Sniper Elite III

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Sniper Elite III
Sniper-elite-3.jpeg
Developer(s) Rebellion Developments
Publisher(s)
Composer(s) Mark Rutherford
Series Sniper Elite
Platform(s)
Release
  • NA: 1 July 2014
  • EU: 27 June 2014
  • WW: 27 June 2014 (digital)
Genre(s) Tactical shooter, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Sniper Elite III is a third-person tactical shooter stealth video game developed by Rebellion Developments and published by 505 Games. The game is a prequel to its 2012 predecessor Sniper Elite V2, and is the third installment in the Sniper Elite series.

Sniper Elite III is set around three years prior to the events of V2, following the exploits of Office of Strategic Services officer Karl Fairburne as he participates in the North African conflict during World War II, in which he learns of a secret wonder weapon programmed by the Nazi forces.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

The game retains and builds on the mechanics of Sniper Elite V2. Players go through large battlefield maps based on the North African conflict.

The sniper rifle is the player's primary weapon, though additional weapons, including submachine guns and pistols, silenced or not depending on the situation, are available. In addition to hand grenades, the player can deploy tripwire booby traps, land mines and dynamite. Binoculars can be used to tag enemies, displaying their position and movements. The player-character must hold their breath to properly line up the shot. A red icon appears in the scope, marking the projected point of impact. There are weapon parts spread out all over the game, found when looting dead enemies, allowing players to customize their weapons in the predeployment menu; the menu also allows equipment loadouts.

Stealth mechanics have been reworked. An eye icon squints or opens to denote the player's level of detection by the enemy. Enemy soldiers will also have a circle meter over their heads to indicate alert status. Players are also forced to relocate periodically to prevent detection with a white ghost image to mark their last known position and the enemy will search a wider area. As in the previous game, loud sounds may be used to mask sniper shots.

A points system is instituted for actions such as stealth close-combat or sniper kills, with the points accumulating towards promotion to higher ranks. Players can go around the map to collect special reward items such as collectors' cards and unlock sniper nests. Journal pages also provide further backstory into the events of the game.

V2's X-Ray kill cam system is retained as well. Where the previous game only shows the body's internal structure at point of impact, the new game expands to visualize the rest of the cardiovascular, skeletal, and muscular systems. The player can still target vehicles, but now has a chance to shoot the engines and disable the vehicle.

Multiplayer[edit]

Multiplayer in Sniper Elite III consists of 5 modes of competitive gameplay; Team deathmatch, Deathmatch, Distance King, No Cross and Capture the flag. There is a large selection of maps to play on with large open environments.[2]

Plot[edit]

In June 1942, during the Battle of Gazala, OSS sniper Karl Fairburne is sent to assassinate General Franz Vahlen and uncover his top-secret project. He helps British soldiers repel General Erwin Rommel's forces, but ultimately, the port of Tobruk is lost. Fairburne heads to the Gaberoune oasis in Libya to kill several officers and reveal Vahlen's whereabouts. He only finds a document revealing the name of Vahlen's project, Project Seuche (literally meaning plague). The Long Range Desert Group asks for Fairburne's assistance in destroying several Flak 88s in Halfaya Pass.

Fairburne's only hope of finding Vahlen is by rescuing a British informant inside Fort Rifugio previously held by the British during Operation Compass. The man, Brauer, shares intelligence about officers meeting at the Siwa Oasis in Western Egypt. Fairburne, whose sniping has earned him the label Wüstengeist (Desert Ghost) by the Germans, sneaks into the town and finds out that the officers plan to betray Vahlen to Hitler by giving him the general's personal diary in Berlin. Fairburne kills the officer tasked as the courier and steals the book, which details Vahlen's plans to conquer Europe when the Afrika Korps win in North Africa, with his base of operations somewhere in the Kasserine Pass.

