Title: Sniper Ghost Warrior 3
Format: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer/Developer: CI Games
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Release Date: April 25, 2017
The Grade: C+
SGW3 Haiku Review
Head out to Georgia
Too bad its buggy
What is it? In “Sniper Ghost Warrior 3” gamers play as Jon North, an American sniper dropped into enemy territory in Georgia, a country in Eastern Europe. Players can customize weapons and accessories, pilot drones, drive vehicles and decide how they want to take on challenges in the game’s open world maps.
Highs and Lows: When it comes to video games I’m a sucker for three things - a snowy environment, collectibles and sniping. You’ll get all three in “Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.” Developer CI Games does a good job with their latest release to keep you intrigued, if you can look past some of this titles glaring problems.
Sniping is where SGW3 excels. Lining up targets, finding the best sniping spot and sneaking around both rural and urban environments is a treat. Players can use a drone to spot landmarks and foes and Jon North can scramble up certain terrain and structures to find the best way to access enemies. This title doesn’t do anything revolutionary compared to other similar, recently released titles but if you’re a big fan of this more slow paced shooter sub-genre, which I am, chances are you’ll embrace this game. The opportunity to show off your sniping skills against yet another fictitious regime is hard to pass up.
For those into collecting and upgrading, there are plenty of opportunities for that in this game as well. Players can loot, tinker on a work bench and spend money to buy new equipment, weapons and skins. Three different skill trees - Sniper, Ghost and Warrior - help make your character more powerful. Collectibles are relatively well hidden and fun to hunt down. Players are given plenty of motivation to not just take out a target and exfiltrate, exploration is encouraged.
While SGW3 has potential it unfortunately falls flat in several areas, most of them technical. Clumsy driving mechanics, cheesy dialogue and a predictable plot are a disappointment, but what really keeps this title from ramping up the fun are the wide range of distracting glitches.
There were times I’d get stuck inside environments, instances when enemies would flat out disappear (both in front of me and on my map) and times I’d get locked out of the game. Throw in some ridiculously long load times, up to four minutes in some instances, and it leads to an exercise in aggravation. With the exception of long load times, none of these issues happened consistently, but it sure was annoying and sometimes required me to exit the game or re-start a mission from my last saved checkpoint.
The Grade: “Sniper Ghost Warrior 3” has all the elements of a shooter that I enjoy. Stealth, sniping, collecting, customizing and upgrading weapons - it’s all here. Unfortunately, the game requires a lot of effort and patience on the players part to wade through quite a bit of chaff to get to the wheat. I’m hoping some patches from CI Games are coming soon because technical issues are hiding what would otherwise be a solid experience.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.