Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
I’m a huge fan of stealth action games and tactical shooters. Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games in particular have always been a favorite pastime of mine (playing them that is). Among the many Tom Clancy titles in the long and venerated roster of tactical shooter games, I’d have to say that the Splinter Cell ones are my favorites. There hasn’t been anything that quite compares to Sam Fisher’s adventures, as he jets off to foreign lands in order to foil yet another dastardly plot.
Well, after spending some time with CI Games’ Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, I can honestly say that there’s a new badass shooter in town, and I’m guessing that it’s going to make quite am impact on the gaming masses, soon. They’ve taken different aspects of great tactical shooters of the past, updated the formulae, and applied a slick sheen of silky-smooth gameplay and graphics over everything, and the results are quite splendid.
Take for example my first game—you start off in the mountains of war-torn Georgia (the other Georgia not USA Georgia). I guided one of the game’s main characters, Jon North, to my clandestine ops center hidden within a cave, and quickly looked around to inspect what it contained therein. I found a bed for advancing time, a workbench for crafting weapons and equipment, and a laptop for perusing through and receiving missions.
Yes, perusing. You’re not locked into whatever mission your superiors give you, so as a black ops sniper, you can scour through all of the available missions and choose the ones you want to take on. You can also check out the various characters within the game, including Jon’s younger brother; an obligatory female mercenary; and a Sam Jackson-type character who reminds me of the afro-wearing criminal in Pulp Fiction. I’m assuming that when Ghost Warrior 3 releases in April, these other snipers will be available to play with for solo play or for co-op with a friend.
Since I’m a little rusty with sniper games, I chose the first mission on the roster, which involved taking out a despicable rebel forces leader. He happened to be holed up in a nearby apartment complex. I promptly jumped into my little hooptie ride and drove off to the location using my handy map. The scenery was surreal, and was a mix of beautiful vistas and dreary weather conditions, all creating a lovely, yet stark, atmosphere.
As I neared the mission location, I hid my car off on the side of the road, hopped out, and began my infiltration on foot. Since civilian and military vehicles periodically drive along the narrow roads, I had to be mindful of remaining unseen. Consulting my map often, I spied an elevated position atop a craggy cliff face, and carefully made my way over to it. I alternated between my sniper rifle, assault rifle (you can also have a shotgun for backup), and my silenced pistol, depending on the range at which I spied guards.
Once I was in a secure overwatch position, I quickly acquired multiple targets—armed guards carrying AK’s. What’s cool about Ghost Warrior 3’s recon system is that it not only tags enemy’s ala the Metal Gear Solid games, it also lists a small icon indicating what type of firearm they are carrying. I decided to create a distraction by popping a couple of guards, which was a big mistake. In no time flat, I had a counter-sniper taking shots at me from the rooftop of one of the tall apartment buildings below, whom I hadn’t noticed before.
Like any sniper, I quickly faded out and relocated to another sniping spot. Another thing that I just love about this game is that you have these little indicators for both bullet drop and windage, so compensating for those two factors in absolutely crucial to ensuring your bullets hit your designated targets. In my second attack, I took down the counter-sniper, who had been bobbing up and down from behind a rooftop crate.
Then I decided to get a little more aggressive, so I pulled out my AK-47 and made my way down into the apartment complex. After locating the approximate whereabouts of my primary target, I got all ninja-like and, after creeping past a batch of guards, ascended a ladder attached to the side of a large building. When I reached the rooftop, I located a stairway entrance and made my way downwards into the building. Ghost Warrior 3’s close-quarter’s system is very immersive—you even raise and lower your gun depending on how close you are to objects in front of you.
After finding the room where my purported target was supposedly holed-up in, I crept in behind him and slashed his throat with my combat knife. Ghost Warrior 3 has an excellent detection system that, similar again to Metal Gear Solid games, shows you a threat indicator depending on an enemy’s range and facing. If you are getting too noticeable, the indicator will eventually turn red, which means that it’s time for you to either fight or flee.
Ghost Warrior 3’s visuals are superb, with realistic water and wind effects, beautiful (yet gloomy) environments and landscapes, and awesome weapons and character textures. But what really got me was its exceptional sound design. I could hear when guards were right around a corner, or whether a car was rumbling down a road towards me with alarming clarity. To put it simply—this game looks and sounds fantastic.
Having never played a game in the Ghost Warrior series before, I can say without a doubt that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is one of the most promising stealth action games of 2017. It even made me want to go back and play the previous entries in the burgeoning franchise. If CI Games plays their cards right, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 could just be the next big tactical shooter’s paradise.