AAA Finally? – Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Review
Tackling a game like Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 can be a challenge. The game, while technically an indie title, aspires to have AAA quality. The issue is, it’s AAA price either way.
Still, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 reaches this AAA much closer than any of the previous titles, falling just short of it. While on the merit of an indie title, the game excels, it doesn’t quite stand up to other games that you’ll be spending $59.99 on.
Perhaps the most expanded area of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is in the story. You play as American sniper Jonathan North, who is stationed in Georgia during a domestic civil war. After your brother (also a soldier) is taken from you, you’re hellbent on taking down the enemy and (hopefully) saving your brother.
This simple plot drives the narrative of the game forward, giving North a purpose to exist in this world. It explains why we’re here and why he matters which is more than most titles can say.
In that, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 does have a solid story. Regardless, lackluster writing still holds it back from achieving its full potential. Some lines excel far beyond even the best writing while others come off as cheesy. In the end, the writing just feels a little disjointed.
Overall, this story is a fun one to explore and holds more depth than I was expecting. Despite the sometimes cheesy writing, it was a fun narrative to be a part of.
One of the things that turned me off about former Sniper Ghost Warrior games was the “ultra-realistic” graphics. Of course, that’s what games are going for, but it seems like lens flares and cinematic depth of field and all of that bottled up to be too much.
The same cannot be said for Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. This game marks a stark maturity in CI Games in the visuals. The textures are nice, the setting of Georgia is beautiful, and the gun models make you feel like a badass.
Despite the open world, I experienced little to no texture pop-in and very few frame rate drops during play.
However, this comes with a point of contention. There is an incredible amount of time between the starting green and actually jumping in the game, sitting on a loading screen up a solid 5 or 6 minutes. While it leads to a smoother experience in game, it would have been nice to see some more dynamic in-game processing to speed up this load time.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 has a unique blend between soundtrack and score. Often, a soundtrack will be playing in a vehicle and on screen while a score will pop up during an intense part of a mission.
While the score fit perfectly with the gameplay, ebbing and flowing to the action (or lack thereof), I didn’t quite understand the soundtrack. That’s not to say it’s bad because it certainly isn’t, but it did take me by surprise at first.
The music that is played at the title in throughout your vehicle in the game is a synth-folk-pop thing. It’s charming, and it’s pretty good, it just took me by surprise at first.
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 truly feels like the definitive Sniper Ghost Warrior experience. Every mission is laced with palm-sweating stealth or fast-paced action, resulting in an incredibly fun game.
The open world is split up into main and side missions, allowing you to take the time to tackle the main story or venture out on your own. It was incredible to see how, as I completed main story tasks, the enemies stationed at camps throughout the world started to react more and more to my presence, as if the word had spread.
Within actual missions, I was surprised at the amount of versatility there was in completing an objective. There were almost Hitman levels of flexibility in taking down an enemy or completing an objective. It made each of the mission familiar while still having the option to make it unique.
Of course, you’ll need weapons to take on all these enemies. The safe house provides a nice place to rest, buy new items, or even craft ammo and weapon mods. This provides a nice contrast to the dangers of Georgia (never thought I’d be saying that) and adds a level of depth not seen in previous games.
For the Aficionado
Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a surprising effort from CI Games. If there’s anything to take away, it’s a damn good time. The solid mechanics, the world, and crafting abilities really show the experience of CI Games, marking a pinnacle in the series.
However, technical mishaps hold this game back from being truly great. Long loading times and occasional cheese dialogue keep in a realm just below AAA status.
It comes down to preference, but I would purchase Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 at full price.