With Sniper Elite 3 set to release in just a few short days, we felt the time was right to do a little digging and see if this was a game worth adding to our library. While it's true that you can't judge a title before you play it, there were more than a few features that jumped out at us and piqued our collective interest. If tactical shooters and stealth games are up your alley, here’s the intel we were able to dig up.
X-Ray Kill Camera 2.0
One of the most highly regarded features of Sniper Elite V2 was the X-Ray Kill Camera. While the game received generally positive reviews overall, most fans and critics regarded this feature as the shining star. While people did acknowledge that it was definitely on the gory side, it seems that might have made the mechanic even more appealing.
In Sniper Elite 3, the X-Ray Kill Camera returns, but this time it brings vehicles into the mix. That's right, in addition to watching your Nazi foe's eye socket, skull and spine explode in graphic detail, you'll be able to see the chain reaction that occurs when you expertly take out an engine block and blow up a transport full of doomed souls.
Multiplayer and Co-Op... Oh My!
Sure, lots of games have multiplayer and co-op modes, but some of the twists that the crew at Rebellion Oxford implemented are fairly attractive. In terms of multiplayer, they introduced No Cross maps. For those who have ever wanted to drop a nuclear bomb on the rooftop campers in Battlefield 4, here's where you want to send them. No Cross is basically a sniper versus sniper mode where neither team can cross over the center line. For the hoards of snipers out there who insist on wasting away, all the while the rest of their team is frantically trying to make up for their inactivity, this mode is right up your alley. In fact, nobody will even sneak up from behind and knife you. How about that?
Moving along to the co-op modes, expect to see one called Overwatch, where you and a friend work together to plan approaches and complete objectives. As the title might indicate, one of you will typically work up close and personal while the other person covers him or her from afar. As if that wasn't enough, a quick look at the game's complete trophy and achievement list indicates that the entire campaign can be beaten in co-op mode. We smell a dual commentary YouTube let's play in the works.
One of the biggest complaints about Sniper Elite V2 was that most of the missions were linear, meaning that you didn't have a lot of options in how you could approach objectives. That nonsense is gone in Sniper Elite 3. You can expect to assume full control over how you take on your Nazi enemies, choosing to sneak in a hidden entrance, bust down the front door or even find a cozy little sniper's nest that you can take target practice from. To get a full idea how open you can expect the gameplay to be, check out the trailer below.
We already mentioned that vehicles can be immobilized, and are even included in the X-Ray Kill Camera. What we didn't go into detail about is the many number of ways you can take them out. While some players might opt to go with Dynamite or picking them apart piece by piece, skilled players can move into position for a risky sniper shot on some small vulnerability. Just like the open ended approach, how you choose to handle armored threats will depend on your own personal play style, and that's just the way it should be. Now seems like a good time to fire up another trailer. Just don't forget to come back and finish reading our words of wisdom.
This might not be for everyone, but we feel like more people enjoy stealth gameplay than those who don't. While it's true that it has to be done right, it seems that Sniper Elite V2 served as an excellent learning experience for Rebellion Oxford. With many players complaining that the game was too difficult and unforgiving, the stealth system was revamped. Now if you take a single sniper shot, your enemies will be alerted, but not immediately aware of where you are. Should you maintain the same position and continue to fire, however, they will soon pinpoint your location and swarm. To counter this, players will be able to take a shot and then relocate. In fact, they can even use their environment to mask the sounds of their rifle, keeping their location secure while systematically picking off the enemy.
This is a bit of a continuation from our last point, but how the game handles AI seems right on point. Again, we won't know for sure until we play it, but what we've heard so far sounds good.
In Sniper Elite 3, your enemies won't instantly be aware of your location when you fire. They will hear the shot, perhaps even see one of their friends fall, but they'll end up confused and scared as they duck for cover. However, if you continue to fire, eventually your foes will figure out where you are and send a team of goons to flush you out. How do you combat this? First of all, you could fire two or three shots, then relocate before your enemy tracks you down. But, you could also use the roar of an overhead plane to mask the sound of your rifle, allowing you to strike again without anyone being the wiser.
Hunt the Grey Wolf DLC
It would seem that Adolf Hitler had quite a few nicknames. In fact, many of them involve wolves in some fashion. While details are vague on what exactly this bonus mission entails, the name, along with the trailer below, indicate that it's a safe bet you're trying to kill Hitler. As far as video game bucket lists go, shooting Adolf in digital form should be on everyone's list. The catch here is that you can access this DLC by pre-ordering the game, or perhaps (we're not sure) through a microtransaction after its release. Since spending additional money is never high on our list of priorities, and Sniper Elite 3 has impressed the ghillie suit off us, we'll just opt for the pre-order.
What about you? What are your thoughts on everything you've seen and read about Sniper Elite 3?