Titles can be misleading. A Doctor could, for instance, be a trained medical doctor or someone with a doctorate in the English Language. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3’s title, on the other hand, should really have decimal points between each word.
Far from being a long dead warrior who happens to have a penchant for shooting from a distance, Sniper Ghost Warrior allows you to choose one of three disciplines; a Sniper a Ghost or a Warrior.
Of course, as you’d expect most of the action comes from the sniping aspect, stood stock still over a stone or fence trying to hold your breath for the perfect kill, hoping to set off that kill cam to get the gory X-ray vision of the bullet’s journey through whatever part of the body you’ve hopefully hit. Not that this happens until about half an hour in to the game. First, the game wants you to know all about your brother, the mission that went wrong and why it now affects you and adds tension to the story. By half way through, though, you probably won’t care about anything other than the sniping, though.
But when you do finally get to join the action properly and get access to the open plan missions it’s pretty fun, especially where it allows you to do stealth properly and make you feel quite powerful with some good long and short range weapons at your disposal.
The open world does feel unnecessary, though, with the feeling that the game would benefit from a more linear flow. I expect this is due to every other game being open world these days, but the missions are structured in such a way that it would work equally well, better even, if the game just placed you at the start of a mission and picked you up again at the end. Not that the open world itself distracts you from the mission too much, there are enough save points and fast travel icons to avoid another long drive through boring scenery.
More pressing than the open world are the sheer number of bugs present in the game. There is nothing more depressing than when you’re half way through a mission and the scenery swallows you up or your enemy refuses to be tagged from a distance. Hopefully these issues will be patched out in time, but as it stands they make playing Ghost Warrior 3 far less fun than it should be.
When it isn’t being buggy, the game world looks great, filled with attention to detail, though the often dull travel between points does show the weakness of the map when you aren’t already at a built up location taking part in a mission. Sniping from a long distance is effective enough thanks to a good field of vision and you can often see far enough to plan alternative routes around the enemy.
There’s also a strange absence of multiplayer modes, which would have been interesting to see. The maps on offer would lend themselves to some good stealth-based multiplayer.
So Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is fun while you find yourself looking down the sights of your sniper rifle but shows its limitations when pushed to provide a more open world experience. It’s by no means a game to avoid, but it’s a shame that the developers couldn’t have found a better balance.