The feeling of firing a .30 caliber round through the skull of an African Korp will never, repeat, never, get old. There’s something innately satisfying about watching the bullet you so lovingly pushed into your M1903 Springfield turn bone to dust and innards to fly food. Following that up with a silent takedown of his friend with your Welrod Pistol and that, dear reader, sums up Sniper Elite 3.
We had the chance to test out the newest instalment from 505 Games and Rebellion and it seems they’ve taken all the fun of Sniper Elite V2 and added some more polish on top of it.
Set in North Africa, a stark change from its predecessor’s Berlin backdrop, Karl Fairburne is set to take on a new branch of the Nazi army, the Africa Korps. Intelligence has suggested that the Nazis are developing some kind of super weapon within Africa and it’s your job to find out what it is and destroy it.
There have been a few additions to the gameplay in Sniper Elite 3. First off, you can now take a shot and, instead of the enemy knowing straight away where you are and beginning to open fire like a partner protecting one from the spider in the bath, they now are aware that a shot has been fired, but not where it has come from. If you’re smart and not too obvious, you can avoid detection even when taking shots.
Secondly is a sound masking addition. This, again, is to help you avoid detection and stay hidden. When you’re zoomed into your sniper’s scope, you have a sound detection element on your interface. This will show you how much background noise is being made. In the example that we played through, trucks would occasionally backfire. If you were smart, or in our case, incredibly lucky (read coincidence), you can take your shot just as the truck backfires. You are given a bit of warning if you listen carefully for the splutter of the truck starting up then, lining your shot up, you take down your enemy just as the sound masks it. If you’re even more lucky, you’re treated to the recognisable x-ray vision of your bullet obliterating your target.
Lastly, a key point to mention is that this game is stealth based. Believe it or not, some people didn’t understand that from the title that contains the word “Sniper”, but it’s true. In V2, you could get away with a fair bit of running and gunning and make it out the other side with a few minor flesh wounds. Stand up for too long in the sun in this new addition and you’re going to be the human equivalent to swiss cheese. Stealth is the key here and it seems to have been woven into every aspect of the game. Leave your Call of Duty gameplay and logic at the door, wipe your feet and get comfy in your sniper’s nest.
Graphically, Sniper Elite 3 looked beautiful! The African setting really brought new life to the aforementioned Berlin-based enviroment of it’s predecessor. Everything seemed to have a dash of polish on it. We don’t know if it was the simple addition of the sun, but everything just sprung to life - something that Sniper Elite V2 just didn’t do for us.
Releasing in late June, Sniper Elite 3 is a title that we will be keeping an eye on heavily, and that’s not our inner-camper talking. Coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3, you’ve got no excuse not to pick it up!