Fairburne and Brauer infiltrate the base and discover from a secret movie reel that Project Seuche is a supertank codenamed Ratte. Tragically, Brauer is killed by a Tiger tank but Fairburne destroys it in revenge. He buries Brauer and takes a round from Brauer's gun. With the location of the Ratte production facility still unknown, Fairburne joins the LRDG in assaulting the German-controlled Pont du Fahs Airfield and finds a map leading to the facility, which is nestled inside the Mides canyon. He gets inside the complex and prepares satchel charges to collapse the base as well as destroy the Ratte prototype. To trigger the detonation, Fairburne puts an explosive on the Ratte's turret and drops a load of the supertank's massive shells on it. Vahlen is mortally injured trying to escape the hangar and Fairburne kills him before escaping the base.

A voiceover by Fairburne during the end credits reveals that the intelligence he acquired on the Ratte enables the USAAF and the RAF to launch the Battle of the Ruhr. The effect of Operation Chastise on steel production forces the Germans to scrap work on the Ratte.

Downloadable content[edit]

On 21 July 2014, Rebellion Developments announced a new downloadable content (DLC) pack for Sniper Elite III. The DLC pack adds three new missions, one of which the player needs to save Winston Churchill from a German assassination attempt. In the first mission, "In Shadows", Fairburne must uncover the identity of Churchill's would-be assassins. He does this by sneaking back into the Siwa Oasis in Western Egypt which by this point has been won by the Allies and lost by the Axis since his last visit. In the process, he learns the identity of the assassins and their leader. In the second mission, "Belly of the Beast", Fairburne must infiltrate the assassins' base in the Rif mountains in Morocco. Along the way, he uncovers evidence of a dangerous prototype weapon, the plans that describe how the assassination will be carried out, and where it will take place. During the final mission, "Confrontation", Fairburne must save Churchill from his would-be killers as the Prime Minister heads to the Casablanca Conference. Fairburne must eliminate any and all threats to Churchill including mortars, mines, rocket launchers, tanks, elite German soldiers and a mysterious masked marksman known only as Raubvogel. Other DLCs include new weapon packs. Most of the DLCs were included in the Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition released in March 2015. (Hunt the Grey Wolf, character and some weapons packs DLC not included.)

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PC) 71.85%[3]
(XONE) 67.43%[4]
(PS4) 65.71%[5]
Metacritic (PC) 71/100[6]
(PS4) 67/100[7]
(XONE) 63/100[8]
Review scores
Publication Score
CVG 7/10[9]
Eurogamer 7/10[10]
Game Informer 6.5/10[11]
GameSpot 6/10[12]
GamesRadar 3/5 stars[13]
GameTrailers 7.8/10[14]
IGN 8.2/10[15]
Joystiq 3/5 stars[16]
Hardcore Gamer 3/5[17]
PC Gamer 70/100[18]

Sniper Elite III received mixed reviews from critics upon release. GameRankings, an aggregating review website, allocated a score of 71.85% based on 13 reviews for the PC version,[3] 67.43% based on 14 reviews for the Xbox One version,[4] and 65.71% based on 29 reviews for the PlayStation 4 version.[5] Metacritic, also a review aggregator, provided a score of 71/100 from 29 critics for the PC version,[6] 63/100 from 12 critics for the Xbox One version,[8] and 67/100 from 41 critics for the PlayStation 4 version.[7]

Hardcore Gamer's Matt Whittaker gave the game a 3/5, writing: "Though its stealth-based sniping gameplay can provide some exciting moments, Sniper Elite III is a decidedly mixed bag. Its abysmal narrative, outdated mission design, boring protagonist and weak non-campaign modes overshadow everything that it does well."[17] Tyler Wilde of PC Gamer scored the game a 70/100 and wrote: ”Some of Sniper Elite 3's failures are funny [...] and some of them are frustrating, but its ideas are good and I hope they don't end here. [...] Realistically, I expect we'll have to wait for Sniper Elite 4 for significant improvement."[18]

