Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 review – Have we met before?

CI Games
CI Games /

Travel back through the annals of video game history in all the wrong ways with the latest in the Ghost Warrior franchise.

Developer: CI Games
Publisher: CI Games
Platform: PlayStation 4 (version reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Release Date: April 25th, 2017

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is a game out of time. Not Duke Nukem Forever levels of outdatedness, but one which is just shy of a decade too late, unable to hold any value against the competitors of today’s market. Every aspect of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, from the murky visuals right down to the flaccid nuts and bolts of the gameplay, torments the player like a specter of bad memories from the last console generation.

It reminded me of titles like MAG, Inversion or Medal of Honor: Warfighter; those mindless military shooters which trudge along with their focus group determined path without ever considering their reason for existing. You can pick up the whiffs of good intention seeping through the design work of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, but intent doesn’t amount to much when the craftsmanship lacks ambition or inspiration.

To go back on myself slightly, there is one element of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 that stays true to a timeless feature of video games, and that’s its bugginess. Welcome to Georgia, where – according to Ghost Warrior 3 – the populace can pop in and out of existence within the blink of an eye, the occupying militia are about as smart as sleep-deprived Stormtroopers and the very terrain can vanish beneath your feet.

Ghost Warrior
CI Games /

The whole thing also feels stiff and unfriendly to play, and not just because of the skittish frame-rate on PlayStation 4. Gunplay eschews snappiness at every turn, but instead operates at a lumbering pace. The same descriptor can be used to describe the loading times, which are unacceptably lengthy for 2017 (that was a current year argument, by the way).

It’s another predictable Americentric military parade featuring a bloke named “John.”

The power of the Crytek engine allows Sniper Elit-..I mean Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 to achieve beauty at certain points throughout the campaign, but a closer look (which is required quite often, considering this is a sniping game) reveals flattened textures and clunky animations. In short, you can admire the foliage, but you’ll have to squint.

The gameplay doesn’t fare much better, representing a zombified circus of worn ideas ripped straight from other games. There’s Sniper Elite’s slow-mo kill-cam, Watch Dog’s camera hijacks and drone scouting, Far Cry 3’s FPS stealth systems…the whole gang are here. The imitation might be forgivable if it was fun, except they’re all replicated so poorly, weighed down by the technical burdens I was alluding to earlier.

Ghost Warrior
CI Games /

The stealth mechanics seem particularly unfair, as it’s hard to gauge what determines an enemy’s ability to detect you. I found myself in open combat much more than I’d have liked, which meant less time spent experiencing the game at its best (a.k.a. sniping). Lining up the perfect shot and adjusting your rifle to take account of distance and spacing has its moments, but highlights like these arrive sparingly in an otherwise prosaic campaign.

Could all of this mediocrity have been redeemed by a beating heart of a story? Maybe, but Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 doesn’t have that either, so the question’s not really worth pondering. It’s another predictable Americentric military parade featuring a bloke named “John.” Some of the cut-scenes are well produced, including the first sequence showing young John attempting to score his first precision shot, but the pure corniness of the script quickly extinguishes all glimmers of effective drama.

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At the time of writing, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 doesn’t feature any multiplayer, though CI Games has promised that it’ll be on the way soon. The reason given for the delay was to not “dilute any potential from the single-player experience”. Considering the state of the campaign, I’m really not sure there was much left to dilute in the first place.

4. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is not a terrible game. It is, however, hopelessly dull, shoddily put together, and lacking any distinguishing features to make a case for itself over its contemporaries. All would-be snipers are encouraged to set their crosshairs on other, much better titles.. CI Games. . Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.