll simply need to skirt around the back of the vehicle and snipe the vents on its armour. It gets incredibly tedious and results in no small of amount of anger when you get blown apart by a random tank shell seconds after opening fire. There's a reason snipers aren't the best choice for taking out armoured vehicles.

In fact, the A.I. in general is a rather weak point in the game overall. Enemies will either suffer from astonishing cases of myopia, incapable of seeing you when you're only a few feet away, or will spot you instantly from across a huge chunk of the level. Soldiers that are in cars are especially annoying in this regard, seemingly blessed with 360 degree vision despite usually only having one guy poking out the top.

Even the game's levels suffer from some poor designs. Despite being in Africa and initially seeming rather large, you'll quickly realise that many areas rely on being set in canyons or between two cliff faces. Doing so means that, despite being set outside, many levels are in fact forced back into being rather dull, wide corridors. It makes for some boring levels to play through, made even worse due to the repetitive objectives.

There is some customisation on offer, with your equipment being free to tweak as you see fit. More health packs or more land mines? It's up to you. New items are unlocked as you level up your experience, it's an odd mechanic to have in the single player portion and means that unless you're snatching up points left and right, many of the game's load-out options won't be available by the time you finish it.

Holding your breath gives you a few seconds of slow-motion, helping you line up that important shot.
Holding your breath gives you a few seconds of slow-motion, helping you line up that important shot.

The level-up mechanics seep over into the obligatory multiplayer which, quite frankly, is not worth playing. Since the emphasis is on sniper fights, many death matches feel like a really boring version of the encounter with The End in Metal Gear Solid 3, only with other players. Usually you'll spend half the match crouched behind cover only to pop up and get your head blown off. It's sure to appeal to the hardcore fan perhaps but for even the most open-minded player it's likely to be like watching paint dry.

Sniper Elite III is not a bad game, at least not in the sense that it's clear that the developers genuinely do seem to care about crafting a good game. At times, the stars align and Sniper Elite can become good fun, at least for a little while. Sadly, the technical aspects and a few sloppy design decisions can make for incredibly annoying moments. Once the veneer of the sniping simulation has been dusted away, you end up seeing the game for what it really is; a very mediocre third-person shooter.

Sniper Elite III was released in July for the 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and PC.

This review is based on the Xbox One version.

© 2014 LudoLogic

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Ludo,

      Nice hub. Well-written. Voted up and all the way. I appreciate the time and work that you put into this.

      You have tons of talent, so do not hide it.

      Peace.

      Kenneth

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)