Mikel Reparaz from IGN scored the game an 8.2/10 and wrote: "More than just a showcase for slow-motion gore, Sniper Elite III shines for its open-ended approach to stealth." Reparaz disliked the "skeletal" story and "shaky" artificial intelligence, but spoke positively of the large levels, "enthralling" gore, and the freedom given to devise different and diverse tactics.[15]

David Roberts from GamesRadar gave the game a 3 out of 5. He too praised the large environments for allowing strategic play, but felt that the Kill-cam, though a cool feature, "loses appeal fast". Roberts particularly enjoyed the feeling of nailing a perfect shot from a mile away, saying it "never gets old". Roberts' main problems with the game were concerning an "overall lack of polish", and the "flat narrative" and "generic objectives". "Sniper Elite 3 certainly has its share of thrilling moments," Roberts said, "whether you’re hunting blissfully unaware soldiers or being tracked by countersnipers in ghillie suits, but there are too many technical and narrative issues to simply ignore."[13]

Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead wrote in his review: "The package as a whole is still very much a rough diamond, but it's a definite improvement over its predecessor. The gruesome kill-cam remains a deliciously wrong thrill and the unifying force that holds the game together, but it's doubtful that it would be enough to paper over the cracks in a fourth game without a major overhaul of the AI and physics code. Even with its flaws, though, Sniper Elite 3 is a solidly enjoyable mid-tier action game. It may not hit the bullseye, but it's getting closer with every shot." Whitehead gave the game a 7/10.[10]

Game Informer's Tim Turi wrote: "I openly admit that I love gory kills and living the hero sniper fantasy, but Sniper Elite III only partially delivers on the latter. If you can't get enough of dramatic, transparent shots of enemies getting shredded by sniper fire, Sniper Elite III has you covered in spades. If you're interested in more motivation beyond the glory of the kill, look elsewhere." Turin scored the game a 6.5/10 and had mixed feeling about the visuals, sound, Kill-cam, and controls.[11]

GameSpot's Josiah Renaudin gave the game a 6/10. Renaudin disliked the balance between sniping (which he praised) and stealth, opining that the stealth is dull and overstays its welcome. Renaudin called the slow-motion kill-camera "devilishly satisfying", and praised the colourful environments for being an improvement over the previous games' instalments. Lastly, even though Renaudin thought the story was "uninspired" and disliked online matchmaking for being "broken", he too praised the level design for encouraging creativity.[12]

Sequel[edit]

On 7 March 2016, it was confirmed that a sequel, Sniper Elite 4, would be released in 2016 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.[19][20] In a blog post dated 10 June 2016, Rebellion co-founders Chris and Jason Kingsley revised the release date to 14 February 2017.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sniper Elite III - PC - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sniper Elite III - FEATURES". Sniper Elite III. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III". Gamerankings.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III for PC Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III for PlayStation 4 Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III for Xbox One Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Review: Sniper Elite 3 is a sharper shooter". CVG. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Sniper Elite 3 review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Sniper Elite 3 Rebellion Misses The Mark". Game Informer. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Sniper Elite 3 review". GameSpot. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Sniper Elite III Review". Game Informer. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sniper Elite III Review". GameTrailers.com. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Reparaz, Mikel (26 June 2014). "Sniper Elite III Review - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Sniper Elite 3 review: War and pieces". Joystiq. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Review: Sniper Elite III". Hardcore Gamer. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Review: Sniper Elite 3 review". PC Gamer. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  19. ^ Scammell, David (7 March 2016). "Sniper Elite 4 is set in WW2 Italy, coming to PS4, Xbox One & PC in 2016". VideoGamer.com. Candy Banana. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Makuch, Eddie (7 March 2016). "WW2 Sniper Elite 4 Coming This Year to Xbox One and PS4 With 1080p Graphics". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Why we’re launching Sniper Elite 4 in Feb 2017". Retrieved 4 July 2016. 

External links[edit]