While I never played any of the previous Sniper Elite games, 505 Games’ new entry in the series, Sniper Elite 3 really stood out to me, at PAX East, as a game I have to play when it releases for consoles on July 1st. It may be the third game in the series, but it is actually a prequel to the first Sniper Elite so players will not need to know anything from the other two games before playing this one. This is good news for me.
Sniper Elite 3 promises a slow burn stealth game. One in which the pace of the story is played out in the player’s own time, though the developers are estimating this will be a 12+ hour journey for most players. The game aims to be as authentic to the time period as they can within the confines of a fun game. This means that their main weapon of choice, the sniper rifle will be very loud and will give away your position if you shoot from the same location multiple times. Players will need to fully study and understand the terrain before making a move if they want to get through each objective without being seen. Constant movement from one hiding spot to another will be key to survival. Traps and gadgets will be available as the player progresses to help with such things as notifying them of an enemy approaching from behind.
Unlike other stealth games before it (*cough* Deus Ex Human Revolution *cough*), Sniper Elite 3 will never force a player out of stealth, even when it comes to boss battles. In this case, a boss may be a tank that can be taken out in multiple ways. It may have week spots on it that the player can shoot out from cover, or players could take out the tank in one shot by skillfully killing the tank’s pilot through the narrow slit window. In either case, the player is never force into outright combat. The game is about stealth and stays that way from start to finish. Players can utilize the environment to their advantage to create noise cover and to direct the enemy’s attention away from them. Sniper Elite 3 is all about taking time, knowing your environment, and making your move at exactly the right time.
Sniper Elite 3’s play area will be nearly 3 times that of the previous game, Sniper Elite V2. It also offers many optional objectives besides the main story, but these can only be unlocked by finding clues scattered around the map. The developer, Rebellion, has done an incredible job adding accuracy and believably to Sniper Elite 3. Even the character’s heartbeat will affect the player’s shot. If you just finished running from one side of the map to the other, your heart rate will be so high that you can’t possibly hold your breath long enough to take a proper shot. On the Xbox One, your heartbeat will also be felt in the rumble enabled triggers of the controller.
Players who love the complete stealth package in a game will not want to miss out on experiencing Sniper Elite 3, developed by Rebellion, and published by 505 Games. It is set for release on PC on June 27th and on consoles (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4) on July 1st.