World War 2 games. There are plenty of them, and they always seem a dime a dozen. The problem is, most of the time they all end the same, the Allies win the war. I can see why lots of developers and publishers made these games. The reason why is simple: two opposing sides, and one is clearly good, and the other is evil. It's easy to write a general plot, and this type of setup. In comes Sniper Elite. Does it bring a fresh you take on the World War 2 first person shooter games? Does it have enough to distinguish itself from the myriad of other games that have come before? Let's find out why.
Story and Gameplay:
Rebellion, the developer behind Aliens vs. Predator games, are the ones that made Sniper Elite 3. Sniper Elite takes place in Africa. You are Karl Fairburne. One of the best snipers in the war. Fairburne is battle-hardened, grizzly solider that is any typical hero in these games. He is such a bland character that most players could care less what happens to him. Even through the whole game, nothing seems to faze him. You neither cheer or feel for him, because he feels nothing. Even one dimensional characters give a person some type of connection. This character left nothing, but hope that this game would end. The story goes along the African campaign as the Allies slowly gain a foothold in this part of the world. Fairburne is dropped into various different spots to “snipe” and carry out the objectives. Fairburne eventually finds out about a super tank that he must destroy. If there was a checklist for a typical uninteresting plot, Sniper Elite was checking them all off. It was such a hard game to play. The missions were never too hard to complete, it was hard because I rarely wanted to play it. Nothing in this game wanted me to come back and play it. Playing missions had been just a checklist. Just as when you complete each mission and a check-mark emerges, it is also how players will feel, checking off one mission at a time. I feel like this is more of a do-to list to get to the next mission.
The gameplay is a typical 3rd person/ first person shooter. Once again, it did almost everything previous shooters have done in the past. Exploding barrels littered throughout the level. Enemies that will be alerted to bodies, but after a while just don't care that his buddy was shot somewhere. Enemies will reappear once players clear a portion of the map. Almost every mission had a boss fight, which consisted of taking out a tank. The other gimmick to Sniper Elite is x-ray vision for shooting the sniper rifle at an enemy. Once the player fires a shot the game follows the bullet to the intended target. The enemy goes into an x-ray with showing the skeleton and internal organs. It's pretty cool to look at for the first 100 times, but after that it gets old. Luckily, there is an option in the menu to turn it down. I would recommend doing so, because this x-ray mode does slow down the game, and breaks it up too much. Nothing in the gameplay mechanics really stands out. It really is a typical first person shooter game. The AI does not seem to be able to handle pathfinding. Playing one mission the tank could not understand that they were moving into a building and kept trying to go that way. There is a leveling up system as well. You gain levels and unlock weapons. I found it strange that the game did not have the Springfield rifle. The weapons are not very comprehensive, and so it feels like a waste to have a leveling up system.
Graphics & Sound:
The graphics are beautiful and pleasant to look at. The game is appealing to the eye, but that's all it is, eye candy. The character models look realistic. Sniper Elite uses the latest Crytek engine. The clothing and the items on your character's belt all look very real. There were some problems in the game though. When enemies died, they would be floating off the ground. When passing by some building, some decorative items displayed on the side of the building would disappear and then reappear. There were some instances when the lighting effects made objects too bright.
The sound design was decent. The explosion and rifle sounds were realistic, and gave an extra impact to the shot. Explosions from that happened throughout the game, felt like you were right there. The music in the game was alright, there was nothing memorable about it. The one thing that bugged me was the constant hitting of the symbol when sneaking around. It really bugged me, and felt out of place. It just seemed like an odd choice, and one that eventually just annoyed me.
This is the best part of the whole game. You can either play as the spotter or a shooter. I recommend having a friend play with you because playing with a random person can be great or quite frustrating. The game modes vary from taking out a target, or surviving wave after wave. It is the only game mode I recommend.
The game box says there are five game modes. When I went to got play the mutliplayer I found 2 or 3. The most popular or populated modes were deathmatch or team deathmatch. This is basically running from building to building sniping people. The great things is, no one will accuse anyone of camping in the game. The bad news is, it gets boring after a while. They did take out melee in the multiplayer mode. I'm not quite sure why since they have it in the single-player.
Is it Worth it?
I cannot recommend this game. It is not worth the 50 dollars to play this game. There are few incentives, and you will be bored of this game just as I was. The gameplay is boring and the whole x-ray things is just a bad gimmick. You can have some fun with the CO-OP with your friends, but the asking price is too great. I would wait for a steam sale on this game.