The Sniper series has always enjoyed a loyal following but the first two entries were somewhat of a critical hit and miss. With the power of the Xbox One and PS4, developer and publisher CI Games are hoping to deliver a wholly different sniper experience in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3. We sat down with the developers in a behind door presentation featuring an early build of the game. My gameplay demonstrator was well equipped to illustrate all of the new features and mechanics for us, as we watched live gameplay at the show.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 casts you as a highly trained soldier behind enemy lines in occupied Georgia. The US is using a civil war to fight a proxy war against Russia, and hence, the developers have opted to provide an open-world experience for players to complete main missions and side quests. The developers explain that the whole world is your enemy. Using safe houses littered across the map, you can upgrade and craft weapons, change your character’s loadout and fast travel to other locations. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 features changing weather, in addition to a dynamic day and night system, so it is generally advisable to stalk the enemy from the cover of clouds or darkness.
Preparation and knowledge of the enemy, we were informed, are the two best foundations for successful mission. The developers believe your character, with his pre-existing training, shouldn’t need to learn anything new, hence it makes little sense to include a skill tree. The player’s sniper character can activate ‘scout mode’ to highlight enemy footprints and mines with coloured silhouettes. The developers believe scout mode isn’t just an easy win button, but as you are a highly trained sniper, it sense for to be able to detect signs of enemy activity and plan your route accordingly.
Players have a drone at their disposal they may use it to scout ahead and tag enemies. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 also features a detection meter similar to the most recent Splinter Cell and Far Cry games. A directional arrow will display when an enemy detects a foreign presence, but players still have a few moments escape before being spotted. Players are given targets throughout the game, and by monitoring their daily activities, you may pinpoint a preferable time and place for executing the mission.
In the gameplay demonstration, through observing the assigned target over time – a cruel enemy officer in charge of a local mine – we learned of his secret and regular liaisons at the local barracks. Climbing a wall and avoiding enemy sightlines, the main character was able to establish the ideal lookout for a sniper ambush. The player can take different stances for better accuracy. A number of other factors, such as wind, temperature and bullet drop, can also affect your shot’s trajectory. Remaining silent and stealthy are vital during infiltration and furthermore, we also discovered, in the escape back to your base of operations. Using a suppressed weapon doesn’t necessarily guarantee non-detection, but setting off an alarm won’t equate to automatic mission failure. For the sake of time, the demonstration ended with the sniper successfully completing the mission and calling in a helicopter for extraction, but this a method of exfiltration will seldom be available to the player.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is again using the Crytek’s CryEngine and so far looks visually stunning. The developers are aiming to create an authentic, yet entertaining sniper experience. From my initial experience with the game, I’m cautiously optimistic and certainly excited to see more. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is currently targeting a 2016 release.