There are many reasons to love a tactical-shooter game, and fans of this genre are usually attracted to the ability to alter their strategy on the fly. Ci Games, the developer of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 (SGW3), recognises this play style and has provided a reward system that is cleverly reflected in its title.
SGW3 lets players earn respective experience points based on their actions in three categories reflected in the game's name. For example, kills using the sniper rifle have points awarded under Sniper. Performing stealth takedowns adds points under Ghost, while using assault weapons adds points under Warrior. There are nine perks that can be unlocked under each category, such as stamina and regeneration benefits.
It is not necessary to play the first two Sniper Ghost Warrior games as there is no interlinked plot. SGW3 breaks from tradition by offering an open world map instead of the restricted play areas in past releases.
You play as Jon North, a skilled marine with a personal mission to locate his missing brother, last spotted in the region. Apart from the tools available, he also gains the unwilling cooperation of love interest Lydia, a fellow skilled operative with connections to the ground. The bundled Season Pass bears an additional campaign that lets you play as Lydia. While this campaign is a typical search-and- rescue affair, I feel the sequence of events within it is interesting and worth the experience. You will also unlock a cool-looking Compound Bow and Buggy in the package.
From a hidden base, you can review intelligence notes and revise your arsenal before heading out to the next mission. A conveniently located off-road vehicle is always nearby for you to use to save time. Set in a fictitious location in Georgia, a country near Russia, there is a good mix of landscape to explore.
PRICE: $79.90 (PS4, the version tested; Xbox One, PC)
GENRE: Strategy shooter
Like the first two games of this series, the highlights here are surveillance and planning for infiltrating undetected. From a vantage point, you can scout the area with a drone, adjust the scope for closer scrutiny, and determine the best point of entry. Other than wind direction, there are also day and night effects that can affect gameplay. If the timing is right, firing a shot would trigger a slow-motion cam view of the bullet.
Seasoned players can attempt side-quest challenges, in which all heads-up display and markers are removed. They will have to rely on memory and observation instead.
No game is free from launch-day glitches nowadays, and SGW3 is no exception. There are a couple of bugs here that need to be addressed, including a slow loading screen, and I hope they can be rectified soon.
If you find other first-person- shooter titles to be too fast-paced for your liking, SGW3's methodical gameplay could be the one you're looking for.
•Verdict: Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 offers a clever enhancement matrix that rewards various play styles in a bigger playground.
•Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer