Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 Review – Worth the Wait

Developer CI Games’ Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is the first title in the series to get the AAA treatment. Was it treated fairly or should this title get lost in the wilderness?

Read our review to find out

The Sniper: Ghost Warrior series got its start back in 2010 and tried to ride the popularity of sniper TV shows being aired on the History Channel and the Military Channel. That title was followed up in 2013 with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 with one of the previous playable characters making the transition to the next installment. These were fun games, that used real world bullet ballistics and trajectories in their gameplay, and required a lot of stealth and tactical thinking. They both received mixed reviews and garnered review scores that averaged around 5.5/10.

In Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, the player takes the role of Marine Captain Jonathan “Jon” North, who, along with his brother Robert, is sent to the Russian-Ukrainian border to destroy an abandoned stockpile of Soviet-era bio-weapons before they’re stolen by terrorists. The two succeed in their mission, but are ambushed by an unidentified group of special forces soldiers, led by a man named Vasilisk who plays a game of Russian roulette with Jon before knocking him out and kidnapping Robert.

Fast forward two years and we find Jon back in a nearby area of Georgia trying to destabilize a separatist movement by taking out key targets of the Georgian cells. The only reason he accepted this mission was so he could also continue his search for his missing little brother, whom he knows has to be alive somewhere in the region. Thrown into the mix is one Georgian Loyalist ex-special forces sniper and former lover named Lydia and a Mossad agent named Raquel who is only there to look for and recruit Sergei Flostov, a Russian scientist.

The way the story of the brothers is told will draw you into their relationship a little bit and was nicely done. You get flashbacks to when they were kids, with some foreshadowing of things to come, and you get a glimpse of how the younger brother looked up to Jon and idolized him. As you progress through the story you’ll learn more about their relationship and how that relationship affects the overall story. The length of the campaign will be determined by how many side ops you take a go at, and there’s a bunch, but if you wanted to streamline the story you can expect 8-10 hours of gameplay. The game is designed for the player to take on these side ops, but they aren’t necessary for completion of the campaign itself.

There is a lot to see and do in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, so in order to get the most bang for your buck, clearing all of the side ops becomes a must. Once you pull up your map of the region you are currently in, you’ll find question marks littered through out it. As you approach each of these areas, you’ll come across several different types of missions ranging from rescuing Georgian prisoners to taking out Most Wanted targets. make no mistake about it, you will be outnumbered and outgunned so taking a Rambo like approach will probably not end well for you. You have an upgradable drone at your disposal and we strongly urge you to use it to your full tactical advantage. It’s not the quietest thing around, though so be sure to keep it high enough so as not to alert the bad guys someone is doing some recon.

Knowing the location of all of the bad guys in a current area will make completing that side op much easier, and since you do have a handy little sniper rifle equipped with a silencer, you might as well lower their numbers and increase your odds of success by taking them out one by one. Keep an eye on the durability of those silencers, though, as they won’t last forever and will need to be repaired from time to time. Repair kits can be purchased in a safe house so make sure you have at least a few at any given time (you can carry up to 5).

Each region has its own safe house and this is where you’ll be able to change your load out and buy new weapons. There’s also a work bench that you’ll need to use to reload your ammo. Resources are found littered throughout the regions, so keep an eye out for them, as you’ll need these in order to keep your arsenal fully stocked. You can also sleep in your safe house, which will advance the current time to whatever time you want. Missions are usually a little easier at night as you’ll find some of the bad guys sleeping that might be patrolling if the sun is up, so don’t hesitate to let that sun set on them.

The game is not without its flaws, and this is where we find our disappointments. The first thing you’ll find is that the load times for starting the game and for changing regions is long. How long, you ask? We timed it and it clocks in around 4 minutes and 45 seconds, on average. Exactly why it takes so long isn’t exactly clear as the game uses the Cry Engine 4 gaming engine and most games that use that technology don’t have the same issues. The maps for each region aren’t exactly small, but they aren’t extremely large either, so the game must pre-load every little thing for that region before starting the game. It really is unacceptable to have to wait almost 5 minutes when changing regions or from just starting up the game. Thankfully the PS4 allows for game suspension so we can quickly get back to killing within the same region after giving the PS4 a rest.

We did run into a few freezes along our journey and that required us to quit the game entirely and endure that loading time again, but those freezes were few and far between. We also fell through the map once but all we had to do was reload the last checkpoint in order to remedy that situation. As far as technical issues, that was all we encountered. Any game freezing is disappointing, but game freezes happen and there is an acceptable limit, and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 fell within that range for us.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is a fun game. If anyone tries to tell you differently, they probably aren’t fans of this type of gameplay. While the game is not without its flaws, it eventually does exactly what is advertised. For a AAA title, it’s probably not quite there yet, but it is pretty damn close.

Once you fire up the game, take a restroom break, make a snack or sandwich, grab a soda, and get ready for some sniping fun. The game is worth the loading wait.